IT HAS been a year to remember for Rugby Swimming Club after they retained their Premier League status in the Nuneaton Junior League (NJL) while also finishing 14th in the Leicester Diddy League (LDL).
There were two clear aims for Rugby at the start of the summer.
The first was to remain in the NJL Premier League, while the second was to finish higher than last year’s finish of 17th in the LDL table.
The first objective was hope more than expectation with most other clubs having hundreds of swimmers available, while Rugby were limited to little over 150.
And to make matters worse just three weeks before the start of the league they had just three nine-year-olds available when a minimum of four was needed for the team relays.
Luckily thanks to the help of the Rugby Schools Galas they were able to get by but points were lost in the final round because on three nine-year-olds were available.
With four teams going down to Division One and with Rugby lying 21st out of 24, things did not bode well and they were dealt a further blow through late withdrawals and injuries.
Rugby, who were led y Dan Carey and Ceri House, knew they needed to come third secure their safety and fourth would probably be good enough depending on other results.
At the first point check, Rugby were fifth out six and by the second they were six and things looked glum.
But their fortunes changed in the second half as Rugby moved up to fourth and a final push saw them tie for third which was enough to finish three places above the drop zone.
Over at Hinckley, the LDL team did not have the pressure of relegation looming over them because they were in the third ranked final of five, which put them in the group of teams lying 13-18th in the league table after the first two rounds.
In order to beat last year’s 17th position, Rugby had to come fourth or better and with late moves over the NJL team there were plenty of new faces on shows.
Once again the Rugby swimmer and fans took on the challenge of being the best supported team on display and with new swimmer cames new supporters too.
Rugby were up against a very strong Leicester Neptune B team, who won 25 of the 49 races across the evening, but Rugby won then themselves and were always a clear second, well ahead of the rest.
This means that Rugby look set to finish 14th (without official confirmation) which would be an improvement of three places up the table.
The team was led by Midlands medallist Matthew Seaton, junior captain Toby Rigg, and Cerys James, who marshalled their troops on the evening.
These two massive achievements were both masterminded by Steve Gregory who heads up the teams for both competitions, and is assisted by Devesh and Hemesh Cohan along with some of the senior swimmers.
The impact of new coach Tony Hall, who specialises in grounding young swimmers with correct techniques and skills, has not gone unoticed.