National Arena League (Round 2)

Tuesday 16th November 2021

On the 13th of November, our top swimmers from each age group attended Round 2 of the National Arena League. It was an intense evening of relays and individuals. Leading out the schedule of races were Samantha Jackson and Max Peel who swam the 200m Individual Medley, a classic starter to a team gala. Both Samantha and Max swam incredibly well with Samantha coming in 2nd place to start off the night. This was followed by a series of medley and freestyle relays before the individual races began. Throughout the gala, our swimmers put all their training into action. Plenty of personal bests were achieved, and overall, our swimmers came top 3 in 17 events with honourable mentions to Charlotte Field and Samuel Ryan for gaining 1st place positions in the 13/U 100m Breaststroke (Charlotte) and 15/U 100m Backstroke (Samuel). Towards the end of the night the relays started again. This is where fitness pays off as the swimmers put everything they have left in the tank into a final 50m swim before it's time to go home and often have a well-earned McDonalds. The Mixed open freestyle relay closes out the gala and always earns the award for loudest event of the night. All the clubs gather around the edge of the pool to cheer the top swimmers of their club into a final showdown. On Saturday evening we had four of our fastest front crawl swimmers to take on this challenge. Max Peel lead out the final relay with a time of 25.46, followed by Samantha Jackson swimming a 28.65, then Blythe Jolley-Ellis keeping up the pace with a 28.74 and finally Ben Langdown finishing the relay with a 25.54 and taking 2nd place overall. After a lot of fast and tough races overall Orpington Ojays managed to come 4th. Well done to all the swimmers who made the journey to Maidstone and swam their absolute best, achieving many personal bests and cheering on their teammates as loud as they can. We look forwards to seeing everyone again at the next gala!

OOJCS Swimmers Sparkle at the Fireworks Gala

Tuesday 9th November 2021

It was a fantastic weekend for Orpington Ojays and the 51 swimmers that competed at the EDSC and DDSC Fireworks gala. It was also Winter Regionals weekend, and some of our swimmers swam at both events! It was also particularly nice to welcome some of our younger members to their first ever gala and see them do so well. We had 137 PB's and came away with 74 Medals comprising 22 Gold, 26 Silver and 26 Bronze. Big thanks to Coaches Nick, Sam and Simon and all our amazing Team Managers and Officials, and our gratitude goes to all our squad coaches whose hard work in the pool is self-evident.

Kent Development Meet

Monday 25th October 2021

This weekend our younger swimmers were competing at the Kent Development Meet at Medway Park. This is a favourite pool for many swimmers over the years. Known as being a fast pool, perhaps because the spectator balcony is so close and wraps the far end of the pool, well in view when behind the blocks ready to race. The atmosphere is always fantastic and this really help translate into fantastic performances. We had 24 swimmers at the event, all aged 14 or under. Looking after everyone was our Gold squad coach Sam, along with our Team Managers Jo, Lindsay and Mark plus Dave officiating. A big thank you of course to them. Congratulation to our swimmers who put in some wonderful well deserved performances. Together they achieved 67 personal best times which brought them 4 gold medals, 10 silver and 4 bronze along with thirteen 4th, 5th and 6th places.

More photos here

Arena League Round 1

Wednesday 13th October 2021

Saturday evening saw Orpington Ojays compete in the first round of the Arena league. It was a very surreal feeling after Covid had previously stopped competitions like this from happening and the atmosphere was amazing. Voices were lost, PB’s were smashed, Arena League debuts were made, and we had club records broken! Special mention to Blythe who broke the minute in her 100m FC along with the club record, congratulations! Orpington finished 4th overall in the first round which is a good start for the club. All the swimmers had a great time with our supporters sharing that same enjoyment. Our entire team should be proud of all our performances on Saturday. Well done to everyone and onto the next round we go.

Olympic Gold Medalist Joseph Choong

Tuesday 5th October 2021

On Monday 4th October, Olympic Gold Medalist Joseph Choong was kind enough to drop by the Walnuts for an hour and talk to our swimmers. Joseph competed for Team GB in Tokyo and brought home the top prize of an Olympic Gold! His event was the tough modern pentathlon which contains five individual events; pistol shooting, épée fencing, 200 metres freestyle swimming, show jumping, and a 3.2 kilometres cross-country run. He gave us a wonderful motivational talk about his experiences, starting with learning to swim in the teaching pool at the Walnuts. He talked about his training, he used to train with OOJSC, and how he made the switch to training for the pentathlon. He spoke about writing five reasons down for why he trains and then if he feels unmotivated how he returns to those five reasons and picks one to focus on. He also reassured us all that he is just like everyone else in our club, and that it is only through hard work and being dedicated to his dream he was able to turn his dream into reality. There are no shortcuts, the hours have to be put in, and continual listening, thinking, and improving are the way forward. Joseph finished off the evening by answering questions from our team, and then kindly took part in a photo session with that coveted Gold medal. Thank you so much to Joseph and his friends at OOJSC for arranging such an informative and friendly evening. If you are interested in learning more about the Pentathlon, click the link below; you will see one of our former swimmers on the homepage photo as well!

