Tuesday 13th December 2016
Congratulations to Billy Birchmore who was racing at the Para Nationals in Manchester. Billy finished 7th in the 100 Fly and placed top 12 in his 50, 100 and 200 free, 100 back, 100 breast and the 200 IM.
Congratulations to Billy Birchmore who was racing at the Para Nationals in Manchester. Billy finished 7th in the 100 Fly and placed top 12 in his 50, 100 and 200 free, 100 back, 100 breast and the 200 IM.
Tadpoles, Bronze, Chrome and Silver squads led by Ben Strover started off the Christmas season with HUGE SPLASH. Two sessions of excited young swimmers took on the inflatable assault course floating in the pool, followed by a hot snack and ice creams. Thanks goes to The Walnuts team who not only served up a hot snack afterwards but ensured the swimmers were suitably wet to climb, slide and fall off, by spraying them regularly with a hose and splashing them with large scoops of water. Also thank you to Katie Napier, Will Magee-Brown, Lilli Cutajar, Justin Strover and Max Peel from top squad who came along to support Ben; although it’s fair to say, they enjoyed it just as much as the others. Our swimmers, young and old, are a very competitive bunch!.
Ten of the swimmers attending Winter Camp next October were packing shopping bags at M&S at the Nugent Centre on Saturday morning. It was a busy couple of hours but the swimmers were rewarded with donations from customers - starting off the fund raising rather nicely. Thanks to Helen for arranging and to M&S store management for the opportunity. We received some really lovely comments from customers who said how polite and helpful the swimmers were which is always a pleasure to hear when they are representing the club. Well done to William, Michael, Noah, Callum, Justin, Jess H , Lauren, Jess B, Abi and Maria.
Congratulations to Nam Nguyen for being awarded the November Jack Petchey award. Nam was nominated for his constant hard work and dedication to training. He always makes every effort to do his best both on training and at competitions.
Congratulations to Hannah Strover and Lucia Tammaro who received the Jack Petchey award in September and October. Hannah was nominated for her commitment to swimming and always making every effort to do her best in training and at competitions. Lucia Tammaro was nominated for her constant hard work and positive attitude. Lucia is always supportive at gala and always makes every effort to do her best in training and at competitions.
On Saturday, Orpington Ojays yet again swam fabulously at Mote Park Leisure Centre, coming in at a respectable 6th place. The evening got off to a flying start, with Samantha Jackson bringing in a 1st place in the Girls 11/u 50m Breast. For some of the swimmers, it was the first of many competitions, creating a great opportunity for those young and old to encourage and learn from each other. As always, the support our teammates had for one another was endless, with constant cheering and clapping for everyone, especially the Boys 13/u 4x50m Medley Relay, including Callum B, Max P, Noah S and Justin S, where the race for 1st place was incredibly tight, with everyone definitely losing their voices by the end of it! Some of the highlights of the evening included the Girls 10/u 50m Butterfly, with Amie coming in at a fantastic 1st place, as well as Justin coming 2nd in his 100m Backstroke, pushing their limits to the max. Even though some swimmers may not have felt 100%, they all contributed their hardest and gained valuable points for their team which made Orpington hugely proud. Thank you to Julie, Alice, Damien, Dave and Sergio who were on poolside to marshal and coach the swimmers, allowing our upcoming stars to flourish. No matter what the weather, we are always able to count on helpers and swimmers alike for infinite laughs and solid swims. Congratulations to all
Congratulations to Tracy van Rooyen who competed at the ASA Masters and Seniors Inter-Country Competition on Sunday 20th at Leys Leisure Centre in Oxford. Tracy raced in 5 events getting a fantastic PB in the backstroke, helping Kent to finish in 3rd place, and batting away a subtle poaching attempt from another club.
Sue Hancock has made the decision after 9 years as the Clubs Treasurer to stand down from the role. Sue's involvement with the club started when her daughter Shauna and son Cameron were both swimming. Sue has worked diligently in the background since then to ensure that the Clubs finances are kept in good order and has steered us through some very difficult times. She passes over her role with the club in a healthy, stable state and we would like to extend our warm thanks to her for the many years of commitment to Ojays. We wish Sue all the very best and a very well deserved rest!
On the 5th and 6th of November we had the Winter Regionals at the London Aquatic Centre, which is one of the toughest competitions we come across. First of all congratulations to all those swimmers who achieved any Regional times. The weekend was very successful as many swimmers achieved new PB's and some got into the finals of their events which was a great achievement. A stand out performance was Ben Strover who not only smashed his 1500m PB from 17 minutes and 18 seconds to 17:01, he also got a 3rd place in the 100m IM, where most of the race he was in 5th position and the 2 swimmers ahead were a body length in front, but on the last length of the freestyle he managed to pull in front and earn a bronze medal. Well done to Ben and everyone who competed in the regionals. Also a thank you to coaches and parents for giving up their precious weekend.
Morgan Squibb, from Gold squad, has continued a fabulous season by coming 5th in the world Biathle Championships in Sarasota Florida. She was the first GB athlete home beating the British and European Champion to secure silver for Team GB. South African athletes were the only other country a head of her and the rest of the team. Massive congratulations Morgan! Just amazing, well done from us all.
Last weekend was the first round of Arena League and the gala began with a minute of applause due to the recent sad passing of Croydon Amphibians coach, Jamie Stewart. Shortly after this, the swimming began and the poolside was lined with the entire Orpington Ojays team pumped full of adrenaline and cheering on every swimmer. The draw certainly resulted in some very tough competition from the other clubs but we remained upbeat and determined to give it our all. Congratulations to all swimmers for some fantastic P.B.'s, County times, Regional times and in particular to Jessica Herbert for achieving an amazing time and 1st place in the 100m backstroke! We hope to see more of the outstanding Ojays team spirit shown last Saturday and hopefully a higher placing at round 2 of Arena League!
Morgan Squibb of Gold squad had a busy weekend, first traveling to Birmingham where she competed in the English National Road Relays picking up a silver medal and then down to Medway Kent were she competed in the South East Biathlon Championship in the under 14 age group. After the swim Morgan was in 9th position but after the run she finished 2nd just 35 points off of 1st place and recorded the fasted run time. Morgan is off to Florida on the 26th October to compete in the World Final Biathle championship for GB. Morgan also received a good luck tweet from Olympic Diving Silver Medallist, now BBC commentator, Leon Taylor. Good luck from all of us as well, have a wonderful time!
