SKIPTON Swimming Club put on an incredible performance to win the Airedale and Wharfedale District Mixed Teams Gala at Aireborough Pool on Saturday October 15.

Twenty-two of the club’s youngsters took part in thirteen mixed relay events, competing against five other local teams, with each event featuring two girls and two boys.

The opening event saw Skipton clinch its first gold medal of the night when Harry Johnstone, Violet Appleby, Joseph Christiansen and Belle Tattersall won the age 8/9 Freestyle relay.

The next gold was secured by Skipton’s age 11 and under Freestyle team, comprising Noah Schepisi, Bea Appleby, Jack Barnes and Betsy Rider. The age 11 and under Medley Team saw Noah, Bea and Jack swim again, but this time they were joined by Olive Tattersall who swam the breaststroke leg, and the team collected another gold.

The age 8/9 and age 11 and under Breastroke teams (made up of William Barnes, Ella Timmins, Grey Charmley, Violet Long and Jack Barnes, Besty Rider, Noah Schepisi and Lily Oddy respectively) secured two further golds for Team Skipton. At this point, it became clear that Skipton had a great chance of winning the gala overall.

The club continued to put in strong performances, securing three silver medals in the age 10 and under Breaststroke, age 10 and under Medley and age 8/9 Backstroke events.

The penultimate event of the night saw the age 11 and under Backstroke team, featuring Jack Barnes, Olive Tattersall, Noah Schepisi and Lily Oddy, lock in yet another gold.

The night's final event was a super-fast-paced Mixed 6x1 Cannon where one girl and boy in each age group form a freestyle relay team and compete against the other clubs to win the Cannon trophy. In a dramatic finish, Skipton initially appeared to have won the silver but was later crowned Cannon champions due to another team not meeting the correct age requirements.

One of Skipton’s coaches who was also Team Manager on the night, Craig Oddy, said: "We are so proud of every single swimmer who took part. For some of our youngest swimmers, this was their very first taste of competitive swimming and for others their first time competing against swimmers from other clubs. They all swam their hearts out, showed fantastic team spirit, and had a great night. Bringing home, the trophy and so many medals really was the cherry on the cake.”

Oddy also thanked the club’s committee, coaches, team managers, timekeepers and all the fantastic volunteers who helped poolside making the event such a success.

The gala was the fourth of the annual Airedale and Wharfedale District Championships.

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