Swimming suits all ages. It is a great form of all-round exercise. There is no retiring at the end of the season. You can do it when you want. You can go at your own pace, or you can race and compete and be part of a team which is just what it’s like when you are part of Penrith Swimming Club.
The club was founded in 1881 and was then based at Frenchfield in the River Eamont. Training sessions originally involved great variations of conditions that challenged the skills of any swimmer. Icy water, strong currents and obstacles like weed and the odd eel or two provided the ultimate test of stamina.
It was all a far cry from conditions for today’s training sessions, held four nights a week at Penrith Leisure Centre. With a membership of around 150, the pool provides the focus for the busy, highly active club. Wednesday sessions start with children as young as four in the learner pool. Under the guidance of a team of volunteer coaches the children quickly progress to the main pool. Once in the team, children can swim in all four training sessions of the week.
A typical session involves training in technique, distance and sprint work. Swimming drills perfect variants of techniques within different strokes. Starts and turns across all the strokes butterfly, freestyle, backstroke and breaststroke are practised. In an hour-long session, the club’s swimmers could cover up to 2,000 metres that’s around 100 lengths of Penrith pool. Club training is geared towards competitive swimming in galas and competitions throughout the year as part of the squad.
Diddy League is for children aged 9 to 11 and competitions are based within Cumbria. As well as competing within the team, swimmers can enter Cumbrian competitions as individuals while still representing the club.
Penrith Swimming Club hosts a primary schools’ gala for local schools in the area and the Frenchfield Gala for Cumbria-wide clubs. It also runs its own club championships in autumn, in which children have the chance to swim against their peers to compete for coveted medals and cups galore!
The club is happy to welcome new swimmers keen to compete. Anyone interested interested can collect an application form from Penrith Leisure Centre or Birtle Sports, leaving a name, date of birth, current swimming level and telephone number. Someone will get back to you when spaces become available.
To the current day, Penrith Swimming Club continues to run since 1881. With a small army of volunteers who give their time voluntary to allow the club to run to the best of it's ability.