All the photos from the evening

Swim England National Event Camps

Saturday 25th September 2021

Congratulations to Sam Ryan from Top Squad who has been selected for step four, National Event Camps, on the Swim England Talent Pathway. Only 180 swimmers are selected, so to be on the camp is a wonderful achievement. The Programme aims to introduce and understand advanced technical and tactical development areas for specific racing events. 🏊‍♂️Develop and understand your technical capabilities with the help of extensive video analysis. 🏊‍♂️Cover the tactical execution of world class swimmers in specific events. 🏊‍♂️Learn race preparation, nutrition for specific events and practical ways of monitoring health. 🏊‍♂️Develop understanding of the Swim England Inclusion and culture policy and how it encourages the correct learning environment for all. 🏊‍♂️Develop the Person, Athlete and performer skills and attributes of OADF. 🏊‍♂️Understand and self-regulate mental and physical wellbeing. 🏊‍♂️To be a fun positive experience that fosters curiosity around the progressions of the sport for lifelong learning, participation and performance

Swim Serpentine

Sunday 19th September 2021

On Saturday 18th September in London's Hyde Park, Orpington Ojays had two swimmers and one former swimmer in the lake racing. Such a beautiful day in the capital, The Serpentine hosted 3,474 swimmers competing in either 1/2 mile, 1 mile, 2 miles or 6 miles events. Two years ago Megan Ward from Gold squad entered the 1/2 mile event, but now with two more birthdays gone she was able to enter the Women's Only 1 mile race which had 139 swimmers racing. With her wet suit on, and tow float for safety, Megan was off and racing from the start. One lap of the lake, keeping the enormous inflatable buoys on her right shoulder, she powered round in 00:29:15, which meant she won her age group and finished 8th overall and leaving the other 131 swimmers still in the water. An amazing performance from Megan which was then topped off by meeting a legend of athletics track Mr. Linford Christie OBE. Linford had raced the 1/2 mile in 00:24:01, which was enough to win his age group in that event and finish in the top half overall. Just after lunch, Steve Morris from Masters squad and former OOJSC swimmer Jess Page were swimming the mixed 1 mile event which had 614 entrants. Steve finished 2nd in his age group and 4th overall in 00:23:15 and Jess was 2nd female in age group, 3rd female overall and 13th overall in 00:24:32 Such an exciting busy event to be a part of, and massive congratulation to all the swimmers, and those involved in making work so smoothly.

Photos from the day

National Development Programme

Wednesday 15th September 2021

Swim England have selected Top Squad swimmer Charlotte Field to join Phase 1 of this year's National Development Programme Charlotte was chosen thanks to the great times she achieved at recent galas, including the Festival of Swimming at the London Aquatic Centre. Her achievement means she is one of the top swimmers in her age group in the country. She will attend two training camps with top coaches and learn about how to work to get the best times she can via technical and soft skill workshops. Congratulations to Charlotte and the coaching team behind her for being selected. No doubt Charlotte will have an enjoyable experience and OOJSC will benefit from her learnings.

Chris Cook swims the English Channel

Saturday 21st August 2021

Former Master swimmer Chris Cook, kept up his swimming through 2020 and 2021 lock downs with open and wild water swimming. With all that training under his belt, he decided that this was his best time to tackle one of swimming's toughest events; the English Channel. From Chris' Strava post: "Absolutely brutal 7 hours in English inshore waters and north east shipping lane, worst chop I think I’ve swum in, and those that know me, know I enjoy the waves! Separation zone was bliss, clean water (oddly) and calm, few jellies. If this had not been the case, I’m not sure I would have made it. South west shipping Lane the wind picked up, but I had the current and could shelter from boat. French inshore waters was tough, but calmed down for a relatively flat finish. Everything hurts!!" According to Strava, Chris swum 48,266m in 12 hours 31 minutes. For us pool swimmers that equates to a main set of 482 x 100m Freestyle off 1:33 . That is a massive 1446 lengths of the Walnuts, plus two lengths swim down at the same pace as the main set! Congratulations Chris on your amazing event, and also to the fund raising for Crohn’s & Colitis UK in memory of his cousin Jenny who sadly lost her life to Bowel Cancer at the age of 38.

