Aquatics

Leander show their strength to win back National Arena League Cup

PLYMOUTH Leander showed their strength in depth by convincingly winning the National Arena League Cup on Sunday at Cardiff.

Leander finished more than 80 points ahead second-placed Guildford in the prestigious team event, which includes swimmers from under-12 through to seniors.

It was the eighth time the Devon club had won the title since 2008, but for the last two years they had to make do with runners-up.

However, there was no stopping them this year in Wales. They won 11 of the relay events and claimed as many individual races.

Commonwealth Games competitors Laura Stephens and Jessica Jackson were among their individual winners on the day. Finn Broekoven, Cameron Williams, Honey Osrin, Mogammad Warley, Edoardo Valsecchi, Oriana Noel, Hurbert Gdaniec, Duru Tanir and Reece Dunn also claimed individual first places, while the club claimed a host of top three placings.

Top swimmer awards also went to Finn Broekhoven (11 and under age group); Gdaniec (13 and under) and Osrin (15 and under).

The success comes in head coach Robin Armayan’s first full season in charge.

He said: “It’s hard to put into words the pride I feel for Plymouth Leander.

“It’s a team that’s made up of not only some extraordinary athletes, but also the coaching staff, the volunteers, the officials, the parents and the board without whom this would not have been possible.

“This has been a culmination of the whole year. This has been one of our most successful seasons and the swimming on show made me incredibly proud.

“This victory is a very special one to all of us who have worked so hard to improve our swimming programme.

“Seeing the swimmers have fun as a team made all the hard work worthwhile. Swimming is such an individual sport, so competitions like the Arena League are really important.”

Club chairman David Ellis added:  “We’re very proud of the team – both coaches and swimmers.

“It’s a victory not just for those who competed on the day but for the whole club.

“We’d like to thank our key partners Plymouth College, Plymouth City Council and Everyone Active – as well as our sponsors Arena – for their support.

“For a new coaching team, and for us as a new board, this is an amazing beginning.”

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