Radcliffe Swimming and Waterpolo Club’s senior team have qualified for the British Waterpolo League Division Five for the first time in their 123-year history.

The club entered a qualifying tournament last year at Haberdashers School just outside London to compete against six other teams to qualify for the league.

The success of qualifying was better than expected as they took a mix of both young and older more experienced players ranging from aged 16 to mid 50s with the majority being at the younger end of the scale.

Chairman, Chris Lord, said: “I am immensely proud to be part of the club and I congratulate the players and coaches for this historic achievement.

“The development of our youth squad and the enthusiasm of the coaches at all levels has brought this success forward by two to four years.

“Since the loss of the old Green Street pool, the club has worked hard to maintain our membership levels and despite a very difficult time in recent years we are now seeing the fruits of our labour with some incredible successes.

“This is testament to the hard-working volunteers we have, both on the committee and pool side who are all helping to develop strong athletes within this community club at all levels.”

The first of six matches will be played on Saturday, September 17, at 6pm at the Jason Kenny Centre, Bolton One against Chester with the second match the following day at 10.10am against Sheffield.

The remaining matches are to be played in Walsall and Sheffield later in September and October.

A spectator area is available for people of Radcliffe and Bolton to cheer the team on.