Facebook Group with a great write up from Chris

Two 1st's a 2nd and a 3rd in and around the lake

Thursday 12th August 2021

It was the last of the three summer Ocean Lake Tri Aquathlon events at Leybourne Lakes yesterday and Orpington Ojays, former Orpingon Ojays, former Orpington Swimming Club and friends had a big showing. We also had a good number of supporters with Steve's wife Kerry, Jess' parents and other friends turning up to enjoy the event. The evening conditions were perfect, clear blue skies, warm still water and the slightest of breezes. With restrictions eased again since the second race we were back to the mass start. All 750m and 1500m swimmers in the water together waiting for the order to race. We had three swimmers in the 1500m swim and four in the 750m. We also had a split decision on wetsuit or skins. Mark, Matt S, Steve and Tony opted for wetsuits and Gina, Jess and Matt P opted for skins. Wetsuits will give you a speed advantage in the water, but obviously increase your time in transition. After the swim, everyone opted for the 5k run which is twice around the lake. Quite a few turns and an unforgiving trail surface if you stumble keep it interesting Both Matt S and Jess won the men's and women's 1500m swim with 5k run, and Steve was third. In the 750m swim with 5k run Gina came in second less than a minute behind the winner. In the men's event Matt P was 8th, Mark was 15th and Tony was thirteen seconds after in 16th. Congratulations to everyone taking part. Apart from the home club, Orpington Ojays had the most athletes competing, without counting our former members and friends! Hopefully next year we can entice some of the Top and Platinum squad strava swimmers who tried out Open Water and running when the pools were shut to this small relaxed introductory event. Photo left to right: Matt P (Jess' BF), Steve and Tony (Masters), Jess (former OOJSC), Matt and Gina (Masters) and back racing again after about a 30 year break Mark (former OSC)

Short video of event

Bewl Water Tri

Monday 9th August 2021

24 hours after the open water event, Steve was back at Bewl for the Olympic distance triathlon with ex OOJSC member Jessica Page. The weather was pretty much the same, and so were the conditions. Knowing what to expect Steve and Jess where up front for the 1.5km swim. Steve was out the water in 26:20, first in age group and 7th overall; Jess was out ten seconds later in 26:30 and was first in age group and second female. Kerry, Steve's wife, was by the swim exit and says that many of the swimmers struggled terribly in the rough conditions. The last turn buoy was abandoned for the back of the field, many of whom were doing breaststroke, unable to battle the conditions. Swimmers came out complaining of seasickness and dizziness, and the last four men to leave the water took just short of an hour to complete the 1.5km. The 40km bike course was mostly a fast flat course. Jess easily took Steve on the bike and finished in 1 hour 20 minutes and 2 seconds, with Steve coming in on 1 hour 24 minutes and 34 seconds. Out onto the damn wall for four laps to finish off the triathlon with a 10km run. Steve's London Marathon training paid dividends here and he was able to real Jess back in. Jess completed the 10km run in 49:24 and Steve crossed the line moments behind her in 46:35. With 156 competitors it was amazing Steve and Jess finished one behind the other. It was a staggered male then female start so even though Steve followed Jess over the finsih line he was actually 7 places behind. Jess finished 59th overall in 2 hours 43 minutes and 40 seconds and Steve was 66th overall in 2 hours 46 minutes and 4 seconds. Jess won her age group from 8 and Steve was 6th in age group from 12.

Gina takes Silver at Bewl Water

Saturday 7th August 2021

On a windy grey British summer morning; Gina and Steve, from Masters, made there way to Bewl Water for a 1.9km swim in the reservoir. Conditions were terrible. The reservoir had waves with white horses making the swim more of a fight with nature than a race. Even with a high elbow, some recovery strokes were completely underwater and with waves like that, breathing to one side was the only option. Sighting was difficult, with Steve having to be sent back on course by one of the many safety kayaks on the water. Gina was the 2nd female out the water and was rewarded with a lovely silver plate to accompany her finishers medal. Gina was 1st in age group and 8th overall in 0:36:49. Steve was 1st in age group and 5th overall in 0:32:34. As the rain started to fall, some swimmers were continuing on with the 3.9km race. Wind, waves and rain; not for the faint hearted. Congratulations to Gina, and Steve, for a great effort. This marks the last UK event for Gina for a little while, as she has taken a teaching contract abroad for two years. After many years at OOJSC as a swimmer and a coach Gina will be saying au revoir to OOJSC next Thursday. Obviously she will still be on our club Strava group so we can see how she gets on training and competing in the heat of Egypt. Good luck Gina in your new adventure.