Congratulations to Gina Charleton and Kayleigh Knocker, our only Masters swimmers at Guildford on Saturday. Gina raced in the 50 Free finishing 5th and the 100 Breast finishing 4th, whilst Kayleigh raced in the 50 Free finishing 7th and the 50 Back finishing 3rd.
Congratulations to all those involved in our Season Starter Open at the weekend. From our many swimmers who swam fantastically well to all the parents and coaches whose hard work made a busy meet run so smoothly that all races were finished in good time for a Sunday afternoon. The open provided a great opportunity for many of our swimmers. For some of our younger swimmers this was their first Open Meet, these competition have a slightly different feel to them than club and inter club galas. For others, they took the opportunity to gain those sought after Kent and Regional qualifying times and of course PB's. Well done for all those successes. Orpington Ojays, as expected as hosts, won Top Club and Ben Strover (pictured with Head Coach Sergio) from Top Squad won Top Boy 12 and over. Congratulations also to Greenwich Royals who won Top Girl 12 and over, Scarlett Callaghan; Top Girl 11 and under, Beatrice Harrison and also Top Boy 11 and under, Nathan Chapman. Special congratulations to Billy Birchmore who broke another World Record in the DSISCO 100m Backstroke. Another fantastic swim! Our Home Open is an important fixture on our calendar and the professional, competitive and friendly nature in which it is regarded ensures it's continuing success for the club, our swimmers and our guests. Thank you everyone for your dedication and support.Quick link to full results
Last weekend at Crook Log swimming pool, we saw the start of the open season with the Erith Super Sunday Sprint Meet. Orpington Ojays were represented by a large number of swimmers from every section of the club. After an extremely busy warm up plus practise starts, the gala started with 50m front crawl for the younger girls. Many of the swimmers performed extremely well throughout the day, with good pb's being achieved across the board. It was good to see a lot of young swimmers who were experiencing an open meet for the first time. We hope they all enjoyed the experience and are looking forward to future events. Over the day there were some really good swims and huge pb's, Kaci Baverstock managed to knock 6 second off has 100IM time well done Kaci. There were plenty of top 6 medals collected plus 21 top 3 places. Both Amie Lawrence and Jess Herbert won 2 golds and 1 Silver, Sam Kitchener 1 gold and 1 silver, Katie Napier 1 gold, Anna Cvjetan 2 silvers, Ellie Harden 1 silver with Noah Saunders and Ben Langdown picking up a bronze each. Finally picking up Top Girl trophies at each end of the scale Abbie Saunders won 3 golds Top Girl for the 9 year old age group as well as a Kent consideration time, and Daniella Shipley won 2 golds, 1 silver, 1 bronze and Top Girl for the 16 and over age group. A very big thank you to all the coaches and swimmers who all entered.
Congratulations to Billy Birchmore on his first open water race which was in the London 2012 venue the Serpentine in Hyde Park. Over 25 para athletes raced the 1.6k race on Sunday. Billy finished 4th in category and 8th overall in the para elite in a time of 28 minutes and 2 seconds.Preview article from Swim Serpentine
On Saturday evening, Orpington Ojays yet again competed amazingly at the relay gala that Edenbridge hosted in honour of Paul Norris. There were six teams from across Kent and Surrey, including Dartford District, Folkestone as well as Rygate and Redhill. Throughout the evening, swimmers within Ojays swam very well, allowing the younger swimmers to once again gain competition experience, including races such as the Tandem. Highlights of the evening included the girls 10 years and under team winning first place in their Medley Relay and doing some very impressive times, making us all very proud. All our swimmers swam outstandingly well, especially those who had up to 11 races! Thank you to all those who competed, allowing us to gain many points, coming in a respectable 4th place. Like always, the support of teammates was amazing, with continuous cheering and clapping, rooting for Ojays to beat the tough competition. Thank you to all parents who continued to support our upcoming generation, as well as our Captains Alice and Katie, who not only swam, but showed their support for our younger swimmers. We hope that all our next competitions are just as successful.Some more photos
Morgan Squibb travelled to Sale water park in Manchester on September 10th to compete in the last GB series Biathle competition. This was also a head to head ranking event and Biathle of the Roses, where she was in the rest of the world team against Lancashire and Yorkshire. Morgan took the Gold in both events and has finished her first season ranked 2nd in the GB rankings. Morgan will enjoy another year in this age group. Congratulations Morgan on an outstanding season.
Congratulations to Meg Forbes from Masters squad who completed the tough half IronMan event in Weymouth in 7 hours 34 minutes and 17 seconds, a great time. The course is a 1.2 mile swim (32 mins 36 secs), a 56 mile bike ride (4 hrs 5 mins 28 secs) and then a 13.1 mile run (2 hrs 41 mins 18 secs). Well done Meg!
On Saturday, Orpington Ojays swam fantastically down at the seaside town of Margate. The evening saw plenty of new and upcoming faces and was a great opportunity for our younger swimmers to gain some racing experience. Within the evening, many of the swimmers had to swim up age groups, including some nine year olds competing all the way up in the 11 year old age group, swimming their hearts out and doing Ojays very proud. Highlights of the evening included our boys 13 and under FC relay team, a special mention to Callum Baronti who swam an impressive 29.9! The exciting evening came to an end with Ojays placing 6th with a respectable 98 points. As always, the support for our teammates was immeasurable, with constant cheering and clapping, rooting for Ojays to beat the tough competition such as Sevenoaks, Thanet and Bromley. Thank you to Julie Strover, Mandy Baronti, Gina and Sergio who were on poolside to marshal, officiate and coach the younger swimmers, as well as our Captains for showing their support to our upcoming stars.
Sunday morning was the start of this year's Club Championships and the first events were the 200 IM for the boys and the 800m free long distance event for the girls. Some great swims and new PBS posted - well done to all competitors. A huge thanks to those parents who helped out to ensure that we had the required officials so that the swimmers times can go on the rankings - a special thanks to parents who gave up their Sunday lie in to help and didn't even have a swimmer competing! Please note that next Sunday mornings training (18th) at Eltham College is cancelled again due to Club Championships gala 2.
