PUPILS from a Thundersley school successfully defended their district swimming title.

It is the second year running that swimmers from King John School have won the Castle Point and Rochford championships.

And it is the fifth year in succession that Year 11 student Melissa Knighton has won the individual backstroke.

“It was a fantastic achievement for the team and we are delighted to have defended the title,” said PE teacher Leigh Cann.

“Melissa also did very well to win the back stroke for the fifth time. She is head girl and is a real role model for our other pupils.

“But we are lucky because we have a lot of talented swimmers at the school and many of them swim for the Runnymede and Canvey clubs.

“The only problem we have is that there are only four places in each of the teams, so competition is fierce.”

King John organises trials to select the swimmers for each team.

The championships feature teams of four swimmers in each of four age groups.

All four strokes are contested, with swimmers doing breaststroke, backstroke, freestyle and butterfly, plus relay.

The girls from the Shipwrights Drive school finished first overall after the Year 7 team finished third and the Year 8, Year 9 and Senior Girls all won their age groups.

The boys claimed second overall after the Year 7 and Year 9 boys were third and the Senior Boys won. The Year 8 boys finished outside the top three.

Hawkwell’s Clements Hall leisure centre hosted the annual event.