Festival of Swimming

Wednesday 28th July 2021

A big congratulations to all those that swam at the Festival of Swimming this weekend! For all it was the first time back in a 50m pool for almost two years, and what a pool to be in; one of the finest in the world. Considering everything that has gone on in the last 18 months, we came away with plenty of PB’s and 15 medals in total! 7 Gold, 4 Silver and 4 Bronze. This is a fantastic achievement and everyone that was there should be extremely proud of themselves. During lunch there was some time to catch up on the Olympics and take a good look at the strokes, starts, turns and finishes in Tokyo. That’s our sign off now for the ( mini ) season. Enjoy the well earned break and we shall be seeing you all poolside in just under 2 weeks.

Our new Club Captain's

Monday 19th July 2021

Congratulations to our Captains Ellie and Ben, and our Vice Captains Sophia and Sam.

1st and 2nd for the July Aquathlon

Thursday 15th July 2021

Wednesday evening saw Matt and Steve from Masters back in action at Leybourne Lakes racing in an Aquathlon. Athletes can choose between 750m or 1500m swim followed by 2.5k or 5k run. Our two swimmers opted for the 1500m swim and then the 5k run. The water was a lovely 22c but both decided on wetsuits for the extra speed due to increased streamlining the wetsuit gives you. Due to current restrictions the race was started 5 swimmers at a time rather that a mass start, which means it's is impossible to know your position during the race. When the times were sorted out; Matt won the event with Steve in second place and both of our swimmers were delighted to be back racing on such a lovely evening. There is another race on August 11th, so if any of our swimmers who tried out open water swimming last year are interested in a small friendly midweek evening event to have a taste of something a bit different, then get in touch with Steve to find out what it's all about.

Club Captains

Wednesday 7th July 2021

As always we have had a wonderful response to the call for club captains. Thank you to all the swimmers who uploaded their video applications. It is not easy choosing the captains of course, which is a good thing. Congratulations to the swimmers taking on the roles, and thank you to those stepping down, those involved in the decision and to David for announcing who they are on the video.

Monson Summer Splash.

Monday 5th July 2021

Wow, what a great weekend back to racing! Where to start? Well done to all our swimmers, every single one of you, dusted off the cobwebs and gave everything in the pool. There were so many PB’s it was almost impossible to keep count. In a different style of environment to what we are used to, Orpington showed great maturity following the new structure with excellent behaviour and attitude. This echoed from our elder swimmers in top squad, down to those that have never swam in a competition before! Among many highlights, was seeing the smiles and joy on the faces of all the swimmers ( even if some were just trying to hide the nerves of stepping back up on that block after so long ) ! A big thank you, as always, to our volunteers. Sometimes their help goes under the radar, but frankly, without their tireless dedication OOJSC would not be able to enjoy these competitions and have them running in the first place. From marshalling swimmers to officiating and even assisting poolside recording splits. Our volunteers are a credit to the club and we appreciate what you do so much; especially with our head coach less mobile that usual! Of course, a big thank you to Monson for being one of the first to take a step and host the first gala since the Pandemic had begun. With all the changes and different approaches, both days ran extremely smoothly. Many thanks again. On a side note, coming this week we will have our new captains announced so please do look out for that. Keep swimming fast and training hard.

June Newsletter

Monday 7th June 2021

The months are rolling around; here is the link to the June newsletter.