After his success in the August Leybourne Aquathlon, Matt Steere from Masters squad has won the September race. Jess Page and Steve Morris were joint 6th. Jess was also the 2nd female competitor, which is excellent as this was her first open water event. The race is a 1.5k open water lake swim followed by a 5k run around the lake. Well done all.
After many years with the club, as a swimmer, teacher and coach, Shauna has left to start her training as a nurse. This evening, past and present Silver and Platinum squad members gave Shauna her leaving presents. Shauna was presented with a stethoscope, Amazon vouchers to help with the cost of median books for her nursing training, white gold earrings and with a bunch of flowers. The stethoscope was engraved with "Shauna Handcock 💜 Ojays 2016". Afterwards, as always, the swimmers pushed her in. Thank you from us all for you have done for the club and we wish you every success in your nursing career.
Congratulations to Emily and Alex from Masters squad who got engaged last week. All the very best to you both from all of us.
On Monday normal early evening training was replaced with the annual Captain's Gala. A gala for swimmers across all the squads to have some fun and unusual relay races against each other. Swimmers are split into five teams: Daniella's Dolphins; Sam's Stingrays; Stover's Sharks, Napier's Narwhals and Bennett's Beauties. A great gala to welcome everyone back after the summer break. 5th was Stingrays 4th was Beauties 3rd was Narwhals 2nd was Sharks 1st was Dolphins :)
A massive congratulations to Chris Leek from Masters Squad who on Thursday swam the across the English Channel! On Tuesday Chris received the telephone call from the pilot to say that the swim was on and would be starting around 03:30 on Thursday. In darkness Chris started his swim. With his girlfriend and friends on the boat, Sea Leopard, to keep him motivated and help with making sure Chris stayed hydrated and fed, Chris swam across the busiest shipping lanes on the planet. As if ferries and tankers and 13-17c temps aren’t enough, the English Channel is also home to jelly fish. As channel swimmers are not allowed the protection and added buoyancy of a wetsuit another job for those on the boat is to watch for them so they can be avoided if possible. Swimming long distance can be a lonely sport, so for an hour or so one of Chris’ friends joined him in the water. Chris reached Cap Gris-Nez 12 hours and 9 minutes after stepping into the sea at Dover. Chris has so far raised well over £14,000 for Parkinson’s UK, another fabulous achievement. (More pics in the photo gallery and JustGiving link is on our Twitter feed) Well done Chris, truly inspiring.
Congratulations to Matt Steere who won the Aquathlon at Leybourne Lakes last night. The course was a 1500m swim followed by a run twice around the lake to make 5k. Matt was first out of the water in 18 minutes 25 seconds followed by Steve Morris who was joint second out in 20 minutes 21 seconds. Matt held his lead during the run to finish 1st overall in 38:49, and Steve, 1st in age group by just 7 seconds, finished 4th overall in 45:11 Matt also achieved King of the Leybourne Swim Lap for the first 750m of the race according to Strava with a time of 9:39 Well done chaps.
Congratulations to Ben Cockburn from Masters squad who last night competed in the 5th Midnight Man event in Dartford. With Standard Tri's, half Ironman and full Ironman, this event which starts at 6pm can see competitors still going well into breakfast time Sunday morning. Ben competed in the half ironman. Ben finished the 1.9k swim in 9th place, having moved up from 13 in the first lap. Next up is the 90km (56 mile) bike ride made up of 10 laps with 40 dead stops. With so many dead stops at turns in the bike this takes a lot out of the riders with lots of de/accelerations. Ben finished the bike in 4th place and took third place during transition to the 21k (13 mile) run. Ben held 3rd place through the run to finish on the podium in 4 hours and 27 minutes. Congratulations Ben on an amazing race which whilst repetitive for the competitors with so many laps was great for spectators. There are a few more pics in the photo gallery.
Congratulations to Charlton Upbeat Billy Birchmore, who has been a member of the much-loved Upbeats for six years. Billy lead the Addicks and Northampton Town onto The Valley pitch this afternoon, as part of the #EFLStories campaign. To mark the start of the new football season, the EFL launched its #EFLStories campaign to tell the stories of all the people who help make the EFL what it is - a football experience for everyone. Across the opening two weekends of the season, 72 people will have the privilege of delivering their club’s new Mitre match ball to the pitch at the first home game of the season. With #EFLStories ball presentations taking place across all three divisions of the Sky Bet EFL, each person nominated for this honour has been put forward by their favourite EFL club. What a great day Billy.
Ben Cockburn, from Master Squads, was in action Sunday morning defending his Standard distance Triathlon at Bewl Water Sunday morning. Coming back after a serious bike crash in Spain only 8 weeks ago when he broke 2 two ribs, Ben finished in 3rd place overall and 1st in age group in a time of 2 hours 13 minutes and 16 seconds. Team mate Matt Steere was also in the Standard Triathlon. Matt lead the 1.5k swim from the start coming out of the water well over 2 minutes ahead of second place. After the 40k cycle and 10k run Matt finished 37th overall and 10th in age group in a time of 2 hours 36 minutes and 45 seconds. A great mornings racing, well done chaps! More photos in the gallery later this week.
Congratulations to Etienne Stander from Masters Squad who completed the Bridge to Bridge 14k river swim. The swim takes place between Henley and Marlow. Etienne's unofficial time was 3 hours 55 minutes and he swam 14.7k according to his Garmin tracker. The biggest problem with the swim is staying motivated throughout, but he says the scenery was worth the swim. An incredible swim, well done.
Congratulations to Katie Coad from Masters squad who won the 3.8k open water swim early on Saturday morning at Bewl Water. Katie was the first lady home in 1 hour 13 seconds. Niki Herbert was the 9th lady home in 1 hour 15 minutes and 36 seconds. Matt Steere finished 3rd in the mens, finishing the race in 52 minutes and 57 seconds. Steve Morris finished 10th in the mens in 1 hour and 29 seconds, just behind Katie. Well done to the four Master swimmers, all of whom swam without wetsuits.
Morgan Squibb, of gold squad, competed on Saturday in the National Biathle championships which consisted of a 800m run, a 100m open water swim in the quays followed by another 800m run. The race, which took place in Salford Manchester, was a qualifier for the GB team who travel to Florida in October for the World finals. Five of the top athletes would be selected for the GB team and Morgan took the Silver in the event so now will be off to Florida to compete for Great Britain. A massive congratulations to Morgan and good luck for the finals.
