A COACH hopes that the success of his swimmers in the water will inspire their teammates to improve.

Northwich Centurions almost doubled the number of points they had collected 12 months earlier when the Cheshire Championships concluded last weekend.

They also won twice as many medals compared to 2017.

It is another marker of progress made by the club based at Memorial Court since Philip Balcombe was appointed as head coach late in 2014.

“It can definitely be galvanising when you get a good set of results,” he said.

“Everybody gets a lift from it, right down to the kids who are only at the learning stage of their development.

“They talk about it, and they have older brothers or sisters who have done well and they want to copy them if they can.”

Centurions collected seven medals, including one gold, over three weekends of competition at Macclesfield.

Their tally was three last time around.

They have finished in the same position in the Hugh Laughland Age Group Aggregate Trophy, although Balcombe told the Guardian that reading only the points total can be misleading.

“Last year two swimmers accounted for about half of our tally,” he said.

“Neither of them competed this time around, and so the figures don’t tell the whole story.

“Eight or nine swimmers have contributed, and some of those have exceeded our expectation.

“You always have an idea of where you think you’ll be in relation to everybody else, and it’s a nice surprise when things turn out even better.”

“I was looking for perhaps a couple of bronze medals, and we’ve picked up four.”

In 2017, one Northwich member classified inside the top-eight swimmers overall for their age-group.

That figure rose to three this time around, and four others made the top 10.

Balcombe added: “The important thing now is to keep reinforcing the message that hard work in training does earn a reward.”