Monday 12th of April

Thursday 8th April 2021

Yes, that’s right! We’re re-opening! The committee have reviewed the latest guidelines from Swim England and our pool providers and we now ready to return to swimming from Monday 12th April 2021. MyTime have confirmed the pool time we have at both the Walnuts and now also at Biggin Hill. As we cautiously move out of the current restrictions through this year, we hope some of the restrictions we had previously will be relaxed and we will make our members aware if changes can be made. In the meantime, we hope to see as many of you possible poolside. As part of the guidelines we have to ensure all swimmers and volunteers complete the Covid and Health Declarations. These forms are new and need to be complete again prior to swimming. Links to these forms can be found at the end of this article. Please complete these forms before your first swimming session. The updated training schedule is available on this website under the Information/Squads menu item. Please take a look to ensure you know when and where you are swimming; there have been a few changes to some squads. Please remember to adjust your adjust \ reinstate your monthly Standing Order to the Squad Fee as of the 1st working day of the month where possible. Any adjustments for partial months will be invoiced separately. Please note that you are still required to wear face coverings when moving around any of the venues – unless you are exempt. Please make our Welfare Officer aware of any exemptions via email to Covid Liaison volunteers will still play a big part of our routine. Without enough volunteers, the swimming sessions can not take place. Please spare some time where possible to ensure the session run as smoothly as possible. All swimmers are required to wear a swim cap when in the water. One of these, along with the other vital kit is available from our club shop! Don’t forget to update your information in Team Unify or the OnDeck Mobile Application. It is vital we have telephone contact numbers in the system, as well as being able to see attendance, personal best records and more. Please let us know if you have any questions\issues with the system. If you have any questions on any subjects please do not hesitate to contact us. The committee email addresses are on the Information/Our Committee menu link

Covid awareness declaration
Health survey


Monday 29th March 2021

Almost April already, and if everything stays on track the indoor pools will soon be opening for our under 18's with our over 18's returning in May. With this good news, here is our latest newsletter.

Fantastic Job Orpington Ojays. You are all amazing

Monday 22nd March 2021

Fantastic Job Orpington Ojays. You are all amazing. Our Strava team of 70 athletes have ran, walked, swam, cycled and scootered well past our target of 5,944 miles on our virtual relay to Tokyo. The stadiums look amazing, and the planning is nearly done, but there is one small technical hitch - due to pesky Covid -19 they are no longer allowing international spectators to attend. So, we need to get back home pretty quickly and organise a prime viewing spot on the sofa. Not only that, but the day most of us get back in the water is fast approaching, and we cannot be late for training. From Tadpoles to Masters, our squad members and their families and their dogs have all been a part of something special. We have discovered that swimmers CAN run as well as swim, and that fresh air really DOES lift our spirits. We have trained through snow, rain, sunshine and everything else between. It has been so nice to see what everyone has been achieving and reading encouraging and supportive comments on the Strava page. Please continue; the Strava link is live and we can continue to share our experiences and engage as a team. Fundraising has gone well and so far we’ve raised £705. Thank you. I know some people were holding back to see if we made it before adding to the total. Well, we have, so you can make your donations now. Watch out for future fund-raising ideas (share if you have any) as we really do need to hit that £2000 target. Well done team, let us keep up the fabulous routines and keep posting your progress. Strava has lots of smaller individual challenges to choose from and there are also virtual events to enter where you can earn real medals. Congratulations Team Ojays you are all superstars.

OOJSC on Strava

Week 7

Monday 15th March 2021

As a team we have covered 11,000km on our virtual relay together. An absolutely fantastic achievement and one that puts us just north of the Oki Islands in the Sea of Japan. This week has seen the return to school, which many of our swimmers and their families are incredibly happy about. Trainers and slippers are swapped for smart shoes, and school uniforms replace joggers and Dri-FIT T-shirts. Whilst the school day has slowed the number of early morning exercise sessions, lighter evenings are helping to keep the pace up and our fitness levels for when we get back in the water. Week 7 was the week when one of our athletes set new personal record. Lucas Bond set a personal distance record completing his first ever 5k run! An amazing achievement and the distance many people target when they first lace up running shoes. Congratulations Lucas, you have done it and it can never be undone. Nick Bunclark, a senior athlete, also achieved a distance he has not managed in over three years, when he crossed the 10k mark on Mother’s Day. Ava Hickey made us all wish we went to her school with the photos of her school pool which she has access to before classes. Steve Morris was back trail running through dark woods and Justin Strover once again hit the track with his outstanding pace to lead some of the challenge leader boards. With Tokyo so close, we need to keep going for that last little bit…no breathing in the last 5 meters! That means with the fund raising as well. Our goal was to raise £2000, but let’s see if we can all chip in to get half way by the time we reach Tokyo! Can we raise the remaining £295 by next weekend? As a team we can!

