The 55th  Country Swimming Pennants held in York on the March long weekend were a resounding success.

It was the first time since 1987 that  the York Swimming Club had hosted the two day event. Swimmers came from 29 clubs as far away as Karratha, Kambalda, Albany  and Kalgoorlie.

Secretary of the organizing committee and Swimming WA country co-ordinator, Jan Smith, said a total of 664 individuals competed in 524 events involving 1819 swims.  In addition, about 70 officials assisted in running the program. A further 700 or more parents and spectators also provided significant spin-offs for local businesses particularly eateries and places providing accommodation.

"Planning for the event started in 2012 with final preparations intensifying in the last two months. "Despite hot weather there was strong competition in all events and many records were broken," Mrs Smith said.

Club pennant winners were A-grade, Peel Aquatic;  B-grade, Golden West Dolphins; C-grade, Exmouth; D-grade, Georgiana Molloy and E-grade, Morawa. The team from Morawa was taking part in the event for the first time in many years, she said.

York swimmers did very well to come fifth in C-grade competing against teams from Exmouth and Kalgoorlie. Exmouth will host the Country Pennants next year, Mrs Smith said.

In her closing address she thanked the participants for their support and enthusiasm as well as everyone who had contributed time and sponsorship to make the event a great success. Major sponsors were Healthway Sun Smart, CBH Grassroots Funding, Austral Electrical who supply electronic timing and WA Water Corporation.

The Shire of York and York and Districts Community Bank provided a total of $12,000 in a joint partnership to fund the 2,328 medals awarded for first, second and third places in individual and relay events during the competition.  Numerous other local businesses and individuals also helped out in different ways, Mrs Smith said.

Lindsay McNeill