Wow what a difference a week makes, it almost feels like spring!
Lots of trainers are firmly laced up and back clocking up some impressive distances. Fitness levels must be improving as some seem to be getting faster or going even further each week.
We have has a few casualties, most notably is young George who was almost at 10km before taking a tumble and a bash to the knee. He is all patched up and ready to go again. Others have some muscle tightness so have switched to a walk or a bike to aid recovery. Remember to warm up, cool down and stretch!
Half term has seen a trend of fewer early morning outings as our athletes take advantage of some lie ins. Pancake day may have been responsible for some extra trips to the shops. We have also seen the introduction of interval training, shuttle runs and hills!
We are now at 5700km, with running now totaling over 2000km! Walking follows with 1600km and 1180km on bikes.
Keep up the good work now we are back to home school working again and let’s see if we can focus and boost the fundraising this week.
It is with great sadness that we are announcing that our long serving Masters squad coach, Nick Cockran, is stepping down. Nick took over coaching the squad 14 years ago, after a long period of temporary coaches and self coaching by the swimmers. Through that 14 years, Nick brought stability to the squad and helped grow the squad into a size that needed three lanes at The Walnuts. With swimmers of varying ability, and a huge variation of age (teens to 50+), Nick wrote and managed sets each week to include and accommodate everyone’s desire, from social fitness to competition fitness. This is an extremely difficult task which all his swimmer appreciated very much.
From all your swimmers and members, present and past; thank you Nick for looking after the squad so well for such a long time.
Week 3 - Snow week!
Monday 15th February 2021
A warm welcome to those who have joined the Tokyo challenge this week.
We have continued to make amazing progress in the snow and are now past Moscow having covered just over 4000km in the three weeks. Even with the treacherous conditions our athletes managed to run, walk and hike over 100km and Chris continued the swimming section with another couple of swim in the sea not add over 3km to our tally.
Looking at the elevation data, perhaps some of our athletes have added to the distance by running up hills so they can toboggan back down; a great interval training workout. It also looks like some have taken the snow as a perfectly acceptable reason to stay warm and cosy.
With the snow and ice clearing and it being the half term week, we are ready for week four to see what we can achieve.
Please do not forget that this is also a fundraising exercise; so if you can persuade your family and friends to support your effort to Tokyo for the club, that would be wonderful.
Welcome to all those who have joined us and laced up those trainers this week.
It is so nice to see everyone getting involved, giving each other support and adding encouraging comments to each other.
You can see from the Strava page, the coaches have been stretching their legs, Silver, Gold and Platinum are building team momentum and getting involved. Bronze have a group building, Chrome have just one swimmer, Tadpoles Black & Purple, don’t be shy we need your help.
Special mentions go to some of our youngsters this week who have been out, George and Ben Farthing (Silver & Bronze), Welcome to the Tokyo journey the Davey Family (Gold & Silver), Lucas Bond (Chrome) linking with his football challenge that’s a 2 for 1!
Fund raising total is going up £290 so far 14% of the target – Thank you. Remember to get your friends and family to support the team.
Whilst over the last year we have been open, closed, open, closed with no fund raising or galas to bring in the extra pennies, the club has been softening the impact of covid, balancing the difference between the accounting income vs outgoings, so we need to top up the coffers to ensure we can continue to plan extra opportunities and experiences for all our swimmers once we get back in the pool.
Some great weather pictures this week rain, glorious sunshine and then a flurry of snow to end.
We are now approximately 2,263km along 🏃♀️🚶♂️🏊♂️🚴♂️
It is with great pleasure that we can announce that Joseph Gaster has accepted the position of Head Coach for Orpington Ojays.
Joe has a long history with Orpington Ojays. He started as a swimmer when he was just nine years old, joining us in Bronze Squad and progressing through the ranks to Top Squad. He reached county, regional and national levels and won numerous medals along the way.
In 2014 he took up the position of Bronze Assistant Coach for Orpington Ojays, and then a year later moved to Sevenoaks Swimming Club to train their Bronze Squad. He spent almost three years with Sevenoaks, assisting the Top Squad and working on several winter-training camps, before returning to Orpington Ojays to take up the position of Platinum Coach where he got to know many of our current swimmers.
