ACE swimmers from Haslingden High School took on the North West’s best in relay races in Salford.
Most of the other swimmers competing attended private or grammar schools and most have a pool within their school grounds.
Haslingden High School uses Marl Pits in Rawtenstall for a one hour training session each week for the Haslingden Aces which now has 30 members.
Deputy Head Teacher and Coach Gill Smith said: “We entered the English Schools’ Swimming North West Division Secondary Schools relay meet at Broughton Pool in Salford.
“We entered our junior team made up of five Year 7 swimmers, who have just started with us at Haslingden High and have only just joined our swimming club, and five Year 8s. Most of the schools that took part entered Year 8 students.
“In the girls’ freestyle relay race 4x50m we came eleventh out of 28 schools and in the girls’ medley relay race we were twelfth out of 30.
“It was the first time we have entered the competition and I am delighted with how well our swimmers did. Next year we are aiming for a top 5 position.”
The boys were 19 out of 22 in the freestyle and 21 out of 23 in the medley relays.
Emily Nuttall, Beth Hartwell, Amy Barlow, Ben Wilson and Reece Griffiths were the new 11-year-old Year 7 swimmers.
Emily, Beth and Amy all swim for Accrington Club Pioneer 79, Ben swims for Colne Swimming Club and Reece for Ramsbottom Swimming Club.
Beth is a county and regional level swimmer and Reece and Emily have both competed at county level.
Beth achieved a personal best of 30 seconds for her swim. She said: “It was fun and there were a lot of people there with over 500 swimmers taking part. It was a hard competition because there were some really good swimmers but I just did my best.”
Reece described the atmosphere as hectic and said he felt small compared to some of the swimmers from the other schools.
Amy said: “It was an exciting experience because it was the first real competition I have been in. It was good being with my new friends and we had good fun.”
Ben also uses his swimming ability to help him compete in triathlons, seven so far, and he said he liked the competition because they taook part as a team.
The Year 8 competitors were Ashlea Jolly (Pioneer 79 ASC), Grace Thompson (Ramsbottom ASC), Dan Worthington (Ramsbottom ASC), Luke Stevenson (Ramsbottom ASC) and Edward Shaw (Haslingden ASC).
Mrs Smith said students will have the chance to enter the individual schools championships in February.