THE Borough of Kirklees Masters swimming squad celebrated a massive 29-medal haul at the North Eastern counties Masters Championship up in Middlesbrough.

The six-strong squad netted a total of 23 gold and six silver medals, with Sally Shields leading the way.

In the 55 to 59 age group, Shields won five individual gold medals, two team gold and two individual silvers, setting two new squad records in the process.

Those records came in the 50m fly in 40.13sec and in the 100m fly with a time of 1-14.81. Her other golds came in the 50m and 100m breaststroke and 100m IM and silver in the 50m freestyle and 50m back crawl events.

Wendy Offord was also in action in the 55 to 59 and took gold in the 50m free, setting a new squad record of 33.70. She also took gold in the 50m and 100m back crawl and backed those up with silver in the 50m and 100m butterfly events.

Offord is now hoping to further improve on her 50m freestyle record-breaking swim in the World Masters Games in Australia later this month.

Caroline Irvine, swimming in the 45 to 49 age group, set a new squad record of 1-13.55 to take gold in the 100m freestyle, and also celebrated gold in the 100m back crawl, 100m individual medley, 100m freestyle and 50m backcrawl.

Jane Donarski swam in the 45 to 49 age group and took gold in the 50m and 100m breaststroke, 100m butterfly and 200m IM, and set a new squad record in taking silver in the 200m butterfly.

Tom McAvoy, in his first Masters meet and first competition in five years, and had a fabulous return to competitive action, taking gold and setting a new squad record in the 50m back crawl in 30.18 – taking one of the longest standing records set in 1991.

McAvoy also took gold in the 50m butterfly and 100m freestyle events.

And Victoria Wilford – at 35 to 39 years – took gold and set a new squad record of 1-23.40 in the 100m backstroke, as well as taking gold in the 200m freestyle and silver in the 100m freestyle.

In the relay events the team of Shields, Irving, Offord and Donarski took gold in both the freestyle and medley relay events.

It was an excellent way for the squad to celebrate their 20th anniversary. They will be holding a celebration event in November. All ex members are invited, and interested parties can contact Offord at