The Basildon and Pheonix Open Long Course meet last weekend was a success for many Ojays swimmers. Gold medals were achieved by Ellie Harden, Samantha Jackson and Daniella Shipley. Silver medals were achieved by Ellie Harden, Samantha Jackson and Daniella Shipley. Bronze medals were won by Callum Baronti, Daniella Shipley and Alessio Tutt. For many others this gala proved to be an excellent opportunity to improve some long course pb’s or even a first time swimming in a 50 metre pool for some younger swimmers. Thank you to Sergio, Damien and Simon Shipley who attended the gala. We hope to see more fantastic swims after the summer holidays! The Captains
With the temperature at a high 37c Billy competed in the 200 Free against rival Colin Marks. Both Billy and Colin break Billy’s existing World Record with Colin taking the fastest time to the final. With the temp going up to 45c for the final Billy takes the lead in the first 100 which he holds for the second to win Gold by 0.06 and regains his World Record. Incredible racing from the boys in extremely hot conditions. Immediately after the 200 final Billy is back in the pool for the 50 back final which he had qualified 6th for. Billy again swims another incredible race to finish with the Silver medal. A fantastic first day. Billy is back for the second day still in great form. Qualifying in 2nd place for the 100 Backstroke Billy is racing against the number 1 seed Aran Miller and the World Record holder Nis Pinnerip. Billy turns at 50m in third place but is closing them down. With 25 metres to go Billy has swum the race to perfection going past both swimmers to finish with a second Gold medal. Billy suffers a poor start in the 50 fly final which he has qualified for in 6th place. Billy swim extremely well pulling the race back to finish with a Silver medal by 0.08 of a second. The third day sees the temperature up to 50c. Billy has the 50 Free and 200 Back. Billy is racing Daniel Rumsey in the 50, the winner of the most Gold medals in Downs Syndrome competitions ever and the holder of numerous World Records. A 50m race is always close and there were 5 swimmers level at 25m. Billy is hungry for a third gold on the third day and pulls away from the other in the last 25 to beat Daniel to the Gold medal by half a second. Billy is straight back in the pool for the 200 back and starts to show tiredness. Backstroke in an open air pool is very difficult and Billy is off the pace at 100m. The second 100m is much better and Billy catches the others but has too much to do and finishes with the Bronze medal. Billy’s next swim is the Fly leg of the 100m Medley relay. Team GB are seeded 8th but finish the race with brilliant Bronze medal. The last day is the 100 Freestyle. Billy qualifies fastest for the final. Billy leads the final from the start and wins the blue ribbon event by 1.5 seconds; another sensational swim. The next final in the 200 IM which Billy has qualified in 3rd place. Billy takes the lead in the Fly, and increases it on the Back. Sadly Billy loses ground on the Breast with breathing problems. He goes into the Free still in first place but Daniel Rumsey is closing him down. Billy tries to hold on but Daniel comes past in the last 5m to take the Gold with Billy Silver. Billy still with breathing problems is taken straight into medical care for treatment and receives an ECG. Billy recovers well and demands to swim in 50m Freestyle relay. With a medal ceremony to pause the swimming the doctors give the OK for Billy to race again. The team seeded 12th finish with an impressive Bronze medal. A great competition for Billy once again who also takes Top Swimmer on points. Well done, very impressive! 4 Gold, 3 Silvers and 3 Bronze medals.
So after 16 years at Orpington Ojays I have finally hung up my Ojays shirt! I cannot thank you all enough for your kind words and generours gifts. I will miss each and every one of you terribly but on to new adventures now! Remember to focus on the good-there's a lot to be proud of there! Good luck Clare and of course thank you again from all of us for all you have done. Glad you are still going to be training with Masters.
Congratulations to Sam Gaster and Katie Napier on being our Captains for 2016/17. Also congratulations to Alice Bennett, Daniella Shipley and Ben Strover on becoming our Vice Captains.
Congratulations to Billy Birchmore in Florence. He got through to the finals in both his races, the 200 freestyle and the 50 back. In the 200 he was seeded second and in the 50 fifth. Racing Australian Colin Marks in the 200, Billy put in another World Record performance to come through and win the Gold. Amazing swims once again Billy, massive well done.
It's the time of year that everyone is waiting for, so to make it special Orpington Ojays arranged the traditional summer barbecue event for all parents and swimmers at Pratts Bottom village hall. The weather was thankfully on our side (for the most of it) so the parents could enjoy relaxing in the sunshine whist the swimmers ran around playing football and rounders. After eventually finding the gas to start the barbecue, we got started and soon everyone was enjoying their burgers and sausages. After the food we had a great game of egg throwing where contestants stand in couples opposite each other and carefully throw an egg to each other. After each successful catch a step back is taken. It's a great game to watch and play until you're the person with the yolk all in you're hair. It was wonderful too see all the squads enjoy the day as this is a great opportunity for the club to bond together. A big thank you to Mandy Baronti who once again arranged such a fantastic day and thank to all who came along.
Congratulations to Morgan Squibb from Gold Squad who won Silver in the Individual Biathle (run/swim/run) European Championships in Portugal for Team GB! Morgan was also in the team event which won the Gold medal. Well done Morgan; a fantastic achievement!
Orpington Ojays travelled to Dagenham on Saturday night for the final round of the Whitehorse league for this season. As always our swimmers were all focused and determined to give their very best. All the swimmers gave the crowd reasons to cheer watching some great races with many achieving PB's. After a long battle with few points separating 3rd, 4th and 5th place Orpington Ojays placed 5th overall. A big thank to Sergio, the supportive parents, and to the officials whom without we couldn’t have participated in these events. Congratulations and well done to all of our team who made as all very proud.
Justin and Ben Strover were joined by Jess Sellar for the Aquathon. Justin swam 200m followed by a 1k run, Jess 300m and then 2k run, and Ben swam 400m followed by a 3k run. Justin won Silver, Jess was 5th and Ben finished 8th, . Morgan Squibb was also in action where she won Gold in the 1500m run! The Bromley team got Silver overall. Congratulations to you all.
Congratulations on a very successful day at the London Youth Games. Bromley did very well with the Boys winning overall and the Girls coming in 4th - well done! Niamh Laker was in the Junior girls and won 2 medals. Alice Bennett and Jess Sellar were in the Senior girls and came 4th. Thank you for representing Bromley and doing so well.
