The news

Weekend 3 of The Kents

Mon 19/Feb/2018

The third weekend of the Kents started with the girls 100 butterfly. Well done to Emily Serafini, Amie Gould, Sophia O’Neill, Samantha Jackson, Amie Lawrence, Jess Herbert and Lilli Cutajar for their great performances and personal bests in this tough event. We had great performances from the boys too in the Mens 200 backstroke with Michael Phillips, Max Peel Justin Strover and Ben Strover who all swam pbs. Michael came 5th, Max 8th and Ben came 3rd in his age group and 4th overall. After a short break and warm up it was time for the Mens 100 backstroke. Thomas Barrett, Sam Ryan, Ben Langdown, Callum Baronti, Justin Strover, Max Peel, Billy Birchmore, Michael Phillips and Ben Strover took part with great improvements. Michael Phillips, and Ben Strover had the chance to better their pbs in the finals with Michael improving his position to 7th, Ben finishing 6th in his age group and 8th overall and to top it up Billy Birchmore came 2nd by points achieving an improvement to his DSISO world record. There were also three top 8 positions and personal bests for the girls with Amie Lawrence finishing 6th, Lilli Cutajar 8th and Jess Herbert 6th in the ladies 200 Fly which concluded a great day. The next day of events had the Ladies 100 Breaststroke. Sophia O’Neill, Abigail Leeves, Samantha Jackson, Anna Hawkins and Honor Kingsley-Smith again swum numerous pbs. Well done also to Alice Leng for improving her time and position in the final finishing 7th and Clio Bacon finishing 5th. Well done to Callum Baronti who suffering with a bad cold did not pull out of the 200 free. Congratulations to Ben for his pb and 5th place in his age group and 7th in the open and Billy Birchmore on his 1st place. Well done to Thomas Barrett, Callum Baronti, Michael Phillips, Ben Strover for improving their times in one of the most competitive events of the championship; the Men’s 100 freestyle. Well done to Billy Birchmore for setting a new DSISO world record in the same event. The last event of the weekend was the ladies 200 breaststroke. We had some great performances from Alice Leng, Samantha Jacskon with a pb and 6th place and Honor Kingsley-Smith also with a pb and 5th place. Another great weekend with the many great swims and points placing Orpington Ojays 12th for the boys, 8th for the girls and 1st for Multiclassifications - one weekend away from the end of the Championship.

Weekend 2 of The Kents

Thu 01/Feb/2018

The second weekend of Kent Championship was a much busier meet with fly and breaststroke for the boys and girls back and freestyle on the schedule. Soon after the warm up we were ready to cheer Billy Birchmore, Ben Langdown, Callum Baronti and Ben Strover racing in the Men 100 Fly. All the boys achieved new long course pbs and well done to Billy who finished in 2nd place. There was long continuous cheering also for our seven girls competing in 200 Backstroke. Well done for their great performances to Emily Serafini, Sophia O’Neill, Hannah Strover, Matilda Barrett, Rachel Langdown, Ellie Harden and Jess Herbert. Congratulations to Sophia O’Neill achieving 8th place, Hannah Strover achieving 6th and Jess Herbert achieving 3rd place in their age groups. Another popular event is the girls 100 Back. Great performances were swam by our swimmers in this event. Well done to Emily Serafini, Samantha Jackson, Sophia O’Neill, Hannah Strover, Matilda Barrett, Rachel Langdown, Jess Herbert and Ellie Harden for their great swims. Well done to Jess Herbert who finished 3rd in the heat and final. Callum concluded the day with a very well paced swim in the boys 200 fly finishing with a new pb and in 6th place. On the Sunday Thomas Barrett, Michael Phillips and Callum Baronti exceeded expectations with their performances all topped up by Billy Birchmore’s 10 seconds pb and a Gold medal in the Mens 100 Breaststroke. The girls replied well in their next event, the 200 free. Emily Serafini, Sophia O’Neill, Samantha Jackson, Amie Lawrence, Ellie Harden, Matilda Barrett, Honor Kingsley Smith and Jess Herbert didn’t disappoint with their swims and pbs. Well done to Sophia O’Neill finishing 8th, Samantha Jacskon and Jess Herbert 7th and Amie Lawrence 5th. After a short lunch break the last session of the weekend started with Emily Serafini, Amie Lawrence, Sophia O’Neill, Honor Kingsley-Smith, Jess Herbert and Clio Bacon achieving pbs in the Girls 100 free. Congratulations to Sophia O’Neill who managed 8th place in the final and finishing 7th with a double pb and to Clio Bacon qualifying 4th in heat and final and getting closer and closer to the sub minute mark. Callum Baronti rounded off the weekend finsihing a fantastic 7th in the Mens 200 Breastroke. Another great weekend with many great swims and pbs.

