Ben claims a bagful of medals at Manchester Age Group Gala

Medal-winning Barnoldswick swimmer Ben Hamer
Medal-winning Barnoldswick swimmer Ben Hamer

Barnoldswick’s Ben Havers-Strong won a string of awards as he competed for Pioneer 79 swimming club over two weekends in January at the Manchester Age Group Gala at the Manchester Aquatics Centre.

The 10-year-old competed in 16 events, winning awards in 15, having been disqualified in one for a technical fault on the dive.

He won pendants in three events for finishing in the top six, six bronze medals in the 100m freestyle, 200m backstroke, 400m freestyle, 200m freestyle, 50m backstroke and 100m backstroke, two silver medals in the 100m and 200m individual medleys, and four gold medals in the 400m individual medley, 50m butterfly, 100m butterfly and 200m butterfly.

Ben learnt to swim in Barnoldswick, taught by Peter Wiseman from around two years old, then joined Colne ASC for two years, and for the last year has been swimming at Pioneer 79 out of Accrington Academy and QEGS Blackburn.

The P79 head coach, Mike Wilson, said: “Ben has made some excellent steps forward since joining our program, and providing Ben continues with his passion for swimming, he will continue to progress.”

Ben travels up to 250 miles per week getting to his training sessions.