WILMSLOW Scorpions are well and truly back on the map as a county level competitive swimming club.

Eight of the club’s swimmers tackled the first of six Cheshire Championships meets at the weekend, achieving many personal bests, places in finals and qualification to future galas.

Another eight Scorpions will join the action on the final day next month in the relays and cannonball races.

Three from the club contested last year’s championships, highlighting the progress made in 12 months and a huge turnaround from two years ago when the club was close to being wound up.

Losing the learn-to-swim offering in 2017 cost the club a third of its membership.

Financial losses were being made and shutting the club down became a serious option.

But the action taken has rejuvenated the Scorpions, based at Wilmslow Leisure Centre.

Last year more opportunities were opened up for their members to enter numerous galas, giving their swimmers chances to gain official licensed times and see their ranking on the Swim England Website.

By the end of 2019, 21 percent of the club’s swimmers had either gained a county time in one or more strokes or were within 10 percent of achieving a county time.

And now, for the second time in 10 years, the Scorpions are being represented over the three weekends of the Cheshire Championships in Macclesfield as they actively encourage their swimmers to be the best they can be in and out of the pool.

A highlight of the opening weekend’s racing for Scorpions, who were all competing in the 10-years and under category, came on day two.

Heidi Stansfield qualified for the Summer Regional Championships with the time she achieved in the 50m breaststroke.

That personal best will also see her return to the Cheshires next year, as will the time achieved by Ella Faulkner that was hundredths of a second outside of her best.

Martha Sargent went faster than she has before in the same event.

More success was tasted as the day wore on.

Ella and Heidi swam the 50m butterfly, with both getting PB's and swimming qualifying times for next year’s Cheshire Championships.

Ella finished third in her age category and fifth in the final, with an improvement on the PB achieved in the heats.

Thomas Alexander delivered a PB in the 200m breaststroke, while James Dale shaved almost two seconds off his previous best in the 100m backstroke.

There was cause for celebration in the opening day’s racing too.

Ella came second in the 100m individual medley for her age category, going faster than before by an astonishing six seconds and placing fourth in the final.

She was joined by James, Joseph Mortlock and Oliver Mortlock in swimming qualifying times for the Cheshire Championships in 2021 - James in the 50m back, Joseph and Oliver in the 50m Fly.

James’ time in the 50m back was just 0.25 seconds short off a regional qualifying time!

Heidi was 0.35 seconds off a qualifying time for next year’s Cheshires in the 100m IM!

Lewis Brodie, one of the club’s honorary members who swims for Stockport Metro, has enjoyed a superb championships so far.

His highlights include finishing first in the 50m and 100m back final, third in the 50m fly final.

Swimming continues over the next two weekends.

Scorpions are committed to promoting swimming as a healthy enjoyable way of life to as many young people as possible.

They focus on improving technique, which enables swimmers to swim faster and achieve PB’s.

Scorpions currently have 140 members.

Monthly fees are £25 and all anyone needs to get involved is a costume, goggles and a love of the water.

For more information on joining the club visit wilmslowscorpions.co.uk or email membership@wilmslowscorpions.co.uk.