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Mighty Ards swimming club are riding wave of success

By David Kelly

Published 21/04/2015

Record breakers: Hannah James, Bethany Houston, Emma Reid and Rebecca Reid after their Irish senior record success
Record breakers: Hannah James, Bethany Houston, Emma Reid and Rebecca Reid after their Irish senior record success

Ards swimming club appear to be on a relentless roll of success with the latest honour coming next month when they will be officially confirmed as the Swim Ireland Club of the Year at the annual awards bash.

The accolade comes on the back of having four swimmers at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and more recently the club has enjoyed golden success at the Dave McCullagh Memorial international meet at the Aurora as well as seeing Bethany Firth qualify for the World Paralympic championships in new world record times, their juniors qualifying for the AquaSprint League final and a girls junior relay team setting a new Irish senior record for the 4x50m medley.

The stunning record of 2:04.51 by the under-16 team of Hannah James, sisters Rebecca and Emma Reid and Bethany Houston came at the Ulster Age Groups.

Head coach Nelson Lindsay believes it is one of the best periods in the club's history with many swimmers looking ahead to an exciting summer of international competition.

Lindsay said: "We have Emma Reid going to the European Games this summer, which is the equivalent of the European junior championships, and I expect sister Rebecca to be confirmed for the European Youth Olympics and James Brown is also going to the European Games.

"And then we have Bethany competing for Great Britain at the World Paralympic championships in Glasgow. She did exceptionally well at the British trials, setting new PBs and there is more to come from Bethany."

While Lindsay is to the fore along with fellow elite squad coach Davy Johnston, he is quick to point to the efforts of those working with the novices.

"We have Norma Munn working with our young ones along with Nuala Glynn and many others who all make sure that we have well developed young swimmers coming through the club and that is crucial to maintaining the success that we have.

"There's a great atmosphere in the club, a really good spirit and that is vital," he added.

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