Louth Swimming Club is celebrating its 30-year association with the town.
Having started life at the old four-lane pool at the Riverhead in 1986, the club has evolved to become one of the biggest in the county, boasting 170 members and a reputation as a force to be reckoned with in competition.
Based at the Meridian Leisure Centre, one of the county’s top swimming facilities, the club has fostered a special bond among its members, helping it go from strength to strength in recent years.
One man who has witnessed the club’s transformation is current chairman Bob Wells.
“Having had the honour to be chairman for the last 20 years, I have seen the club steadily grow in all aspects,” he said.
“So many youngsters and parents have benefited from their membership of the club, whether it has been for months or years.
“The club is run totally by volunteers – there are so many people who give up so much time for the benefit of all. We are not perfect, but we try hard to be.”
Nicknamed ‘The Dolphins’, swimmers as young as seven are invited to join the club for a trial, with many staying on to compete for a number of years.
Seniors and veterans still swim in their own respective categories.
On top of the various competitions that swimmers can take part in, the club also provides an opportunity to make new friends within a safe and social environment.
Swimmers are spilt into squads based on their ability and go up the ranks as they increase their stamina, strength and skill.
The pod squad is for beginners who are just getting into the world of competitive swimming.
From here, participants progress through to the skills, development, senior development and performance squads, the latter being home to the club’s elite swimmers.
There are also senior and club squads, as well as a masters squad.
Transition through these squads depends on the individual ability of each swimmer, with their age also taken into account.
Members receive coaching and undergo land training to increase their core strength, even swimming in open water if they choose to.
Outside of the pool, the club enjoys social events and days out, with each season culminating in a presentation evening to reward swimmers from the club’s various categories.
To mark the anniversary, members all got together for a day of celebrations, which included games, a bake-off competition, live music and a barbecue.