Local Swimmers Fly The Flag For Lonsdale Pool
Two swimmers linked to Lonsdale Pool in Mickleover have returned victorious from the European Masters Championships 2016 held at the iconic London Aquatics Centre at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Jenny Merritt (65), a member of Spondon Masters swimming club, who trains at Lonsdale Pool and is a former seven times Masters breast stroke world champion, returned to winning ways – collecting a gold in the 200m, silver in 100m and a bronze medal in the 50m breast stroke races.
Meanwhile Liz Simpson (43) who is a lifeguard, swimming teacher and financial controller at Lonsdale Pool, achieved a personal best in the 100m freestyle and came fifth overall in the 160 years-plus (combined age) medley team with her team from Long Eaton Swimming Club.
Around 10,000 athletes aged from 25 to 95 from all over Europe gathered for the largest ever championships which were last held in Eindhoven in 2013 – making its first return to the UK since it was held in Coventry in 1991.
Both Jenny and Liz were keen to compete at the Aquatics Centre – built for London 2012 – and were delighted with their performances. Jenny explained: “I returned to competitive masters swimming earlier this year after a major operation so this was a great result. “Spondon Masters train three times a week at Lonsdale Pool so I was prepared for the races and it was lovely to see so many friends that I have met over the years – competing all over the world.”
Mum of two Liz, who has taught at Lonsdale for five years, added: “I can’t train as much as I used to since having children but was keen to compete on home ground in the European Masters Championships in London. “It was a great event – especially taking part in the women’s relay in the main pool which had a great atmosphere. “I was particularly pleased with my lifetime bests for the 100m freestyle and the 50m butterfly”
Ian Cotter is a director of charitable organisation, Lonsdale Swimming & Sports Trust which oversees Lonsdale Pool as well as Gayton Pool in Littleover on behalf of Derby City Council. The Trust is currently working to replace Lonsdale Pool with a new £4 million pool and leisure centre as soon as another local 1.5 acre site can be secured. He said: “We are delighted that one of our members of staff and a long standing swimming associated with Lonsdale Pool have done so well in these prestigious championships. “Derby has a fantastic reputation for producing medal winning swimmers of all ages and both Liz and Jenny are proof that age is not a barrier in this wonderfully inclusive sport.”
For more information about pool opening times and the clubs that train at Gayton and Lonsdale pools, please visit www.lsst.org.uk.