Stockport Metro swimmers qualify for international meetings

Holly Hibbott and Sean Kelly
Holly Hibbott and Sean Kelly

Teenage swimming sensation Holly Hibbott has been selected to compete for Team GB in the World Championships.

Holly, 19, who is a double Commonwealth medallist and trains with Life Leisure’s Stockport Metro, earned her place at the FINA World Aquatics Championships in South Korea in July after winning the 400m freestyle at the British Championships in Glasgow.

It’s been a successful year for the team, which will see four club members competing on the world stage this summer, with fellow ‘Wolfpack’ members Katie Matts, Thomas Hamer and Michael Gunning all qualifying for major international competitions.

Sean Kelly, performance director at Stockport Metro, said: “We are thrilled to have so many swimmers placed on international teams. Holly, Katie, Thomas and Michael have all trained extremely hard for it and deserve their places.

“We are really looking forward to the summer and for everyone to go to these major meets and produce their best times – it’s a really exciting year for us.”

He added: “We are proud to offer a great programme here at Stockport Metro – we are unfunded and looking for a sponsor – but despite not having the financial support of other clubs, we continue to produce great swimmers.”

Matts, 21, from Worsley, swam her second best ever time in the 200m breaststroke during the British Championships, and has been chosen to represent Team GB at the World University Games in Italy in July – the second largest multi-sport event after the Olympics.

Hamer, 20, who is also a Commonwealth Games silver medallist and joined the Wolfpack in January this year, qualified for the 200m freestyle and 4x100m mixed freestyle at the World Para Championships in London in September.

Hamer, from Burnley, swims in the S14 category for swimmers with intellectual impairment, for which he holds the world record.

Gunning, 25, who lives in High Lane, Stockport, broke his own Jamaican national record at the British Championships and is hoping a win at the Pan American games in August will secure his place to represent Jamaica at the World Championships with Holly.

Stockport Metro swimmers won five medals at the British Championships in Glasgow last month – two gold and three silver, ranking them sixth in the Great Britain medal table and becoming the top unfunded swimming programme.

Stockport Metro train at Life Leisure’s Grand Central, which has also been shortlisted at the UKActive Awards as a finalist for Regional and National Health Club of the Year.