BOBCATS swim squad started the season in impressive fashion across the Pennines.
The Burnley club sent a team of 23 younger swimmers to Leeds, while three older swimmers were in action in Sheffield.
At the City of Leeds 2011 Earlybird Meet, the age group squad of swimmers, aged between nine and 13, produced some very encouraging swims and came away with 22 gold, 24 silver and 12 bronze medals over the weekend.
The biggest haul of gold medals went to Harry Pilkington, age 10, who won five in total.
He was followed by Will Murray, 13, and Dean Moorhouse, 11, who both claimed three golds.
Elliot Norman, 10, Erica Minozzi, 13, Katie Rennolds, 13, Emma Fothergill, 13 and Ella Sheridan, 12, won two golds each, and Alex Minozzi, nine, won one gold.
Erica Minozzi added to her golds with five silver medals, while Elliot Norman and Ella Sheridan won four silvers each.
Harry Pilkington and Will Murray won three silvers, Katie Rennolds two, and Dean Moorhouse, Alex Minozzi, and Robert Bryce one silver medal each.
The bronze medals were spread among the squad, with Elliot and Dean winning two each, and Harry, Robert, Erica, Katie, Emma, Ella, Grace Pickles and Elizabeth Greenwood all winning one.
Although not winning medals, the other swimmers all had a successful weekend.
The squad welcomed William Beavan, Oliver Murray, Elizabeth Greenwood and Saffron Fenton, who were competing for the first time for Bobcats.
At the same time, three older girls were competing at the Robin Hood Open Meet in Sheffield.
Kerry Holding, 15, and Marsha Banks and Abigail Pounder, in the open age section, had to travel a little further away to start their season.
The competition was tough, and although no medals were won, the girls competed well, finishing in the top 10 in most races.
The highest placing was for Kerry, who came sixth in the 50m butterfly.
At Sheffield, assistant coach Andrew Blackburn said: “This is a premier meet, with some national champions competing, and the girls and I are happy with their swims and are looking forward to the remainder of the season.”
In attendance at the Leeds Gala was assistant coach Matt Holden, who said: “It was a good gala to do so early in the season, with some fantastic times and medals, giving all the swimmers a huge lift for the rest of the season.
“It shows that all our effort at training is paying off.”
Head coach Michael Robinson’s verdict on the opening weekend of the season was equally upbeat: “We have made a good solid start to the season.
“I am confident that this year we will produce more regional and national swimmers than ever before.
“Our new swimmers have settled in well and we are all working hard to build on our success last season.”
For more information about Bobcats, go to www.burnleybobcats.org.uk