Congratulations to all those who competed in the Saxon Crown Gala last weekend. Many PBs were achieved. Well done to all those who reached the finals and went on to win medals! Everyone swam excellently despite the extremely long and hot day so well done for maintaining your spirits and still swimming well, super job everyone!
Matt Steere from Masters travelled to Germany and competed in the Open Water National Championships. Matt swam the 2.5k in 31 minutes finishing 4th in his age groups and taking a number of in swim hits from other competitors. All part of open water swimming sadly. Well done Matt.
On Saturday Morgan was in Yorkshire for the GB Biathle series. With the swim this time being open water this was Morgan's first race not in clear water. For a first open water swim Morgan was very happy with a close second place.
On Monday 27th June The Churchill Theatre in Bromley hosted The Jack Petchey Foundation Achievement Awards. Special guest this year was the Olympic Silver medallist Mark Richardson. Mark competed for Great Britain in the 1996 Summer Olympics held in Atlanta, United States in the 4 x 400 metre relay where he won the silver medal with his team mates Iwan Thomas, Jamie Baulch and Roger Black. This team set a UK record, 2:56.60, in the process. Also attending were our Jack Petchey Achievement winners Billy Boyd, Will Dennis, Katie Gough, Ben Langdown, Noah Saunders, Alessio Tutt, Anna Hawkins and Zoe White. Congratulations to our swimmers once again.
Our Masters team made their way to Medway Park on Sunday for the 2016 Kent Championships. What a day they had! All members of the team came home with medals which is outstanding. James Bowen - Bronze in 100 free and silver in 50 back. Emily Brown - Silver in 100 breastroke and Bronze in 100 IM. Nick Bunclark - Gold in 50 fly and Gold in the 100 Fly. Gina Charelton - Bronze in 100m breastroke and two fourth places in 100 and 50 free, all in PBs. Jack Cook - Bronze in the 100 free and Silver in the 50 free. Iain Jameson - Gold in 50 fly and Silver in the 100 fly. Kayleigh Knocker - Gold in 50 back, Gold in 50 free and Gold in 100 free. Steve Morris - Silver in the 50 fly and Bronze in the 100 free. Alex Spooner - Gold in the 100 fly, Gold in the 100 free, Gold in the 100 IM, Gold in 50 free and Gold in the 50 fly. Tracey Van Rooyen - Gold 50 back and Gold in 100m back with the Kent Masters Champs record, Gold in the 100 IM and Silver in the 50 Fly. We also entered some relays. One was a little dubious though having mistaken category AA to mean All Ages and not Seniors (18-25 year olds) we fielded a team with two swimmers over 25. Thankfully it wasn’t really an issue as no other club fielded an AA team so whilst we obviously got the Gold, being the only team in the pool, we didn’t take it away from a properly aged team. We only realised as the race was announced with our lead swimmer on the block. Obviously we pulled the team from the medley relay in the second session. Gold in Mixed AA 4x50m free. Silver in Mens 160+ 4x25 free. Silver in Mens 120+ 4x25m IM. Well done everyone.
Congratulations to our relay teams racing at Crystal Palace over the weekend in the Kent County Championships. Our ladies won the bronze in both the 4x50m medley and the 4x50m freestyle. The medley team was Daniella Shipley, Clio Bacon, Jess Sellar and Katie Napier, with the freestyle swapping Jess for Niamh Lacker. The mens 4x100m freestyle team was made up of three of our Master Swimmers, Matt Steere, Jack Cook and Alex Spooner who were joined by Ben Strover from Top Squad. The chaps came in 4th, just outside the medals. Congratulations to you all. Great swims to finish off the Kents 2016. There are more pics from the day under the Photos menu.
On Saturday night our juniors competed in the Maritime Gala at Sevenoaks. Our excited young swimmers joined coach Clare, parent volunteers and our captain Ben Strover in the hot and noisy pool. Our young swimmers gave their races 100% and, judging from the noise levels, their support for each other as well was just as strong. A close run competition saw Orpington Ojays finish in 2nd place, just three points behind the winners. A great and enjoyable evening for all the swimmers who finished with their Ojays chant.
Massive congratulations to Morgan Squibb from Gold squad for winning the National Schools Biathle Championships at the weekend. Morgan travelled to Leweston School in Dorset to compete in the 400m run/50m swim/400m run event taking 1st place in the whole event! Morgan, who is currently ranked 2nd in the country, travels to Portugal next for the European Championships with Team GB with the hopes of qualifying for the World Series in Florida in October. Well done Morgan and good luck in Portugal.
Congratulations to Anna Hawkins from Gold Squad on being nominated for the June Jack Petchey award. Her commitment to swimming and always making every effort to do her best in training and at competitions make her a deserving winner. Well done Anna.
Congratulations to our Masters swimmers who defended and retained their title on Sunday. The relay is split into 4 legs. 1st 1.9k, 2nd 3.5k, 3rd 2.6k and 4th 1.5k. With Ben Cockburn dropping out due to the World Championship Duathlon in Spain, Katie Coad offered to swim the first and last legs of the relay with Matt Steere and Steve Morris swimming legs 2 & 3. The team won the relay race and this year took overall first position in 2 hours 3 minutes and 13 seconds, a touch slower than last year. Joining them to make a second team this year were Jack Cook, James Briggs, Meg Forbes and Mike Bond. Sadly due to illness, Mike had to withdraw just prior to the start so Jack swam legs 1 and 4 like Katie, James on leg 2 and Meg on leg 3. The new team finished 6th in the relay in 2 hours 24 minutes and 36 seconds. Niki Herbert raced in a two person relay with the Met Police. They finished 15th in 2 hours 39 minutes and 12 seconds. A great day in the sunshine finishing with a post race bar-b-que. Photos in the gallery.
Masters swimmer Ben Cockburn travelled to Aviles, Spain at the weekend to compete in the World Duathlon Championships. With 1400 athletes from 40 countries competing, this was a race for the best of the best. Ben was competing in the 20-24 Male AG Sprint which is a 5k run, followed by a 20k cycle and then another 5k run. Ben completed the first run in 17 minutes 22 seconds (a few hundred metres over the 5k according to GPS) which put him in 5th place out of 34. The 20k bike was going well but unfortunately disaster struck going into the second transition and Ben's race ended abruptly with two broken ribs and some quite nasty tarmac burns on his knees, arms and back. Ben flies back Tuesday and we all wish a him a speedy and healthy recovery.
