Young Hartlepool swimmers make a splash

SUCCESS: Medal winners Nathan Dixon and Katie Laybourn.
SUCCESS: Medal winners Nathan Dixon and Katie Laybourn.

A TEAM of talented young swimmers did the town proud when they competed in a national swimming gala.

Eight members of Hartlepool Swimming Club earned a place at the City of Derby event held in Sheffield.

Member of Hartlepool Swimming Club who competed in a gala in Sheffield including medal winners (front) Nathan Dixon aged 10 and Katie Laybourn aged 13

Member of Hartlepool Swimming Club who competed in a gala in Sheffield including medal winners (front) Nathan Dixon aged 10 and Katie Laybourn aged 13

Ten-year-old Nathan Dixon, from Hartlepool, returned home with a clutch of medals after a fantastic performance.

They included five golds, a bronze and a trophy for being named Top Boy in his age category.

He came top in the 400m, 200, and 100m freestyle and 100m and 200m breaststroke.

And fellow team member Katie Laybourn, 13, won a bronze medal and qualified for a national championships in London.

Nathan’s mum Susan Dixon, married to Jonathan, said: “They all did really well to even get into the gala. There was 43 teams there from all over the country including some really big clubs.

“We are just really proud of all of them.”

Other club members who competed in the gala were William Lynn, aged 12, Harry Watts, 10, Emily Rafferty, 15, Jessica Williams, 13, Adam Dixon, 14, and Maisie Cooper, aged 12.

They met British swimmer Adam Peaty, who won two gold medals in last year’s Commonwealth Games and is the current world record holder of the 50m breaststroke. Also there was another top British Swimmer, Aimee Wilmott, from Middlesbrough, who competed in the 2012 London Olympics.

Hartlepool Swimming Club train at Mill House Leisure Centre, in Raby Road.

Jonathan Dixon added: “They put in a lot of commitment by training before school and on weekends.”