DURHAM City Amateur Swimming and Water Polo Club (DCASC) competed at the Swim England North East Regional Championships, over the past two weekends.

The North East swimming region goes down to Sheffield, so many clubs can attend from a large area, and swimmers must achieve the qualifying times in order to compete. Fifteen Durham Club swimmers took part.

In the first weekend of competition eight Durham City swimmers aged 13 and under competed at the Sunderland Aquatic Centre. This was the first opportunity of the 2017-18 season for the swimmers to test themselves at the highest level of competition.

Two days of competition saw more than 80 per cent of personal bests improved and numerous top 20 placings. Rising star Brooke Illingworth secured two bronze medals and a clean sweep of three golds in the butterfly events which saw the club placed 13th in the region, ahead of well-established programmes.

Swims from Erin Keeler-Clarke, Matthew Cairns, Joshua Royle, Tom Jobling, Thomas Power, Izzy Fear and Niamh Lang all saw improvements, and moved them into the top 10 event rankings in the county which bodes well for the Durham City points total at the County Championships in February 2018.

The second weekend saw the club's 14-and-overs in a long course (50m) format at Ponds Forge International Sport Centre in Sheffield.

The first day of competition saw 85 per cent of personal bests improved and multiple top 10 placings for Ben Gilchrist, Rosa Pollard Smith and a junior bronze medal for Thomas Graham in the 200m breaststroke. Jonathan Stones took a personal best in the 50m butterfly in his first regional competition.

Day two saw more top 10 placings and more than 80 per cent personal best improvements for Ben Gilchrist, Thomas Graham, Rosa Pollard Smith and Leia Davison. Durham’s second regional newcomer Sam Dunbar also took a personal best in the 50m Backstroke.

The club's head coach said: “It was great to see so many of our athletes stepping up against the best in the region. Seeing massive improvements so early in the season bodes well for next year as we head towards the county championships and the national qualifying window.”