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Chard & District Swimming Club achieved a first last weekend with two teams entered and swimming in the National Arena League competition - their A team swimming in the Premier Division at Bristol, and their B team in Division 2 at Newport, writes Hannah Pullinger.

This meant over 50 club swimmers, ranging in age from 9-21, competed together.

Swimming in conjunction with Street SC as the ‘Somerset Cheetas’, competition for both teams was tough, with some of the best clubs in the region taking part.

As always, team spirit and support shone through. In the A team Gala, problems with the pool caused a long delay and resulted in many of the events having to start from the side rather than using the starting blocks, but the team was undaunted, achieving seven firsts 10 seconds and nine third places, placing them fourth place

The B team had several swimmers taking part in their first competitive team event, but all did well with many personal best times. Ella Harvey also achieved the club’s Silver Speed Badge for swimming 50m freestyle in under 36 seconds in her event. Despite a lack of older swimmers, which meant having to swim many younger swimmers up into the Open Age Group, the team finished a commendable sixth overall.

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Those taking part were: A Team: Madeline Ryder, Hannah Pullinger, Abi Dare, Tessa Down, Daniella and Tamsin Edge, Abi Bonning, Luke Lawrence, Luke van den Barselaar, Jake Hallam, Ben Fowler, Jamie Pullinger, Oliver Bilbie, Ryan Adair, Ben Greenslade, Liam Mathieson.

B Team: Beckie Rutherford, Laura Coombs, Jess Mathieson, Billie-Jo Dance, Mollie Simpson, Melissa Hanson, Hope Horsfield, Lauren van den Barselaar, Elisha Hawkins, Jess Patch, Lauren Real, Ella Harvey, Daisy Brett, Xanthe Dyer, James Rutherford, Jay and Leo Kindred, Ashley & Jamie Lillington, Nathan Roberts, Joe Sourway, Rory Dyer, Paul Harrison, Lewis Pearson, Iain Ross, Henry Taswell, Tom Simpson, Alex Phillips, Oliver Bright, Leo Bonning, Michael Moulding.

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? The club is always looking for new members of any age, particularly 8-9 year olds and those finishing swimming lessons. Sessions are at Chard, Axminster and Crewkerne pools. For more info:

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