September 2016: Swimming star Beth heads to the states

HIGH school student Beth Hartwell is heading to America to join a swimming club in Massachusetts for an intensive two weeks training.

The 12-year-old has already made her mark in and out of the pool in her age group, being ranked 20th for open water swimming and the 14th best freestyler in the country over 100m.The Year 8 student at Haslingden High School swims in the school team and is also a member of Pioneer 79 in Accrington.

Now the 12-year-old from Norden is spending two weeks in America and will be joining the Cape Cod club.

bethhHer mum Cath said: “She is going with her grandparents as they used to live there and she will be seeing people who have not seen her since she was four years old. We used to visit for three months at a time when she was young.

“She loves her swimming and so has arranged to train with the local club for the two weeks.

“It is now the swimming season and Beth will miss the first gala, but she will be ready for the North Lancs Gala in October.

“She trains six sessions a week at Pioneer 79 at Accrington Academy and attends every day from Sunday to Wednesday, twice on a Thursday and then has Friday and Saturday off.

“Up to Christmas is it short course galas in a 25m pool and then it is long course in 50m pools when the county, regional and national competitions are held.

“Beth is doing very well for her age and she will be back competing in open water from May and hopes to qualify in Salford for the national finals again.”

Beth has been fortunate to get sponsorship for her swimming costume from The Bridge Chippy in Norden.

Haslingden High School PE Teacher Erika Wilson said: “Beth has already got her photograph twice on our PE ‘Wall of Fame’ for her achievements.

“She is a Lancashire swimmer and was part of the very successful 5-a-side school football squad who were Lancashire Champions. She will now be able to have another photo added for her achievements in open water swimming.

“The PE department is extremely proud of her achievements.”