Latest Club News

Ashbourne Swimmers Return to Competition and Meet Olympian!

Ashbourne & District Swimming Club attended their first gala post pandemic and took a team of 12 swimmers to the 2nd round of the Derventio Excel Grand Prix held on Sunday 10th October at Alfreton Leisure Centre.

Derbyshire Junior Grand Prix is a series of 3 galas aimed at novice swimmers aged 9-12yrs in Derbyshire run by the county development squad Derventio Excel. This is an ideal first gala not only post pandemic but also for a swimmer’s first ever gala, as it was for most of Ashbourne’s team. The aim was for the swimmers to gain competition experience in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere but they not only came away with new times, feedback from coaches, a great team spirit, but also autographs!

Attending the meet was 16-year-old Derventio Excel swimmer Jacob Whittle who swam in the Tokyo Olympics this summer. Jacob swam in the 50m freestyle and 200m freestyle in Tokyo and dived in to give a demonstration to the young swimmers of how the 50m freestyle should be done. Ashbourne swimmers were excited to meet him and all got their hats and shirts signed!

In addition to meeting Jacob other highlights were; Scarlett Andrews (9), Jess Wilson (11) and Connie Howe (11) all had great swims in the 100m breaststroke all beating their PBs. Freddie Harrison (11) smashed his 100m freestyle PB. Sophie Cartlidge (10) showed great determination in the 100m Breaststroke.

Alex Wilson (10) swam well in the 100m Freestyle and set a new PB. Daniel Margiotta came 5th in the 100m freestyle beating his PB. Ellie Harrison (11) was outstanding in the 200m freestyle coming 10th out of 33. Maisie Woodward (11) had a great first gala setting a new PB in 100m Breaststroke. Bella Carolan (10) competed in 2 events as did Jacob Brown (9) and both showed great perseverance in the relatively long-distance events. Francesca Lawrence (11) was excellent in both the 100m breaststroke and the 200m freestyle setting great times.

Following the first successful competition of the session, Chair of Ashbourne Swimming Club, Vicky Scotcher, commented:

“The club is on a high right now as we’re back, we’re strong and we’re moving forward from the past year. Our swimmers did us proud in the DX Junior Grand Prix last weekend. 200m or 8 lengths is a long way to swim as fast as you can and takes a lot of determination, so a huge well done to all the club’s young swimmers who attended and now are hopefully set to be the next Jacob Whittle and Adam Peaty! The club are thrilled to be competing again and we are super excited for our own championships in November as this is a brilliant event that brings the whole club together.”

Ashbourne Swimming Club will hold its club championships on 24th and 28th November and is a chance for the members to win a number of coveted trophies sponsored by local businesses Trouw Nutrition GB, Master Mover, Viva Hair and Beauty and Wyaston Nursery.

Ashbourne Swim Over 31 Miles and Raise £865

Despite all the Covid-19 restrictions of the last 6 months Ashbourne & District Swimming Club have managed to complete the Swimathon they originally planned for March. Read more...

On Sunday 18th and Monday 19th October 31 swimmers took to the pool in their training bubbles to complete the Swimathon 5K Team Challenge. Swimmers from 8 to 16 years old were set targets starting from 1k each to complete within the session. They all absolutely smashed their targets!

The Club are so proud of all its members for not only swimming over 2000 lengths which is 31 miles but for raising £865 Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie. A big thank you goes out to Edie Hambleton, Ellie Torpey and George Robinson who all individually raised over £100!

The youngest swimmers were set a target of 1K that is 40 lengths and some even did 64 which is a mile! Max Goddard was the first to complete his 1K in just 24 minutes and went on to do 76 in total. As well as Max, Lewis White, Jacob Brown, Rose Davies and Bella Carolan swam over a mile.

The next groups target was 55 lengths, 1.3K which is like swimming football pitch 15 times! Our highest achievers in the group were Oscar Caton swimming 80 lengths which is 2K and Connie Howe swimming 78 lengths.

The older swimmers are machines and would have just kept going apart from the time constraints of the session. Isabella Margiotta, Elena Andrews, Ellie Torpey, Imogen Scotcher and Keira Lee all swam over 100 lengths easily! Ellie swam 3.4K in the one session.

Our coaches say it all…

“They demonstrated really good focus and determination. Some swimmers overcame serious anxiety and lack of confidence about completing the swim but did so with style.” Sheila Haswell, Coach.

“The swimmers showed a huge amount of grit and determination to achieve as many lengths as they could. A real challenge for all swimmers across the club.” Helen Armstrong, Coach

It has been hard work getting back in the water swimming since the leisure centre did not reopen initially when lockdown restrictions were lifted. The club started training at Belper leisure centre and then moved back to Ashbourne in October. “The Club is following all guidance from Swim England on social distancing which means the way we swim has changed slightly but at least we are luckily enough to be back in the water, as some swimming clubs aren’t. The Club have seen great enthusiasm and support from our members who continue to do us proud! Congratulations to everyone on their Swimathon achievements.” Vicky Scotcher, Chair.

