The opening round of this years M&D League was held at Swinton Swimming Club last night. This time last week we were not even sure if we would be able to enter a team but we managed to get our act together and a full Droylsden squad turned up.

We have a few new faces this year, as our membership has gone crazy the last few months and some of our younger swimmers are eligible to swim for the first time. The sea of orange t-shirts gathered on poolside and the nervous energy in the air was electric as always.

Amelie Vernon was given the high-pressure job of starting us off in the girl’s 10 years freestyle, she coped brilliantly and got the team off to a fantastic start. Next to the blocks was Alex Campbell in the 10 year boy’s freestyle and we were given another wonderful performance.

We were away and time after time our swimmers got in the pool gave everything they had and made us proud just like they always do.

Our girls ten year old dream team of Evie Lawton (first ever team gala), Lara Furmidge, Amelie Vernon and Olivia Clare were absolutely stunning and a quartet of little pocket rockets.

The boys relay team of Xander McNair Acton, Jonnie Connolly, Ellis Mitchell and Archie Farrell were all new to team galas and coped so well and with such maturity for their young ages.

David Chong only swimming with the club for a few weeks was well and truly thrown in at the deep end and put in some stunning efforts swimming up an age group. Sam Farrell swam as a 10 yr old and an 11 yr old he did an amazing job didn’t moan and battled away. Great job Sam J

A special thanks to John, Sharon and Sean Penter and also Nicky and Alex Campbell who all came from the Cheshire County Championships in Macclesfield and raced back to Swinton to compete. The efforts of the swimming earlier in the day did not take their toll and both swimmers did a brilliant job.

Our 11 year old girls of Ellie Jeffs, Katie Boardman, Tegan Shaw and Grace Lawton were amazing. Grace swam most of her races in the 12/13 years age group and we knew it was a big ask going in but she did a stunning job and we were all very proud of her efforts. Ellie, Katie and Tegan (first team gala) put in thrilling performances and gave the other teams a real battle.

We had two 11 year old boys on the night Oliver Johnstone, who was another swimmer who swam a lot of 12/13 year races and Sean Penter. These two were very busy finishing races to be sent back to marshalling to await another race. They didn’t complain, they didn’t give up, they got stuck in and gave everything. Thank you boys for your effort.

That brings me to our 12/13 year swimmers, this is the toughest group of the lot. Most swimmers in other teams at this age group will train 5/6 times a week compared to ours who train twice a week. It’s hard work competing at this level but that didn’t deter our group of; Niamh Mitchell, Charlotte Williams, Niamh Worthington, Mathew Boardman, Jack OGara and Harrison Brown.

Most of them had quite a wait before their race and they looked around and saw the size of some of their competitors and a WOW escaped a few lips. This didn’t put them off, they got in the pool and never stopped battling until the last race. Niamh Mitchell (only 12 a few weeks ago) started us off with a really gutsy Breast Stroke, followed by Mathew again in the Breast Stroke and another super effort. There was then a bit of a wait whilst the younger swimmers did their swims. Then the team relays, after which Niamh Worthington informed me she swims better under pressure, remember that on Tuesday Allan ;). Charlotte Williams and Harrison Brown did a spectacular job in the Butterfly and were very evenly matched with some BIG opponents.

Everyone who swam last night can all hold their heads high for the commitment and spirit they showed. These guys went head to head with some very experienced swimmers and can come away proud of what they achieved.

THANK YOU to you all for your efforts J