What a few days it was for our swimmers who competed in the European Masters Championships at the 2012 Olympic Pool. We had 50’s, 100’s and a 400 in Freestyle, Butterfly and Backstroke. We had PB’s, SB’s and CB’s from our team, and for a few days we felt and acted like Team GB. We had union towels and celebrations in the pool like an Olympic Gold had been won, no matter the time or position. We had guns out, air punching, bolts and dabs on poolside. We had chats with the Germans in the call room and we had hat swaps with the French post race. We had queues so long but the wait so worthwhile. Lastly, we all had the best fun! So much fun that most of the swimmers have now entered the Masters Kents. Photos are in the gallery, videos will be sorted out later.
During the first and third weekends of May, seven of our swimmers had qualified in thirty six events were at the long course regionals. Top Squad swimmers Callum Baronti, Ellie Harding, Jess Herbert, Rachael Langdon, Michael Phillips, Eddie Sellar and Justin Strover swam many great races achieving many PBs, some by two seconds. In the 100 freestyle Eddie and Justin both achieved 2 seconds PB with Eddie finishing 8th in age group and Justin 7th. After her 100 butterfly Jess finished 8th in the 400m freestyle producing another PB. In the 50 freestyle were Jess, Eddie, Justin, Michael and Callum. Jess raced again in the 50 backstroke and was joined by Rachel and Ellie, with Ellie producing a PB. Callum finished the day off with the 200m butterfly finishing 10th. The next day saw Jess do the 100 free and Callum the 100 fly, followed by Ellie producing a two second PB in the 200 backstroke. In the last event of the third session Eddie, Justin and Michael swam the 400 freestyle. Eddie finished 8th in age group and Justin finished with a five second PB! Next up Callum and Justin raced in the 50 backstroke and Jess the 200m butterfly. Two weeks later the swimmers were back at Crystal Palace. Ellie produced a three second PB in the 100 backstroke with Jess finishing 9th in her age group. Callum followed with the 100m breaststroke and then Jess was back in for the 400m IM improving three out of four splits and finishing 6th. Callum was back with the 50m breaststroke and a PB and then Jess again with the 50m fly. Michael, Eddie and Justin were in the 200 freestyle with Justin and Eddie producing PBs, Justin a four second one finishing him 6th in the final. Jess finished the long day of racing off with a 200 IM. The morning session of the last day was for Eddie alone who swam the 100 backstroke producing yet another PB and the afternoon session was for Callum and Jess. Callum raced the 50 fly and Jess swam a two second PB in the 200 freestyle putting her 9th in age group. Many good races have been seen and great PBs so shortly after a successful Kent Championship. Well done to all our swimmers who participated in this high standard event making coaches and parents happy and proud. A thank you to parents and officials who attended and helped to make these competitions a great success.
Congratulations to Nick Bunclark and Tracy Van Rooyen who have now raced at the London Aquatic Centre in the European Masters Championship. Nick swam the 100m Fly and Tracy the 50m Backstroke. Despite the long queues both have said it was an amazing experience. Tomorrow sees Steve Morris, Matt Steere, Jack Cook, Alex Spooner, Iain Jameson and Gina Charleton in the pool for more racing. Follow us on twitter for latest info. Photos are in the photo gallery via the menu.Live video feed of main pool
Congratulations to Samantha Jackson for winning the Jack Petchey award for May. Samantha was nominated for her willingness to always train hard and consistently in Platinum Squad so she can achieve all her goals. Her hard work has paid off with the results she has recently achieved. Samantha also recently achieved another goal of meeting Rebecca Adlington at the London Aquatic Centre.
Congratulations to Alessio Tutt from Platinum squad for being awarded the April Jack Petchey Achievement Award. Alessio was nominated for his constant hard work and his friendly and positive attitude. He is always supportive at galas and makes every effort to always do his best. Well done Alessio.
With the warmer weather finally here our open water swimmers went to Hackney to race in the West Reservoir. Niki Herbert and Matt Steere entered the 3k race and Steve Morris with Jack Cook, who was swimming open water for the first time and racing, entered the 1500m With nice still 17 Celsius waters and the morning sunshine; Niki's race went in at 07:20, Jack and Steve set off at 07:50 with Matt hot on their hills at 07:55. Early starts for all. Niki completed her 4 laps of the course in 57:24.3 placing her 6th. Steve finished 4th in 21:50.5 and Jack finished 16th in 25:13.0. Matt swam a fantastic race finishing 1st in 41:31.6; a great start to the season. Congratulations everyone. More pics in the gallery.
Morgan Squibb, a member of gold squad, has been very busy flying the Orpington Ojays flag in some big competitions recently; but last Sunday (1st May), Morgan achieved the dream of so many! Morgan travelled to Millfield School in Somerset to compete in the GB Biathle qualifiers. Her race consisted of an 800m run, a 100m swim, followed by another 800m run. Her heat went well resulting in a place in the final meaning Morgan had to do the whole thing again! To make the GB squad Morgan would have to finish in the top 6. Morgan showed exceptional character under the pressure. Like a seasoned athlete Morgan found inner strength when it counted and was quicker in the final than her heat. Top 6 was the goal, 2nd was the result. An absolutely fantastic performance, well and truly securing her place in Team GB! Morgan is now off to Portugal in July to compete in the Biathle European Championships representing Great Britain. She has been given the full kit to wear along with a Team GB bag, swimming hat and Biathle suit. We are all of course incredibly proud of her and so very happy that all her hard work and dedication is paying off. Congratulations and good luck Morgan!
Billy Birchmore continues to lead the way at the DSSF European Championships in Southampton at the weekend. Billy won 7 Gold medals and also took two DSISO Short Course World Records in 50 back and the 400 free and the European Record in 100 Free. Billy will also be captaining the GB Team in July when they travel to Italy to compete in the Trisome Games in Florence. Amazing swims as always, congratulations!
On Saturday night a coach full of swimmers went to Becontree Heath Leisure Centre to compete in the White Horse League. We had many first place finishes and loads of PB's which unfortunately meant we incurred some speeding tickets. We finished 5th overall and as it was our Head Coach, Sergio's, birthday we celebrated with him taking a dip in the water. A great gala for our younger swimmers to take to the blocks and put the training into the racing. Congratulations to them all and thanks for the loud singing on the homebound coach.