After almost two years as Platinum Coach, Joe took the decision to pursue a career in finance in the City. When the position of Head Coach became available, Joe realised this was an opportunity to rekindle his love of swimming. He says he could not pass up the opportunity to coach at the club he had been connected with since he was a boy.
After a lengthy interview process – all safely conducted with appropriate social-distancing measures – Joe has shown he has the skills, drive and love for Orpington Ojays to help take us forward as Head Coach. We are delighted that Joe has made this decision, and we are looking forward to our return to swimming when he will take up the position full-time.
Please support Joe as he transitions into his new role and we hope you agree that this is a huge and exciting step forward for us as a club.
Tokyo Challenge (9,566km / 5,944 miles)
Sunday 31st January 2021
With 52 athletes signed up to the Orpington Ojays Strava Club, we have travelled an incredible distance in the first week.
The distance covered for activities breaks down like this:
Sea Swim = 6.89km
Hike = 79.92km
Virtual Ride = 92.21km
Ride = 184.93km
Walk = 289.064km
Run = 545.51km
Other workouts = 4.84km
This adds up to an amazing 1,203km placing us somewhere in Germany!
Parents, Masters and then Top Squad fill a big % of our athletes, who are logging their activities. Some deserve a special mention as they are covering some serious distances. Thank you Grant Ballard-Tremeer & Brian Tinker.
Tadpoles, Bronze, Chrome, Silver, Gold and Platinum have a few brilliant swimmers who are walking the walk, but they need your help, so sign up soon. It’s easy, when you go shopping or walk the dog, pop your strava on record and every small distance adds to the total and we really don’t want to leave anyone behind.
Sharon Soyza has been going out virtually every day this week, Sam Ryan has got into an early morning run routine, and families have been getting out in the fresh air together.
Our coaching team and even our chairman have dusted off their trainers, gone for a walk, some broken into a run and got rained on!
You can add photos you take to your activities on Strava and we will include a selection in our updates. If you put photos elsewhere, please let us know with #OjaysTokyoChallenge
Don’t forget to share your progress with your families and friends, ask them to support Team Orpington Ojays SC Just Givin page. We are off to a wonderful start with £210 raised so far.
NB: Any parents walking with younger ones, if you can add their names in the bio, it’ll help me mention their achievements.
You are all amazing, looking forward to seeing what we can achieve together.
Congratulations to Amanda Jackson, Andrea Richardson, Kerry Barrett and Mark Bond for being among the selected volunteers for the Swim England London award for December 2020. The Unsung Hero award recognizes volunteers who have positively worked behind the scenes with a positive attitude, a willingness to help in whatever capacity necessary, and a commitment to excellence.
We have created a club in the sports app Strava.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Strava, it is a sports service, created by athletes and dedicated to athletes around the world. It is by far the most popular in its class and integrates with everything, phones, sports watches of all makes and fitness trackers of all makes. You can also upload activities manually or share activities if someone you trained with did not record.
Strava’s terms and conditions state “The Services are intended solely for persons who are 13 years old or such higher age required in your country to use the Services. If you are under the legal age to form a binding contract in your jurisdiction, you represent that your parent or legal guardian has reviewed and agreed to these Terms on your behalf.”
There are already several our athletes using the service and the club page is so they can easily compare how they are getting on against others. For a few years now a handful of our Masters squad have used the app to see who has swum the furthest, run the furthest and ridden the furthest in a calendar year.
If you sign up to Strava and start tracking your workouts, whether runs, walks, trail runs, stand up paddle boarding, yogo, zwift virtual, whatever sport, please make sure you set your privacy settings up. The most important is your privacy zone. This blanks out GPS data around your home to keep your home address private.
If you sign up, please also join the Orpington Ojays Swimming Club on Strava to help motivate you. There are also many challenges for different sports and virtual trophies.
Most importantly though, if you are exercising outside, please follow the current virus rules, and please ask an adult to accompany you. If you are exercising in the dark, please wear reflective clothing and ideally a light.
Hope to see your latest activities on our homepage widget.
Happy New Year to everyone and best wishes for the year.
Whilst we have been away from the pool, we have added a new section to our website to show what is available from our club shop. Currently it is for browsing only; the facility to reserve and order kit will be developed and added when ready.