Seven schools took part in the first North West England under 15 Panathlon Swimming Finals at the Accrington Academy’s swimming centre.
The 52 students involved from across the North West came through county events to compete at the finals.
On hand was Panathlon Ambassador and Paralympic swim champion, Liz Johnson, pictured left. She said, “It’s tremendous that we have got schools that have qualified from local rounds to this best of the best in the North West of England.”
The finals saw 4 schools from Lancashire (Pendle View, Great Arley, Moor Hey and Park) compete against 2 schools from Merseyside (Merefield from the Borough of Halton, Lansbury Bridge from the Borough of St Helens) and Delamere from Trafford in Manchester.
In addition, 6 leaders from Accrington Academy officiated the competition both in and out of the water.
The event was won by The Park School of Blackpool after a close contest against Lancashire rivals Great Arley and June County Champions, Pendle View.
Stuart Johnson Team Manager, said: “What a fantastic event. The atmosphere throughout was one of encouragement and support. All the young people swam incredibly well and loved competing in this type of environment. We have loved competing in the Panathlon and to now to win a Regional Final is brilliant.”
Fellow teachers also emphasized the importance of the day. Vicki Jones of Lansbury Bridge said “It is so good for the children to experience a 25m pool. It is great for the kids to get out of their comfort zone and see what can be done.”
Katy Calder of Merefield said “Kids felt the vibe today and this pushed them to new and higher limits of achievement. We wanted to get better and in preparation for today we hired a 25m pool for 6 weeks to get accustomed to a completely new environment.”
Roseanne Hutchinson of Delamere said, “This is the first time the school has competed externally, what an experience for them to come here with children from other parts of the region.”
Reece Goldie, a leader from Accrington Academy spent the day in the water as an official and commented, “I amazed how well all teams worked together, they truly showed what the meaning of a ‘team’ is.”
Kerry Glynn, the lead swim teacher at Accrington Academy summed up the day “How good is this? we are so proud to be a host of such an event as this.”
Support has come from the Peter Harrison Foundation and St. James’s Place Foundation.
1 Park 69 points
2 Great Arley 64
3 Pendle View 62
4 Moor Hey 42
5 Lansbury Bridge 40
6 Merefield 26
7 Delamere 18