Ards Swimming Club keep raising bar to stay on the glory trail
Ards Swimming Club is continuing to set the gold standard for others in the sport to follow.
At the recent Ulster Age Group Championships, the club walked away with an incredible 43 gold, 32 silver and 19 bronze medals.
While Paralympic gold medallist Bethany Firth, along with James Brown and sisters Emma and Rebecca Reid, have regularly hit the headlines in recent years, there is clearly a strong group coming up behind them. Young starlets such as Victoria Catterson, Scarlett Armstrong and Mia Davison are certainly - among others - ones for the future.
As well as bagging a host of medals, their quartet of Paddy Johnston, Jack Angus, Tom Uprichard and Cai Armstrong set two Irish junior relay records, while Armstrong, Davison, Madelyn Calvert and Ellie McKibben clocked two new Ulster junior relay marks.
Assistant head coach Davy Johnston, whose son Paddy lifted five individual gold medals, said: "We are very fortunate that the club has a great team of coaches working with the little ones right up to the senior level.
"We have the right coaches in the right places at each level and I think it's fair to say that is evident in the results that we have had at the Ulster Age Groups.
"As well as the coaches, there is a strong committee who work so hard in the background to make sure that the swimmers have every opportunity to give their best.
"They say that success breeds success and at the moment that seems to be the case.
"We're certainly not taking anything for granted and as coaches we are always looking to improve.
"Credit to all the swimmers, they put in the hard work and they can see that it pays off.
"We've got 12 swimmers in international competition this summer which is just great."
One of those in action will be rising star Rebecca Reid, who will head to the European Junior Championships in Israel, while young Mia, Scarlett and Amelia Kane will be competing at the European Youth Olympics.