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Christina's Column
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Belper Issue 3 - "Belper Marlin Swimming Club"
christina's column

Christina Moorby is a year 9 student at Belper High School and is a regular columnist within the pages of this magazine.

Here’s what Christina has to say about the swimming club she belongs to - Belper Marlins.

Belper Marlin Swimming Club

It’s me again! This time I write about Belper Marlins; why I swim there four nights a week, what it’s all about and anything else that pops into my head.

You might have heard about the swimming club from the Belper News, if you go to Belper School or you may have no idea in the slightest. Belper Marlins first came about in the 1880’s, formed by two local school masters called Mr A Moselley and Mr Dan Wilson. They moved to our Belper Leisure Centre in 1974 and they allowed women to join! In 1977 the name changed to Belper Marlin Swimming Club and they realised the future of the club was in children joining. Nowadays everyone’s welcome and the club wouldn’t be anything without the coaches Mick Howard, Mike Brett, Irene Halllsworth and Jeff Pickering, Pete Marshall, treasurer and Jackie Goodall, our secretary.

There are swimming sessions on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays at Belper and Thursdays at Heanor. The sessions consist of warm ups, relays, tumble turns and most importantly swimming! Some members have disabilities and train at Heanor and represent on a national basis.

I swim with a group of people: Ben Rhodes, Pamela Cassidy, Olivia Sismey, Sarah Hatton, Chloe Mabbit, Faye Rathbone and not forgetting my younger brother Myles. People in the first session are mostly people from Heanor, those just starting and some who are nearly ready to swim in the second session and at the later times. The second session consists of some of the best swimmers, people who have just moved up from the first session and sometimes masters (adults).

When I was three I could swim a width. I started your average swimming lessons. Eileen Clennell taught me down at the Belper Leisure Centre with quotes, like “never put your legs far out of the water when you’re kicking because you won’t be goin’ anywhere!” Very true.

Eileen suggested I try Marlins, I nervously agreed and met my now head coach Mick Howard. For the following year and a bit, I swam at the Heanor Leisure Centre. This was leading up to me going to Belper. I remember the first time I went it was a fun session! There were floats, balls and people everywhere, great but daunting. Looking up at big people (as I called them then) and facing the prospect of swimming with them.

Of course I enjoyed it, but the other lessons started to get harder. Suddenly I got big as well. My favourite stoke is Butterfly and I can swim 100 metres (4 lengths) in 1 minute 27 seconds. In October last year at Queens Leisure Centre in Derby, I got a trophy for coming first in the 13 year age group - a month later I was 14!

As everyone knows, the worst stroke ever is Backstroke – no, I’m not being biased, it hurts when you whack your head/elbow at the end of a race! I find it amazing that people can sprint at Breaststroke and that people can hold their breath for front crawl. Some people hold their breath for the whole length which I can just manage to do. Even after tumble turns, ignoring the fact they should be desperate to sneeze.

Anybody who watches the Olympics has to know that Ross Davenport used to swim for Belper Marlins. Sadly he didn’t get a medal in the latest Olympics but had success at the Commonwealth games. There are always little galas (swimming races) inside the club like the recent ‘Club Champs’ and there’s the ‘Postal Swim’ in February – this is to see how many lengths you can do in one hour.

I’ve just finished writing this article before New Year and one of my New Year’s Resolutions is to try harder at swimming! (Hopefully....) Happy Swimming!

Christina (Age 14) x

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