Pioneer 79 head coach Mike Wilson was full of praise for his young swimmers who ‘made a journey in to the unknown’ at the North Lancashire Swimming Championships. Wilson highlighted the efforts of swimmers who took part in the longer distance events at Blackpool’s Palatine Leisure Centre – regarded by many as the most unpopular events.

Most of the swimmers who took part in Blackpool were unable to compete in Manchester at the Greater Manchester Age Group Championships due to various personal circumstances.

They were able to identify and swim in specific events for which they had targeted Lancashire County or North West Regional Qualifying Times. The North Lancashire Swimming Championships provided them with this valuable opportunity.

“The 800/1500m freestyle events are probably the most unpopular events amongst swimmers,” said Wilson. “However, it has been fantastic to see some of our swimmers returning to the event year after year to show their annual progression. “For those swimmers for whom this was their first attempt at this distance, Caitlin Armstrong, Mikaela Shackleton and Simone Ellson, this was a journey into the unknown, but their performances were exceptional, producing a great standard of swimming and a sense of personal achievement and pride in their own performance.”


Isabella Watt (14) 100m Freestyle 1.06.60 (LQT); 100m Backstroke 11th 1.18.63; 200m Backstroke 11th 2.49.94; 50m Freestyle 31.78; 200m Individual Medley 11th 2.58.97. Eleanor Collin (13) 100m Backstroke Heat 8th 1.10.95 (LQT/RQT); 100m Backstroke Final 8th 1.11.71 (LQT/RQT). Simone Ellson (11) 800m Freestyle 4th 11.11.42. Mikaela Shackleton (11) 800m Freestyle 6th 11.15.33. Caitlin Armstrong (11) 800m Freestyle 9th 13.14.25. Eleanor Collin (13) 800m Freestyle 4th 10.08.74 (LQT). Ellie Perris (13) 800m Freestyle 6th 10.15.38. Niamh Robinson (14) 800m Freestyle 2nd 9.23.34 (LQT/RQT). Meghann Leaver (14) 800m Freestyle 4th 9.37.46 (LQT/RQT). Alice Harding (14) 800m Freestyle 6th 9.46.79 (LQT). Ben Makin (11) 1500m Freestyle 2nd 20.17.11.

Pioneer 79 Amateur Swimming Club is a Swim 21 Accredited Swimming Club based at Accrington Academy’s swimming pool on Queens Road West, Accrington. The club has a section to suit everyone, from ‘Learn to Swim’, Sprint Groups, Competitive Groups, Swim-Fit and Masters. Anyone interested in finding out more about Pioneer 79 Swimming Club and how to join, contact Susan Walsh on 01254 390793, or visit their website