Belper Marlins Swimming Club Presentation Evening

Senior Long Distance winners

Senior Long Distance winners - Credit: Archant

The Belper Marlins held a Presentation Evening to celebrate its members’ achievements

Swimmers from the ages of five to seniors received awards for their efforts and dedication to the sport. The club is a rapidly developing hub for up-and-coming swimmers from in and around Belper and prides itself on being family-oriented – many of the coaches and committee members are parents.

The club was formed in 1977, but its origins go back long before then when swimming in the River Derwent was a common sight. A definite high point in the club’s history has been the development from an early age of Olympic swimmer and Commonwealth medallist, Ross Davenport. Ross trained and swam for the Marlin team when he was a youngster and then competed in higher level tournaments as his skill and expertise grew. He can be seen on the club website wearing the Marlin swimming hat as a thank you to them at the start of a Commonwealth swim.

The club’s aim is to encourage and develop competitive swimmers and it is evident that the current membership includes potential stars for the future. The Club Championships that proceeded the Presentation Evening were proof of the youngsters’ skill and speed. Races were on personal best times, rather than age, and several ten to twelve year olds were racing in the same events as adult swimmers. Seven children have already been selected to swim in the Derventio Excel Swim Squad, Derbyshire’s swimming development programme. To mention just two, Leah Hollingsworth and Joshua Horobin are swimming national times for their age, and last summer Joshua claimed a bronze medal in the 100m Breaststroke National Event in a time of 1.12.65.

The club competes across Derbyshire and the Midlands in individual and squad events and last December it was promoted into the first division of the Arena League – a massive achievement. Children enter individual galas throughout the year but stay together as a squad to cheer each other on. At the age of eleven George Henshaw recently competed in the National Junior Disability Championships in Sheffield and inspired by the success of the Paralympics now has his targets set. Seniors also enter competitions; the head coach Mike Brett recently travelled down to Plymouth for the British Masters and won the 50m and 100m backstroke, came second in the 50m butterfly and won in both the medley and fc teams.

After the legacy of the Olympics some of the children are using the club not only to swim in the local galas but also to branch out into open water swimming and triathlons. Of course this means leaving the Marlin fold, but as you can imagine the skills and fitness being taught at the club stand them in good stead.

Members may not all reach the heights of Olympic fame but they certainly are a talented bunch. At the Presentation Evening swimmers were awarded medals in their age categories and after a short recap of the club’s successes a disco played to round the evening off. Visit

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