Arena Premier League 18 - Round 1 Report

On Saturday 13th October Winsford Swim Team travelled to Macclesfield to race in the first round of the North West Premier League. As does often seem the case we were drawn in the more difficult round with seven strong teams all eager to get a foothold and accumulate as many points as possible in the hope of making the A Final in December. It's funny but even though our draw was very tough I had a very good feeling about tonight, mentioning a number of times to key people that I thought we would have a great night and that we did, that we did! 
The racing on the night was extremely fierce with all teams battling with all their strength to finish as high as possible in each and every race. For us we didn't gain many 1st places or even top 3 placings but at the same time we didn't gain many 6th, 7th or 8th finishes. What we did get was lots and lots of consistent middle place finishes, it was this consistent racing time and time again that was so very impressive, showing again we have superb strength across all ages and genders. What was also very pleasing was that in the vast majority of ages we had swimmers in the bottom age group category, swimming a year younger, so in other words next year we should in theory be even stronger. I am not going to mention individuals racing tonight because it is a team effort but I will tell you this all now, every single swimmer stepped up to the plate and raced their hearts out, everyone did Winsford Swim Team extremely proud. What was also mightily impressive was every swimmers attitude, every single swimmer had a superb attitude whether they were swimming one event or 5 plus events and everyone did their absolute best.
After 50 events the results were as follows:
1st Stockport Metro 379
2nd City of Salford 271
3rd Preston 225
4th Winsford 213
5th Pioneer 79 Accrington 189
6th Trafford Metro 186
6th Blackpool 171
8th Wrexham 164
Many thanks to all our judges: Julie Kay, Debra Thomson, Lucie George & Kath Line and to Karen Johnston for being check recorder.
Many thanks to Claire Brown, Helen Wilson & Sue Wright for being outstanding team managers, ensuring all the coaches and swimmers needs are catered for. We do have the best team managers, there is no doubt about that at all.
Many thanks to all coaches, Alex Law, Daniel Stone & Nigel Woodbridge your efforts on the night are greatly appreciated and of course many thanks to me for literally threatening every swimmer behind the block to swim fast!
Many thanks to all our amazing supporters on the balcony, it was wonderful to see so many of you up there in orange with orange flags and hearing constant shouts of "Orange Army" and "Come on Winsford ". It really does give us all a tremendous boost, so thank you always for all your support.
Many thanks to all the swimmers who came down to Macclesfield who were not selected to swim but came anyway to support the team, so wonderful to see you all and to see so many come back from University to swim for us and support us. 
Many thanks to the one and only, Rocky Road queen Mrs Erika Howman, Arena League just would not be the same without her legendary Rocky Road in our bellies!
The final thank you goes to all our swimmers, not just the swimmers who raced tonight but to each and every swimmer who trains and races for our great club, I often say it but the camaraderie we have and the togetherness and love for one another is what makes this club so very special.
Oh I also nearly forgot to thank Jacob Robson for his "three cheers for Winsford" at the end of the gala, very funny!  
A great night of racing and a superb result for our club, Well Done to everyone, an outstanding team effort.  
We now look forward to round 2 which will take place on Saturday 10th November, please, please, please can all swimmers keep this date free, it is absolutely, literally, crucially, important to field a full team. We are due a favourable draw, we will wait and see!
Unofficial results for the other side of the draw was as follows:
1st Warrington 324
2nd Southport 296
3rd Wigan 290
4th Isle Of Man 220
5th Leyland 194
6th Cockermouth 191
7th Horwich 163
8th Crewe 119
See you at the pool, see you at the pool, see you at the pool, see you at the pool!!!


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