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Top Marks for Otter Swimmers at English Schools Swimming Association Championships

Sixteen young Otter swimmers headed to Bolton One Leisure Centre, to compete for their respective schools in the ‘English Schools Swimming Association’ North West Individual Championships, the clubs swimmers were in fine early season form triumphing in many races, and being highly placed in many others, as the impressive Bolton One’s pool clearly suited them and they continued to post P/B after P/B.

Derrick Miller head coach and two of his coach team David Beswick and Jane Davies accompanied the swimmers they were delighted with all the swimmers performances, Derrick said “this is a high quality event and our Otter swimmers excelled in each race, they came away with a clutch of Gold, Silver and Bronze medals for their schools, I was very impressed with their positive attitude both in and out of the water, they were a credit to both their schools and this club, we train up to four times a week and target our training to be both efficient and effective, and when all that training comes off in such spectacular fashion I  and the coach team couldn’t be more pleased for them.

Swimmers who competed were:

Harris Clegg who competed in three events (100F/S, 50 Fly, 50 B/S) Won 3 Golds and is now the English Schools North West champion in all three events.

Stevie Hacking who competed in two events (50 F/S. 50 B/S) Won 2 Golds and is now English Schools North West champion in those events.

William Crisp who competed in two events (100B/S, 50 F/S) Won 1 Gold and (P/b in the other race) William is now an English Schools North West champion.

Edward Crisp who competed in 2 events (100F/S, 50F/S) Won a Bronze and posted a P/b in other race.

Jarvis Davis who competed in 1 event (100B/S) Won a Silver.

Arielle Methven who competed in 3 events (100B/S, 50F/S, 50B/S) Won a Bronze and posted P/b’s in the other races.

Laila Wardle who competed in 2 events (100F/S, 50Fly) posting P/b’s in both races.

Joshua Bleasdale who competed in 2 events (100F/S, 100 B/S) posting P/b’s in both races.

Ryan Wardle who competed in 2 events (100F/S, 100B/S) posting P/b’s in both races.

Oliver Ward who competed in 2 events (50F/S, 100B/S) posting P/b’s in both races.

Emily Robertson who competed in 2 events (100F/S, 100B/S) posting P/b’s in both races.

Ella Grimshaw who competed in 4 events (100F/S, 100B/S, 50F/S, 50B/S) claiming a 4th place in 100F/S and posting P/b’s in the other races.

Mae Anderson who competed in 2 events (50Fly, 50F/S) posting P/b’s in both races.

Georgia Beswick who competed in 2 events (100F/S, 100B/S) a P/b and claiming a 5th place in a very tough and close group race, also P/b in other race.

Sophie Donovan who competed in 3 events (100F/S, 100B/S, 50F/S) posting P/b’s in all three races.

Natasha Barker who competed in 2 events (100F/S, 100B/S) posting two very good season P/b’s.

Annual Presentation

Great Harwood Otter Swimming Club held our Annual Presentation and Family Disco night at Great Harwood Cricket club, the evening was filled with Swimmer Awards, Dancing, Quizzes and Fun Games and a fantastic night was had by all who attended.

After the serious business of awarding our talented swimmers their awards we thanked and presented our volunteer coach team with flowers and chocolates.

Head Coach Derrick Miller said ‘our Otter swimmers are excelling in training and this bodes well for the upcoming season’

On the night a clutch of ‘Special Awards’ were presented


Allan & Ann Maddoc Novice Shield

Boy Winner  Cooper Baron

Girl Winner  Elouise Scales


F.J. Neale Endeavour Trophy

Boy Winner  Ryan Wardle

Girl Winner  Katie Lambert


Coaches Award

Boy Winner  William Crisp

Girl Winner  Ella Grimshaw


Merit Awards

Cubs  Jack Whittaker

1st Group  Laila Wardle

Top Group  Emily Thomas


Cubs Award

Top Boy Cub  Thomas Dignan

Top Girl Cub  Eliza Wall

Great new team sponsor for Great Harwood Otters’

Coach Hire Booking based in Accrington have kindly agreed to become a major sponsor of the Great Harwood Otters swimming club, sponsoring the Otters for 2 years with vital financial support, and the kind inclusion within their support of a new team coach for our away swimming Gala fixtures, team coach Derrick Miller said ‘we are delighted to be associated with such a fantastic and helpful local sponsor, it had me worried though, when I heard we were getting a team coach, I thought they may be replacing me, our team having a team coach for our away fixtures is a real bonus for our club, as the team form a stronger bond and build a greater team spirit.
Pictured are Otter swimmers Flynn Orourke, Hannah Walmsley, Thomas Hill, Amelia Walmsley, Edward Crisp and William Crisp boarding our new team Coach for our away Gala in the ‘North East Lancs Friendly League’ at Ramsbottom Pool.