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Fun in the Sun!

The Club have been having fun in the sun during the summer with our trip to Spring Lakes water park. Great fun was had by all on a perfectly hot and sunny day! In fact, such fun was had we will plan to go again next summer. Thanks go to our gala secretary, Helen Torpey, for organizing the event!

13 Medals Won at the Level 3 Licensed Short Course Regional Qualifier Meet hosted by City of Derby, on 14-15th March 2020 at the Arc Leisure Centre in Matlock.

Well this could have been the last gala we attend for some time but what a gala it was. We had a lovely team of 16 swimmers there. I was lucky enough to be poolside with them on the Sunday morning and they were a delight to be with. There was some real team spirit and camaraderie poolside!

We were delighted with everybody’s results as we had some exceptional swimming from all the usual swimmers plus Barney Tanner (14) was there at his first open meet swimming in the 50 meter freestyle and Ellie Torpey (15) who did some fantastic PBs in all of her events.

We won 13 medals in total of which 2 were gold 4 silver and 3 bronze. The medal winners were;


  • Keira Lee (14) - 50m freestyle

  • Sammy Poyser (10) -50m freestyle


  • Annabel Croxford (13) - 200m butterfly

  • Ellie Harrison (10) - 100m IM

  • Sammy Poyser (10) - 100m backstroke and 100m IM


  • Daniel Margiotta (10) - 100m IM

  • Ellie Harrison (10) - 50m butterfly

  • Isabella Margiotta (12) - 50m and 200m backstroke

  • Jess Kaul (15) - 200m breaststroke

  • Thomas Rennie (14) - 50m backstroke and 100m IM

Fantastic swims came from Evie Gregory (15) and Ellie Torpey who set new PBs in all of their events and Imogen Scotcher (14) who just missed out in a medal in the 50m breaststroke coming 5th. The 100m IM was the event of the gala for Katie Hanncok (14), Maizie Goddard (10) and Michaela Dick (17) who all swam new PBs in the event. Lastly well done to Jess Kaul who came 10th out of 32 overall in the 15yrs and over girls age group in total FINA points.

Ashbourne Swimmers Make 7 Finals at Counties and Win 5 Medals

Ashbourne took an enthusiastic team of 17 swimmers to the Derbyshire ASA County Championships over 2 weekends, the 15th/16th and 22nd/23rd February held at The Arc Leisure Centre, Matlock.

Fantastic swims came from lots of our swimmers including Kate Haswell (15) and Sammy Poyser (10) who won two medals each and Annabelle Croxford (12) who competed in an amazing 11 events and won a bronze medal in the 100m IM.

Kate won gold in the 1500m freestyle and silver in the 200m freestyle. Sammy won gold in both the 50m and 100m backstroke events. Sammy narrowly missed out on medals in the 100m IM and 50m freestyle coming 4th in both events and she also made the final for the 100m freestyle coming 6th.

Other finalists were Sophie Duckmanton (11) in the 100m breaststroke and 100 freestyle who had an excellent competition setting new PBs in all 6 events she competed in.

Maizie Goddard (10) made the finals for the 50m butterfly and 100m backstroke and also set a massive new PB in her 100m butterfly race. Ellie Harrison (10) competed in the 50m freestyle and swam amazingly well in the 50m butterfly and made the final!

This year we saw some great swims from some young club members attending the County Championships for the first time, this included Daniel Margiotta (9) who competed in the 50m breaststroke and smashed his PB. We also had Josh Harrison (12) compete in the 50m freestyle who also beat his PB. Connie Howe (10) in the 50m freestyle set an excellent new PB. Sarah Brown (10) competed in 50m backstroke and breaststroke setting a new PB in the backstroke.

Isabella Margiotta (11) Competed in 9 events over the two weekends and set new PBs in every single event including smashing her 200m backstroke PB by 20 seconds. Elena Andrews (13) set new PBs in both the 100m IM and 50m freestyle. Ellie Tarr (14) was on form with her breaststroke setting 2 new PBs in both the 100m and 200m events. Also setting a great new PB in the 100m breaststroke was Imogen Scotcher (14). Swimming well in the 50m breaststroke was Edie Hambleton (11), Ellie Torpey (16) and Jess Kaul (15) who set a new PB.

Head Coach, Ian Duckmanton commented “A huge well done to all our swimmers for firstly managing to qualify and also for competing so well and setting so many PBs and personal achievements. Credit goes to the team who are a pleasure to coach!”