Joy as swimmers double number of qualifying times

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James Toft and Jessie Westnidge have made a big splash in the world of swimming.

For James is the ten-year-old Derbyshire champion while Jessie has gained an award for the joint best overall performance by a female competitor aged 14 and above.

Both are members of Chesterfield Swimming Club and the 50 members who competed in the 2012 Derbyshire Championships set new standards of excellence.

Newly-appointed head coach Mark Tanner has restructured club swimming squads with the aim of boosting performances and the improvements have been spectacular.

The county championships were held at pools in Matlock, Chesterfield and Derby and youngsters aged nine to 19, plus a few seniors, competed for medals, personal bests and qualifying times for this year’s Midlands Regional Championships.

Chesterfield swimmers have more than doubled the number of regional qualifying times achieved in the whole of last season and coach Mark is delighted with the progress.

He said: “I’m so proud of the team. Every one of them put in 100 per cent to be in the best shape for these championships and it paid off.

“A special mention is due to county champion James and Jessie who was the joint winner of the Victrix Ludorum.’’

The club, based at Queen’s Park Sport Centre, finished the Derbyshire event with a magnificent haul of medals.

Swimmers gained 40 golds, 42 silvers and 39 bronzes along with hundreds of personal best times and no fewer than 64 regional qualifying times.

Mark added: “What’s more, we’ve still got plenty of the season left to add to these successes.

“The club is going from strength to strength.

“Our new structure complies with British Swimming’s Long-Term Athlete Development Plan and the focus from the dedicated coaching team is on commitment to training.

“The swimmers are beginning to realize that they can achieve way beyond their expectations – full commitment to training is all that’s needed.

“I have massive ambition for this club – we’ve named the top squad ‘National’ for a reason.

“With the help of a very dedicated committee and parents’ support, I know we can deliver.’’

Members of Chesterfield Swimming Club are pictured with head coach Mark Tanner.