Great Harwood Otters are always on the lookout for new swimmers to join our friendly club, please contact Joyce Miller 01254 884247 for a free trial or call into our Mercer Hall pool home on Weds evenings from 7p.m and speak with our coaches.

Wild Otter Pyjama Gala at Great Harwood Otter Swimming Club

It was another amazing night in the pool at Great Harwood Otter Swimming club on Friday 14th June as the club hosted their first ‘Wild Otter Pyjama Gala’. A new and exciting team competition, where the Otter swimmers got to swim in their Pyjamas, it proved to be a very popular and fun evening. Where the 10 teams of 6 swimmers, aged from 6 upwards, were led by their enthusiastic and surprisingly competitive team captains, as they competed in a series of ‘Bedtime themed’ races wearing or collecting Bedtime items.

The pool was a riot of laughter, as a packed poolside audience thoroughly enjoyed our madcap pyjama gala night. The event started with a parade around poolside where all the swimmers had dressed up their pyjamas and we chose a ‘Best Boy’ and ‘Best Girl’ from the parade. The winners were Joshua Bleasdale and Milly Walmsley, we also had spot prizes throughout the gala, ‘biggest splash’ and ‘who wet the most parents’ were popular prizes. The winning team was led by team captain Alice Roberts and the runners up team was captained by Arielle Metheven.

The event was a fun fundraiser, and a raffle and chocolate tombola were held, “many thanks to Tesco in Accrington for their kind donations of prizes and Prestons of Great Harwood for supplying the trophies, without the kind support of local businesses events like this could never be held” said Joyce Miller club secretary. The proceeds of the event will be split between the Otters club and the Thwaites Empire Theatre in Blackburn for their ‘Raise the Roof campaign’, Joyce said “we will be presenting a cheque for £150.00 to the Thwaites Empire Theatre, as many of our swimmers and our head coach are involved in productions at this prestigious and much loved local theatre.”

double bedtime trouble

arielle otter captain

Two defibrillators for the Hyndburn pools arranged with the help of the Oliver King Foundation

Great Harwood Otter swimming club were delighted to welcome Mark King and Joanne Galloway from the Oliver King Foundation to their club on Weds evening, during one of their clubs training session,

Mark kindly delivered two defibrillators and gave a talk about the importance of clubs like ours having defibrillators accessible to all, as his own son Oliver tragically passed away whilst swimming in 2011, if there had been a defibrillator at poolside it may have made all the difference, and a machine like the ones he brought could potentially have saved Oliver’s Life, since then Mark has campaigned tirelessly to Councils and the Government and he has gained over 100,00 signatures to present to the Government urging them to act now and make defibrillators readily available and accessible to all.

Our ASA member club, a nationally recognised holder of the Swim21 accreditation for best practice teaching /coaching and professionalism in all that we do, led by our Otter coach team we realised that our swimmers and their families could be well served and benefit from the addition of a defibrillator at poolside here at Mercer Hall Leisure Centre.

“Knowing that our swimmers now swim in an even safer environment is very important to our club” said club secretary Joyce Miller “and the defibrillators will have much wider benefits to the community of Great Harwood.”

Joyce Miller welcomed Mark to the club and said “the Otters were privileged that Mark king could visit our club, as he now travels the country raising awareness of how vital it is to have defibrillators in centres like Mercer Hall Leisure centre”, Mark gave a passion filled interesting and insightful talk and then presented our club with the defibrillators we had ordered through the Oliver King Foundation” Joyce thanked Hyndburn Council and Hyndburn Leisure for all their support of the Otters, and was delighted that council representatives Cllr Noordad Aziz, Cllr Kerry Molineux and Cllr Gareth Molineux had attended Marks visit, Heather Alexander from Hyndburn Leisure management team received the defibrillators on behalf of the Otters and will now plan training sessions for staff and Otter coaches.