Our long distance swimmers were out in force at the summer youth and age group distance event on Friday 8th April at Crystal Palace – Congratulations to our freestylers Justin Strover 9th 1500m, Jess Herbert 8th 800m, Daniella Shipley 7th 800m, William Magee-Brown 8th 1500m and to Ben Strover who won Bronze in 1500m. On Saturday and Sunday the Youth Championships were held at the Aquatic centre – the London Regionals are split into Youth 15+ years and Age group 11-14 years. Our team of 9 swimmers gave their best giving us great swims, PB’s, finals and a lot of fun on poolside. Well done to swimmers who qualified and participated in this event – Anna Cvjetan, Niamh Lacker, Katie Napier, Daniella Shipley 8th in 400m Free and 7th in 200m Free, Clio Bacon 10th in 50m Back, 8th in 50m Breaststroke, 6th in 100m Breaststroke, 4th in 200m Breaststroke and Ben Strover who swam each of the events twice (heat and finals) 10th in 200m Free, 9th in 200m IM, 6th in 50m and 100m Back, 50 and 400m Free, 4th in 400m IM.
On Monday evening head coach Sergio presented The Jack Peachey awards for February and March. February's winner was Will Dennis; nominated for his commitment to swimming, and always making every effort to do his best in training and at competitions. Noah Saunders won March's award. Noah was nominated for his constant hard work, his dedication to training and always making every effort to do his best. Congratulation to both the boys for their achievement.
Congratulations to Lizzie Bennett who has been voted Leicester University Vice Captain for 2016-17 and won Best Female Swimmer this week.
Congratulations to all those who took part in the swimathon today, raising money for Sport Relief. There are a few more photos in the gallery.
On the 13th March Orpington Ojays and Erith & District swimming clubs held the second Charity Gala to provide younger swimmers with an opportunity to compete and to raise funds for charity. Demelza House was voted as this year's chosen charity. It was a long day for everyone as there were 3 sessions but the day gave around 400 swimmers, many of whom were novices, the opportunity to take part in a busy Open meet. Huge thanks to Steve Birchmore for managing our swimmers for all three sessions and to everyone who helped to ensure that the gala ran smoothly. Your hard work meant that everyone had an enjoyable and successful day; thank you. Vice Captain Sam Gaster said "we are proud to see our younger swimmers get involved in competitions and its a great chance for them to improve - we look forward to seeing them poolside in the future".
This year saw a change of venue for the annual presentation evening to the Petts Wood memorial hall. There wasn't a spare seat in the house as parents purchased a beverages from our Ojays bar and the swimmers waited patiently for their trophies to be presented. We heard speeches from our Chairperson, Head coach and Club Captains followed by the presentation of 65 trophies and 149 plaques to all swimmers who competed in the club championships. Special trophies were presented to swimmers for their performances throughout the year followed by an opportunity for swimmers and parents alike to show off their moves on the dance floor! Sensationally Sweet photo booth provided us with professional snaps with trophies and some slightly less formal ones - gallery photos to view and download will be available soon. All in all a fun night and a great opportunity to celebrate the swimmers achievements with an added bonus of raising money for the club. Thanks to everyone for supporting the event and to the helpers on the night - special thanks to the Social Team for their hard work in organising the event and to One Inn the Wood for their delicious beer and cider!
Swimmers braved the sleet and cold to assemble at Eltham for the first round of the White Horse League 2016. There were some new faces in the selected team mixed with familiar ones, some of who moved up an age category this year. Continuing on from the Kent success, there were many exciting races and new PB’s being achieved with some winning first place positions. Competitive team spirit saw the club finish 5th out of 8. A good solid start to the league. Great to see the whole team looking the part, with club colours worn on poolside. Well done for supporting each other, swimming hard and making sure the Ojays Chant was heard by everyone. So much so, the announcer congratulated the team on their team chant and spirit!
Congratulations once again to Kent Team 2016. It was great to see all the swimmers and hear the jingle jangle of all the medals last night. Well done all.
The last weekend of the championships was held at the LAC and the events were the 50s and 200IM's. Our sprinters and IM swimmers were out in force up against the best in the county and they all did themselves and their club proud - almost every swim was a PB with more medals to add to the Ojays haul. Well done to our swimmers who competed: Alessia Tutt, Alice Bennett, Amy Jeffreys, Anna Cvjetan, Ben Strover, Beth Marsch, Billy Birchmore, Callum Baronti, Clio Bacon, Daniella Shipley, Eddie Sellar, Ellie Harden, Jess Sellar, Jess Herbert, Justin Strover, Katie Napier, Lilli Cutajar, Michael Phillips, Niamh Laker, Rachel Langdown, Samantha Jackson, Sam Kitchener, Will Dennis. Congratulations to this weekends finalists: Billy Birchmore 3rd in multi disability 200 medley, Clio Bacon 4th and Anna Cvjetan 8th in the girls 15yr 50 backstroke, Jess Herbert 4th in the girls 12yr 50 backstroke, Callum Baronti 6th in boys 13yr 50 fly, Clio bacon 2nd and Niamh Laker 7th in the 15yr 50 free, Niamh Laker 6th in the 15yr 50 fly, Clio Bacon 5th in the 15yr 50 breaststroke, Samantha Jackson 2nd in the girls 11/u 4x50IM and 5th in 11/u 50 breaststroke, Eddie Sellar 6th in the boys 12yr 50 free, Billy Birchmore 3rd in his category for 50 free. 32 Events, 27 swimmers, 53 medals, 4 weekends and 2 venues - that was the Kent County Championships 2016! Head coach Sergio said "Qualifying for the Kent county championships is already a big achievement and our swimmers surpassed themselves by achieving numerous great performances and pb's throughout the four weekends making the club proud finishing overall 7th in Kent. Well done Ojays!" A very big thanks to everyone who has helped to make these championships possible: Lorraine for managing the entries, officials Karen, Mandy, Fran, Gina and Sandra, parents for their unflagging support and of course to Sergio whose hard work is evident in the results. Don't forget the Kent parade on Monday 29th February 7pm poolside at the Walnuts!
