World class bog snorkelling

Bog snorkelling: Tom, Haydn, Emma, Daniel and Joanne Pitchforth.
Bog snorkelling: Tom, Haydn, Emma, Daniel and Joanne Pitchforth.

An aquatic family enjoyed a double-whammy of successes in Wales over the Bank Holiday weekend with wins in underwater hockey and bog snorkelling.

Sixteen-year-old Emma Pitchforth, from Fairfield Drive, Heckmondwike, won second place in the World Bog Snorkelling Championship, taking the Junior Championship, and a gold with the Great Britain underwater hockey team at the World Alternative Games.

The Pitchforth family and other members of the underwater hockey team at Batley Sports Centre competed in the bog snorkelling event alongside 150 keen participants ready to brave the chilly waters in Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales.

Emma’s mum Joanne, who teaches at Batley Grammar School, said: “People think we are bit crazy, but we have an obvious talent for bog snorkelling and we will keep going back each year.”

The race is a time trial along a muddy bog in snorkels and flippers. The family decided against wetsuits, which are not mandatory.

Joanne said: “It was a novelty for Emma to beat her twin brother at something. We are very proud of her and all the team from Batley.”

As well as Emma’s victory, there were high positions for dad Haydn in fifth, twin brother Thomas in seven, mum Joanne in 12th and older brother Daniel in 13th.

And when Emma and Thomas represented the country with the under 19 team in underwater hockey the day before, the boys won silver – just losing out to the French – and the girls won gold.