Mark King from oliver king foundation

Heather Alexander hyndburn leisure Joyce Miller 0TTERS Mark and Joanne from Oliver King Foundation with cllr Noordad Aziz

Otters Meet Town Crier

Oyez, Oyez Great Harwoods very own Town Crier ‘Rawden Kerr’ called into see the Otters at our Mercer Hall Home. He popped into our busy Weds evening training session, to cry in our new season and proclaim to all that the Otters are looking forward to ‘Great’ things this new year in and out of the pool. Rawden, who holds this most historic and worthy post, is the Town Crier for Great Harwood and the Hyndburn area and he kindly agreed to set the Otters 2013 new year and new season off.

With a roof raising bell ringing proclamation, holding with tradition he cried ‘Oyez- Oyez’ and rang his official town criers bell before reading his proclamation. All the Otter swimmers got to ring the official bell and thankfully we didn’t drop it in the pool…close though!!!..oyez..

100_5711 coaches oyez

100_5697 Three otters oyez

100_5710 everybody rang the bell

Derricks Christmas Relay Fun Gala

The Otters ‘Elf in chief ’ Derrick, AKA our coach arranged a fantastic fun filled final end of year gala on Weds 19th Dec, 5 teams competed for the honour of being ‘just simply fabaroo’ and gaining the most points over the 18 events.

The teams were
The Sledgers, in Lane 4
The Blue Penguins, in Lane 3
The Elves, in Lane 2
The Snowpeople, in Lane 1
The Burnley Elves, in Lane 5

After a very exciting nights racing the scores were in..
The Sledgers won with 64 points
The Blue Penguins came second with 58 points
The Elves came third with 51 points
The Snowpeople came fourth with 49 points
The Burnley Elves came fifth with 48 points

At the end of the evening Derrick awarded some special trophies to swimmers who had impressed him over the events 18 races.
Back crawl stamina and endurance trophy winner Amelia Bailey
Best Fly away arms winner Sam Houghton
Most streamlined dive winner Saskia Hargreaves
Best off to a ‘flyer’ (went to soon) winner Katie Ackers
Best team head bobber winner Eliza Ward
Biggest doggy paddle smile winner Jasmine Wilkinson
Most gymnastic tumble turns (mid way down pool) winner Thomas Dignan
Fastest otter twistler (you had to be there!) winner Finlay Wallace
Streamline paddle steamer stroke winner Lucy Ackers
Fantastic ‘Tea Pot’ & backstroke arms winner Cameron King
Best ankle grabber (again you had to be there!!) Holly Slater.

Thank you to all our Otter swimmers who attended on the night, you all swam brilliantly and your coaches are proud to be able to coach you, the future for the Otters club looks very promising, as we have a fantastic bunch of promising young competitive swimmers currently training at the Otters.

The Club Talk to Real Radio

Local radio station Real Radio runs a weekly Breakfast show Blag where one of the presenters Lorna, helps worthy causes Blag for free goodies. GH Otters were chosen for the Blag and Taurus Promotions from Bolton kindly agreed to provide our club 100 free poolside Tshirts.

Click here to listen.

Generous Donations from North West Businesses

The Co-Operative community fund have generously donated £1750 to Great Harwood Otter Swimming Club. This will help us make available our much loved training sessions to many children for the coming years. A Big Thank you to the Co-Operative from all of the Otters. For more information on the Community Fund click here.

Prestons Funeral Services of Great Harwood will be sponsoring our club Championships by paying for all of the trophies that are won by our talented swimmers on these occasions. They have pledged to donate £500 per year for the foreseeable future to pay for these much loved trophies. For more information about Prestons click here.

Club Presentation Night 2012 Awards

And the winners of the great harwood otter swimming club presentation night 2012 awards are…

F.J. Neale Endeavour Trophy

  • Girl winner – Samantha Hepworth
  • Boy winner – Dominik Allen

Coaches Award

  • Girl Winner – Alice Roberts
  • Girl Winner – Megan Davidson

Merit Awards

  • Cubs – Isabel Bentley
  • 1st Group – Sophie Donovan
  • Top Group – Robert Dyer

Cubs Award

  • Top Boy Cub – Stevie Hacking
  • Top Girl Cub – Eve Wall