SWIMMERS from Atlantis SC have celebrated promotion to the Premier Division of the National Arena Swimming League South for the first time.
The Horsham-based club will now be Sussex’s sole representative in the top flight of swimming’s principal club competition.
And the memorable night is the culmination of a superb turnaround for the 30-year-old club, based at the Pavilions, which has been masterminded by former international coach Bill Penny.
Eight years ago, Atlantis finished bottom of Division 2 with a meagre four gala points.
Following the Australian’s arrival in 2005, there has been a steady climb up the League, with promotion achieved to Division 1 East in 2006 and then 12th, 7th, 8th and 5th place finishes achieved in the next four seasons.
Atlantis were lying in sixth place, just two points behind the leaders Dover Lifeguards, going into the final gala at the Crook Log pool in Bexleyheath, and a second placed finish was enough to clinch promotion.
Delighted coach Penny said: “I always felt we had a chance against five other equally matched teams.
“My swimmers excelled themselves tonight and I’m very proud of them all, including those who swam in the two previous galas, but didn’t get a swim tonight.
“They’ve all made a fantastic contribution to securing this promotion.
“We have now planted our flag on the mountain-top. It will not be easy to keep it there, but we intend to do everything we can to do so and to really put Horsham on the swimming map.”