Kents Long Distance

Thu 01/Feb/2018

A great start of the Kent County Championship with the middle and long distance events. We fielded eight swimmers in twelve events throughout the whole weekend. First in line for the boys 400 free were Billy Birchmore, Max Peel, Justin Strover and Benjamin Strover who exceeded expectations achieving new long course pbs. Well done to Ben Strover for finishing 4th in his age group. In the 400 IM were Callum Baronti and Ben Strover. Great swims for both achieving long course pbs. Congratulations to Ben Strover for achieving more points for Orpington Ojays with another 4th place. We also had three girls racing in the 400m Freestyle. Well done to Sophia O’Neill, Matilda Barrett and Jess Herbert for their long course pbs and a 6th place for Jess. After a long first day Max Peel, Justin Strover and Ben Strover were back for the 1500 free. It is a hard race and the boys gave their best with Max and Justin achieving long course pbs and Ben another fourth place. The last event of the weekend is the girls 800m Freestyle and for this event we had one swimmer. Congratulations to Honor Kingsley-Smith who finished 6th in her age group. A great first weekend of competitions with many good swims, pbs and happy simmers and coaches.

New Year Ice Breaker

Thu 11/Jan/2018

On the first weekend of 2018 more than 40 swimmers travelled to Canterbury for the Ice Breaker open meet. This was the last chance to achieve qualifying times for the Kent County competitions. Once again our swimmers performed brilliantly and showed great support and team spirit towards their fellow swimmers competing. It was a busy event which saw numerous pbs, many medals and Kent qualifying times all accompanied by our parent's loud support cheering in each of the many races. It was a great event which couldn’t have been possible without the help of parents and officials. Well done! Max Peel – Gold in 100m and 200m Backstroke; Silver in 400m Freestyle and 50m Backstroke Samantha Jackson – Gold in 200m and 100m Breaststroke; Silver in 50m Breaststroke; Bronze in the 50m Butterfly Ellie Harden – Gold in 100m Backstroke; Silver in 50m Backstroke; Bronze in 200m Backstroke Alice Leng – Gold in 50m Breaststroke; Silver in 200m Breaststroke Thomas Barrett – Silver in 50m Breaststroke; 200m Backstroke and 50m Freestyle Matilda Barrett – Silver in 400m IM and 100m Freestyle; Bronze in 200m and 400m Freestyle Charlotte Field – Silver in 100m Breaststroke; Bronze in 50m and 200m Breaststroke and 100m Freestyle Lilli Cutajar – Bronze in 100m Butterfly Anna Hawkins – Bronze in 100m Breaststroke Ava Hickey – Bronze in 200m Freestyle

Full results

Billy makes history at INAS World Champs

Mon 11/Dec/2017

Massive congratulations to Billy Birchmore who earlier in the month had an outstanding INAS World Championships. Billy started the meet on top form by setting a new World Record during the heats of the 50m Freestyle DS Class in 30.56 seconds. He also made history by being the first ever Great Britain Gold medallist at an INAS Sport Championships, Down syndrome class. He was crowned World Champion in the 200m backstroke in 3:04.21. He took the same title for the 200m, 400m and 1500m Freestyle as well! For the 50 Freestyle and Backstroke Billy won Silver and in the 100m Freestyle he won Bronze. An amazing set of the results Billy! Simply outstanding.

Photos taken from the @DSSGB1 twitter feed.

National Arena League - The Final Round

Mon 11/Dec/2017

On Saturday night the team boarded the coach to Horsham. With little traffic, our swimmers arrived early and keen to get in the pool. As this was the final round of the league the atmosphere was buzzing with excitement and nervous energy. With 50 events on the programme and 10 swum we were in 4th place after the first set of relays. The swimmers watching, cheering and working out the points race by race telling each other which teams they had to beat. Race by race the points began to build. The last set of relays everyone knew what needed to be done. Age by age group we raced with the volume at the pool increasing with each take over. By the last two races, the ladies and mens open 6x50 freestyle, the excitement was intense and the volume incredible. Both of the races were tight, with positions changing numerous times through out. Our swimmers in both events came through and managed to finish in first place. It was a great evening with great team spirit and excellent individual swims from our younger swimmers to our masters which resulted in us finishing the evening in 2nd place! Final results 1st - Croydon - 214 points 2nd - Orpington Ojays - 201 points 3rd - Ashford & East Grinstead - 179 points 5th - Shepway - 168 points 6th - Dover - 108 points Thanks to all the helpers, coach Damien, parents and swimmers.

