North West Arena League. Round 1

Iain Hazell

Bobcats competed at Kendal for the first round of the 2021 North West Arena League, it is approximately 10 years since we last entered a team and one of the few times the club has entered since the league was founded in 1970.

This time round we are planning to be in for the long haul and want to prepare for next season when there will be promotion and relegation from the leagues. Our aim for 2021 is to give as many swimmers as possible the opportunity to be part of the team and to understand how the competition works.

It’s also a great opportunity for our youngest swimmers to race alongside the older and more experienced Bobcats and it was great to see all swimmers / parents supporting the team.

We were competing against Copeland, Fleetwood, Kendal, Lancaster City and Leyland Barracuda’s B and overall, it made for some close, exciting races. It’s fair to say that the other clubs all fielded their strongest available teams including racing some swimmers in multiple events / age groups.

Our team made a strong start in the open 200 IM events and opening relays, picking up four second place finishes and then starting off the individual events with an excellent win for Niamh Whitaker in the Girls 11/Under 50 Backstroke. After 10 events we were in second place with 40 points, 3 points behind Kendal.

Over the next 10 events we put in a series of strong swims, picking up 2 more wins and a series of second and third place finishes. Unfortunately, we also picked up two disqualifications which reduced our points total by 10, this meant that instead of being in the lead after 20 events we had dropped to third position. Well done to Niamh Whitaker and Amelia Moss for their wins in the 11/Under 50 Butterfly and 15/Under 100 Butterfly respectively.

We continued to hold our position through the second half of the competition, with the following swimmers / teams winning events:

Jamie Clayton – Open 100 Freestyle

Spencer Cragg – Open 100 Backstroke

Oliver Nutter – 13/Under 100 Butterfly

Lucy Turner - Open 100 Breaststroke

Mixed Open Freestyle Relay

The final scores were as follows:

Copeland 166, Kendal 160, Fleetwood 150, Bobcats 149, Lancaster 136, Leyland B 98.

Our result has placed Bobcats in 6th position in the league which means we have qualified for the division final where we will compete against Copeland, Kendal, Fleetwood, Altrincham and Ramsbottom.

I was very impressed with the efforts of all swimmers in Round 1 and I’m confident that swimmers selected for Round 2 will rise to the occasion.


Thank you for your support,