01254 884 247


Welcome back

Covid 19 kept us out of the pool for 178 days with Otters finally returning to the water on Thursday 10th September at Hyndburn sports centre. We are on limited pool time with variations to our usual days & times whilst Mercer Hall is again facing repair works & we hope to resume our lesson groups in the not to distant future.


Top Group
Thursday 7-8pm
Friday 8-9pm

1st Group
Friday 7-8pm
Saturday 2.30-3.30pm

Saturday 1.30-2.30pm

Sprint Gala February 2016

Well done to all swimmers who competed in our first gala of 2016. Age groups 6,7,8,9 & 10 each swam 4, 1 length races & the 11+years swam 4, 2 length races. The times for the 4 races are then added together & trophies presented to the fastest 3 swimmers in each age group.There was a good turn out which makes it much easier for Derrick to make his team selection for the Friendly League galas & also provides times for those wanting to compete in external galas.

Our first Friendly league gala is against Darwen at home Monday 14th March 7.30pm warm up. Team sheet is on the noticeboard.

Presentation Disco 2016

Saturday 23rd January saw the Great Harwood Otters presentation disco held at Great Harwood Cricket Club. The sell out event was held to share the swimmers achievements over the previous year with their coaches, families & friends.
Local business’s kindly donated prizes for the raffle.

At the Otters annual gala held in November Sienna Davies & Logan Hindle were victorious in their races & were presented with the Allan & Ann Maddoc Novice Shields.

Other awards were presented for achievement & performance in training the F.J. Neale Trophy for Endeavour was awarded to Merle Walmsley & Etienne Ward.

The coaches award was given to 1st group swimmers Molly Johns & Ronnie Calverley-Sumner.

Merit awards Cubs Nicholas Ward, 1st group Cameron King & Top group Emily Robertson.

Top girl cub 2015 Alice Hindle & Top boy cub Jacob Hacking.

A special annual award in honour of Milly Walmsley donated by her family was awarded to Ella Grimshaw as most improved swimmer of 2015.

The prestigious Shackleton Otter which was last presented 5 years ago was awarded to 11 year old Stevie Hacking for bringing the most recognition to the club.

A very surprised Joyce Miller membership secretary & treasurer was awarded with her own trophy for lifetime commitment to the club.

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Presentation Night

The Otters held their Annual Club Presentation night at Great Harwood Cricket club thanks to all who attended it was another great night.

Allan & Ann Maddoc Novice Shield
Girl Winner      Kaci Duxbury
Boy Winner      Nathan Johns

Girl Winner      Laila Wardle
Boy Winner      Stevie Hacking

Girl Winner     Katie Lambert
Boy Winner     Callum Galloway

Cubs              Kyle Johnston
1st Group     Connor Galloway
Top Group   Emma Guilfoyle

Top Girl Cub      Rose Scales
Top Boy Cub      Etienne Ward

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..

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100_5697 Three otters oyez

100_5710 everybody rang the bell