Billy to compete in the 2017 Inas World Swimming Championships

Tue 28/Nov/2017

The UK Sports Association for People with Learning Disability (UKSA) and Downs Syndrome Swimming GB (DSS-GB) are pleased to announce their new collaboration resulting in two swimmers being selected to represent Great Britain at the Inas World Swimming Championships in Mexico, 27th November to 4th December 2017. Preparing for tough competition at one of Inas’s top World events and making their international debut for Great Britain at an Inas Championships are Billy Birchmore (Bickley, Kent), and Mark Holmes (Colchester, Essex). Birchmore and Holmes are members of Orpington Ojays and Colchester Phoenix Clubs respectively. The GB Team will be led by Keith Holmes, Team Manager (Colchester, Essex), supported by Head Coach, Steve Birchmore (Bickley, Kent). Tracey McCillen, Chief Executive, UKSA said “It’s been quite a while since Great Britain has entered a GB Team to Inas swimming. I am delighted that we are back and have been able to achieve this through our new partnership with Downs Syndrome Swimming GB. With UKSA and DSS-GB working together, I hope that this is just the beginning of a fruitful relationship for both organisations, but most importantly the athletes.” “Both Billy and Mark have had incredible success already through International Downs Syndrome pathway, and now there is a chance for them to make their mark on the Inas programme too.” John Reed, Chairman, DSS-GB said “The new partnership we have created with UKSA is the start of what we hope will be a very exciting time for our swimmers. Since our inception our goal has been to enable our swimmers to compete at the highest possible level. This partnership will extend our swimmers experiences and lead to more DSS-GB success in the pool. Billy and Mark have just returned from a very successful Down Syndrome European Championships and we wish them all the best at this Championships “ Team Manager, Keith Holmes said “Although our team will be quite small on this occasion, the swimmers, thorough this new partnership, will hopefully be leading the way for further DSS-GB swimmers to attend future Inas events” DSISO World Champion Billy Birchmore said “This is a great opportunity to swim at a world level and will hopefully pave the way for Down Syndrome Swimming getting to the Paralympics” Great Britain is one of 20 countries competing at the 2017 Inas World Swimming Championships. Earlier in 2017, Inas introduced two new pilot classes at this Championships, one of which is for swimmers with down syndrome, which has made it possible for this GB Team entry. The event will take place 27th November to 4th December 2017, in Aguascalientes, Mexico. This is the first time that UKSA and DSSGB have collaborated to secure an entry at an Inas Championship event. The Great Britain Team is selected by DSSGB and managed in collaboration with UKSA. Billy Birchmore, current WR holder (DS) 100m, 200m backstroke; 100m Freestyle; 200m IM is in the following events: Backstroke, 200m, 100m and 50m; Freestyle 1500m, 400m, 200m, 100m, 50m Freestyle; Butterfly 100m)

September Jack Petchey Winner

Mon 27/Nov/2017

Congratulation to Eve Peel who was nominated for her hard work and enthusiasm she puts into her training, Her hard work has paid off with the visible improvements at competitions.

Kent Junior League

Mon 27/Nov/2017

Saturday night saw us host the Kent Junior League in Lewisham with a team of young swimmers. This was a great opportunity for our swimmers to gain valuable race experience whilst showing off their skills. Everyone gave it their all and raced brilliantly with many amazing pbs all round! We finished the night in 4th place out of six clubs; a great result! A big thanks to all officials, helpers, coaches and swimmers for attending and assisting the smooth running of the gala!

October Jack Petchey Winner

Mon 27/Nov/2017

Congratulations to Ellie Brown who was nominated for her constant hard work and dedication to training. Ellie is listening to all the feedback given and taking it on board.

November Jack Petchey Winner

Mon 27/Nov/2017

Congratulation to Sam Ryan who was nominated for his commitment to swimming. Sam is relatively new to swimming and he is enthusiastic, always trains hard, and is very keen to correct his technique.

200m Club Champs

Thu 16/Nov/2017

Well done to all our swimmers competing at Club Championships on Sunday. We saw many more swimmers challenging the 200 meters events which is a good indication of improvements as a club and as individuals, achieving pbs as well as Kent consideration and qualifying times. The next one includes the boys 1500m Freestyle and the girls 400 Individual Medley. Good luck everyone.