Just Giving Fundraising page

Club kit

Thursday 11th March 2021

With good fortune and everyone playing their part in keeping the population safe by reducing the risks of coronavirus infection to as low as possible, we are looking forward to the day when we can return to training and then one day competition. With that in mind we have been working with our club kit manufacture to streamline the process of ordering our poolside kit. Below is the link for ZEON, the company we purchase the Club Kit from. The link takes you to the OOJSC Club Kit range and purchasing page. To order our kit you will need to register and login. Once logged in you can then purchase whatever part of our club kit range you require. Payment is required to submit the order, however, as the kit is custom made ZEON will batch up your order with others and then deliver to the club three times per year. You will then be able to collect your order from the Walnuts on a Monday evening. Closing dates for each batch will be published so please keep an eye on this website, and the noticeboard the pool. Plenty of our swimmers already have this kit, so if you are ordering for the first time then chances are you can ask friends in your squad what size they have so you can be sure to get the size you require. The kit will have you name on it, so please be sure you are confident on the size as exchanges are not possible.

Club Kit

Week 6 of our Virtual Relay

Tuesday 9th March 2021

Week six is behind us already and we have raised a fantastic £705 so far. Thank you for all your support in our massive multidiscipline virtual relay! The maps on Strava can often paint lovely and interesting shaps. Some are perfect loops of parks, very orderly, whilst others are crazy zigzagging routes around the countryside. This week Tom Barrett created an amazing spiral in the middle of sea, which was apparently his virtual ride up a volcano! Obviously the gps data is slightly off, which whilst unfortunate does make a cool map. As expected, Chris Cook did take to the sea and he reported that the temperature was colder than when it was snowing. He kept his composure though and swam an impressive 2k. Certainly not recommended for those that have not taken part in cold water training. For the rest of us, warmer water will soon be available as we make our way through 2021. It is wonderful to see some of our younger swimmers still joining the challenge. Finola did a nice long walk this week and it is great to see swimmers getting into good routines; like Sam R, Max P, Ava H (first 10k), Billy B, Max B, Oliver W, Samantha J, Sophie F, Tom B and Hannah S. Keep up the good work, it is helping you stay fit and ready to make a splash when we return, alongside nudging us ever closer to Tokyo. We added just over 1700km this week, which takes us to just over 9000km on our journey. Stay hydrated, keep stretching and listen to what your body is telling you.

Just Giving Fundraising page

Week 5

Monday 1st March 2021

We are doing so well now having covered approximately 7,416KM, we are somewhere over Mongolia, at this rate we will be heading into Tokyo in just a few weeks. WOOHOO! Fund raising has had a boost this week as well and the total now stands at £650 almost a third of the way to our £2000 total. If you have not yet asked your friends and family to support the team, then please do so this week. It would be so great if we can raise the money in time for our arrival in Tokyo. The spring sunshine has prompted some to dust off those bikes in the shed, round up the kids and partners for some sunshine rides. Lovely to see some of our tadpoles Chloe and Isabel were out on their scooters with mum walking behind at city pace to keep up. Lovely to see the photos of Chris who lives within a reasonable distance of the sea. The photos of him getting into the cold waters are a reminder of the close future where we can all get back in the water. Please continue to play your important part in keeping everyone safe to minimise the chance of those dates slipping. This week our runners have been challenging themselves with some mammoth distances – some half marathons being put on the board, some sprint sets with Justin setting a blistering pace over 5km, and others like Grant, opted for a challenging hill set. Wonderful efforts from everyone. The February challenges are in. Steve Morris and Louis Strover were our only entrants in the half marathon, taking Gold and Silver respectively. For the 10k they were joined by Justin Strover and Mark and Lauren Bond. Justin took Gold from Steve with an average pace of 5:04/km. In the 5km challenge we had Justin was out of sight, taking gold with an average pace of 3:05/km. Steve was in Silver with 4:30/km and Nick Bunclark grabbed Bronze with 5:20/km. Jess Page, Callum B and Megan Ward joined Lauren and Mark Bond for other places. A new month brings new chance to get on the boards. You only need to finished the distance and there are many many challenges to choose from for all disciplines. Enjoy.

Strava Challenges for March

Tokyo Relay Week 4

Monday 22nd February 2021

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.

JustGiving Fundraising page

Masters Coach Nick Retires

Tuesday 16th February 2021

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.

Support Team Orpington Ojays SC

Tokyo Challenge (Week 2)

Monday 8th February 2021

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 🏃‍♀️🚶‍♂️🏊‍♂️🚴‍♂️

Support Team Orpington Ojays SC

Joe Gaster is appointed Head Coach

Thursday 4th February 2021

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.

Just Giving Fundraising page

Unsung Hero Swim England London Volunteer Award

Wednesday 20th January 2021

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.

Unsung Hero Swim England London Volunteer Award (D


Tuesday 19th January 2021

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.

Strava OOJSC

Happy New Year

Friday 1st January 2021

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.

Club shop