17th July 2009

17th July 2009                                                                                                                                            For Immediate Release


Horsham-based competitive swimming club, Atlantis, is this Saturday celebrating its 30th birthday at a barbecue in Barns Green.

The club was founded in 1979 by former England swimmer and author Anne Hawley, with just 10 swimmers who trained twice a week in Dorking.  The club’s training base has been in Horsham since 1981 with satellite centres in Steyning and most recently, Billingshurst.

Today the club provides over 37 hours of training for 200 fitness and competition swimmers aged 7 and above, under the experienced eye of Chief Coach Bill Penny – a former international swimming coach - and his 11-strong coaching team.

Atlantis has enjoyed its most successful season ever in this its anniversary year.  It has:

  • Achieved its highest-ever position in the top division of the Sussex Swimming League, finishing third behind Crawley and Mid-Sussex Marlins;
  • Consolidated its place in the South Region’s Division One of the National Swimming League;
  • Secured its largest-ever medal haul at the County Swimming Championships in February at K2 with a massive 57 medals in all - 19  individual golds, 18 silvers and 12 bronzes and 8 relay medals;
  • A silver and three bronzes at the Sussex Relay Championships;
  • More swimmers than ever before achieving base and automatic qualifying times for this summer’s South East ASA Regional Championships – 18 swimmers in all.  Atlantis won 8 medals at this year’s Regionals, including 4 golds for Cameron Lambourne in the 13 year-old age group and 3 slivers and a bronze for Ella Windle in the 10 year-old competition;
  • 4 swimmers qualified to compete against the very best in the country at the UK national swimming championships in Sheffield at the end of July.

Bill Penny said: “Atlantis swimmers have worked really hard over the last 12 months and it has shown up in the results they’ve achieved.  Sustainable success takes time to establish and we’ve some way still to travel.  We want to build a strong tradition of competitive swimming in Horsham and its surrounding districts”. 

In a message to mark the occasion, Cllr Roger Paterson, Horsham District Council Cabinet Member responsible for Leisure said: “Many congratulations to Atlantis for reaching the ripe old age of 30.  It’s great to see so many young people from the district really committed to such an active and healthy lifestyle.  The Council looks forward to working in partnership with the club over the coming years to encourage more young people to get involved in this great sport”.

Further Information: Andy Lobley: 07801 676269 or Andrew Dunlop: 07710 352023