Belper Marlin Swimming Club youngsters were out in force at Arc Leisure Matlock for this year’s County Championships.
To enter the competition, you had to be a certain level of ability and be able to surpass the times that the officials had set.
Belper Marlin had many new members that had come through the ranks and were now able to enter the event. After an hour of warm-up, split between the boys and girls, the competition went into overdrive.
Children shot off the blocks and were well into their first stroke within under a second and most were turning after 15. Some of the races were so close that the electronic boards at the end of the lanes were the only way of splitting them up.
Personal bests were annihilated and one spectator questioned that surely at some point the children would reach their limit as there must be a point at which it is physically impossible to beat your time. The problem was that nobody had told the children this.
Coaches Mike Brett, Phil Ainley and Paul Horobin were all on the side giving final instruction and then after the swim an analysis of each individual’s race.
A spokesperson for the club said: “This instant feedback is obviously paying dividends as many medals were won in this first weekend of competition. Belper came back with 15 gold medals, 17 silver and 13 bronze, along with a huge number of swimmers being given credit for a top six place.
“The medals were spread over a number of ages. Ten-year-old winner was Danny Skinner, 11-year-old winners were Casper Raynard, William Brookes and Dominic Shrimpling, 12-year-old Sam Frost, 14-year-old Joshua Horobin and 17-year-old Leah Hollingsworth. Although the age range was so large all members of the team screamed for each other and praised their efforts.
“It was a superb performance by The Marlins and we are only a third of the way through the competition. Watch this space as hopefully there’ll be another two gold hauls to follow. Marlins are a great group of kids making the town proud!