It was the third weekend of the Kent County Championships and the last one at Crystal Palace at the weekend; the competition moves to the London Aquatic Centre next weekend. The weekend events were butterfly and breaststroke for the girls, and freestyle and backstroke for the boys. An amazing weekend of swimming with Billy Birchmore achieving 3 World Records in 100 backstroke, and 100 and 200 freestyle. Congratulations to all the swimmers who won 14 medals with lots of new P.B.'s along the way. Our team at the weekend were: Samantha Jackson; Alessio Tutt; Jess Herbert; Ben Langdown; Eddie Sellar; Callum Baronti; Justin Strover; Michael Phillips; Sam Kitchener; Lilli Cutajar; Clio Bacon; Anna Cvjetan; Niamh Laker; Amy Jefferies; Ben Strover; Samuel Gaster; Jess Sellar; Katie Napier and Billy Birchmore. Very well done to everyone and good luck for the final weekend of 50m sprints and 200IM at the LAC
The second of the four weekends was another success where our swimmers gave their best adding more P.B's, finals and even some medals and the team looked resplendent in their newly acquired Ojays Tattoos ! Well done to all the swimmers who swam this weekend: Alessio Tutt, Anna Cvjetan, Alice Bennett, Amy Jeffrey's, Ben Strover, Billy Birchmore, Callum Baronti, Clio Bacon, Daniella Shipley, Ed Sellar, Ellie Harden, Jessica Herbert, Katie Napier, Lilli Cutajar, Michael Phillips, Niamh Laker, Samantha Jackson, Noah Saunders, Sam Kitchener, Will Dennis. Congratulations to our swimmers who swam in the finals, placing top 8 in their age group giving points and pride to the club! Callum Baronti - County Champion 200 fly Billy Birchmore - silver in 100 fly Callum Baronti - 4th in 100 fly Clio Bacon - 6th 100 back and 100 free Jess Herbert - 2nd 200 free, 3rd 100 back, 4th 100 free Samantha Jackson - 2nd 200 free, 6th 100 back, 4th 200 free, 8th 100 free Daniella Shipley - 7th 200 free Added to the medal table 1 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze, 3 fourths, 3 sixth, 1 seventh and 1 eighth.
Congratulations to Ben from Gold Squad for being awarded the Jack Petchey Achievement Award last night. Ben has shown excellent efforts in training and competitions which have led to the achievement of Kent 2016 times.
Congratulations to all the swimmers competing in the first weekend of the Kent County Championships 2016. This weekend’s events were the 400m free, 400IM and 800m for the girls and 1500m for the boys. Whilst it is a huge achievement to qualify for these competitions the extra hard work our swimmers put in to prepare for these gruelling distance events has really paid off. Great results in the first weekend. 1 gold, 2 silver, 4 bronze, 4 fourth places, 1 fifth and 2 sixth places! We had many P.B.'s, some of which are faster than short course P.B.'s, among some great performances from our week 1 team of Alice Bennett, Ben Strover, Billy Birchmore, Clio Bacon, Daniella Shipley, Ed Sellar, Jess Herbert, Justin Strover, Katie Napier, Michael Phillips, Sam Gaster, Samantha Jackson and William Magee-Brown. Congratulations to our medallists: Billy Birchmore – 2nd and World Record in 400 free; Ed Sellar - County Champion 1500 free, 4th 400 free; Jess Herbert - 2nd 800 free, 3rd 400 IM and 400 free; Clio bacon - 3rd 400 IM; Justin Strover - 4th 1500 free, 5th 400 free; Samantha Jackson - 4th 400 free; Alice Bennett - 5th in 400 free, 6th 800 free; Daniella Shipley - 3rd 800 free, 6th 400 free; Photo of our 1500m Freestyle swimmers.
Orpington Ojays turned out in good numbers at the Ice Breaker Open in Canterbury on Saturday 2nd January 2016. We had some great swims from all 18 swimmers on the Saturday with a total of 4 1st places, 7 2nd places and 7 3rd places followed by 19 PBs. 1st places were for Amy Jefferys in Girls 15 years 100m Breaststroke with a PB; Amie Lawerence in the Girls 9b years 200m IM with a massive 20 sec PB; Samantha Jackson also in the Girls 10 years 200m IM and Edward Sellar in the Boys 11 years 100m Freestyle with a PB. 2nd places went to Max Peel 12years 400m F/c with a 5 second PB; Samuel Gaster also in the 15 years 400m Freestyle with a PB; Ben Langdown in the Boys 11 years Backstroke with a PB; Amie Lawerence in the Girls 9 years 50m Butterfly with a 6 second PB and also in the Girls 9 years 50m Freestyle; Samantha Jackson in the Girls 10 years 50m Butterfly with a PB; Jessica Sellar in the Girls 15 years 100m Butterfly and Edward Sellar in the Boys 11 years 50m Backstroke. Our 3rds were William Magee-Brown in the 15 years 400m Freestyle with a PB; Amy Jefferys in the Girls 15 years 50m Butterfly with a PB and also third in the Girls 15 years 200m Breaststroke; Lilli Cutajar in the Girls 13 years 100m Butterfly; Ben Langdown in the Boys 11 years 50m Backstroke; Jessica Sellar in the Girls 15 years 50m Freestyle and Eve Peel in the Girls 10 years 200m Breaststroke with a 7second PB. Our other PBs are from Ellen Jefferys in 100m Breaststroke; Eve Peel 100m Breaststroke and 50m Freestyle; Lilli Cutajar 50m Butterfly; Samuel Gaster in 50m Breaststroke; William Magee-Brown 200m Freestyle; Rachel Langdown 50m Freestyle and Samantha Jackson 50m Freestyle. Well done on all your PBs hope to see more of them. The other people who was also there and swam well were Nam Nguyen, Elizabeth Marsch, Katie Napier, Noah Saunders and Ellie Harden. Thank you to the parents that helped out on the Saturday it was a great help and of course to all the parents for the support.
Congratulations to Gina Fazzini who at the weekend qualified as a J1 official. Galas cannot be run without the correct number of qualified officials and it is a requirement of all opens and league galas that each club brings along officials so that swimmers can compete in a safe and well run gala. The club is always looking for parents to step forward and volunteer to train to become J1s - all training is provided by the county ASA. Please chat to one of our officials or the committee if you'd like to know more.