On Friday, the 3rd of June, over 1,500 young swimmers from 25 clubs across Ulster hit the water to compete in the Forest Feast AquaSprint Junior Swimming League Finals.
Competing in eight locations, the top three teams in each of the four divisions (A, B, C and D) battled it out to see who would bring home the coveted Forest Feast AquaSprint trophy, with the remaining teams competing to avoid relegation.
This year marked the 30th anniversary of the annual swim meet and the sixth year Forest Feast acted as sponsors of the event, which was buzzing with excitement from the participants and their supporters alike.
In Division A defending champions Ards got out of the blocks early to secure an advantage over longstanding rivals Bangor and Banbridge. Competing at Aurora Aquatic Centre in Bangor, the Ards team were ecstatic to bring home the Forest Feast AquaSprint title for the fourth year in a row with the final results being Ards 1st, Bangor 2nd and Banbridge 3rd.
In Dungannon, Division B finalists Limavady, Templemore and Breifne were competing to gain promotion to Division A. After a challenging race, Templemore emerged victorious with Limavady placing 2nd, and Breifne finishing 3rd.
The Division C Final at the Cookstown Leisure Centre saw Newry go up against Ballymena and Lecale. The competition was extremely tight but in the end the team from Newry managed to gain an advantage on its competitors and take first place position. The final results were Newry 1st, Ballymena, 2nd and Lecale 3rd.
At Newry Leisure Centre, the team from the City of Belfast defeated teams from Mid-Ulster, Olympia and Enniskillen to win the Division D title and secure promotion to the next division next season. The final podium featured City of Belfast in 1st place, Mid-Ulster in 2nd, Olympia, 3rd and taking 4th place was the team from Enniskillen.
Christine Whelan, Field Sales Manager at Forest Feast said: “We would like to congratulate every swimmer who took part in the AquaSprint Finals, each young competitor has demonstrated huge dedication, commitment and sportsmanship and it is a huge achievement to have reached Friday evening’s finals.”
“At Forest Feast, we are passionate about fuelling fitness and are thrilled to be involved with a sponsorship programme which supports and encourages children to lead a healthier and more active life while also realising their sporting potential.”
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank Swim Ulster for its work in co-ordinating each of the galas and making sure that each Forest Feast AquaSprint Junior Swimming League events runs smoothly. This is the 6th year that Forest Feast has sponsored the AquaSprint Junior Swimming League and each year the event goes from strength to strength – well done to all involved and we are already looking forward to the next season kicking off in October.”