The news

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)

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.

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.

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!

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.

Arena League Round Two

Mon 13/Nov/2017

On Saturday 11th November we travelled to Crawley K2 for the second round of the Arena League. All our swimmers were all in high spirits, racing friends from local clubs and the winter training campers meeting their new friends again from Hastings Seagull. We had some great results and PBs and a special mention to Michael who smashed the minute for the first time on 100m free. Great to see the winter training camp paying dividends again for the second weekend in a row. Final results placed us 4th which is a two place improvement on last year. Crawley 245 Hastings 213 South Croydon 163 Orpington Ojays 148 Bromley B 145 Ashford 133 We swam hard, cheered loud and thanks as always to officials, team managers, Sergio, parents and friends.

Winter Regionals

Mon 06/Nov/2017

Normally a short course competition, this year the two day Winter Regionals was held at the London Aquatic Centre, making it a long course meet. Just two months into the season this is a tough meet against the best in London. Clio Bacon, Ellie Harden, Jess Herbert and Ben Strover were in all 4 sessions and they were joined by Callum Baronti, Lilli Cutajar, Anna Cvjetan, Amie Lawrence, Rachel Langdown, Katie Napier and Nam Nguyen all ready to race. Over the two long days they gave each other advice on swimming and maths GCSE homework, ate snacks, giggled, gave massages, chatted to friends from other clubs, chatted to Michael Jamieson who was there with some swimmers (2012 Olympic Silver 200 Breaststroke winner) and cheered encouragement. Most races were on or around their personal bests with Jess, Ben, Clio, Callum and Rachel achieving those precious new PB'S. Jess had an incredible meet achieving four PB's and Ben made the 200 back final and achieved 4th in the 1500m. Clio ensured her place in Edinburgh. Callum blasted a very strong 100m breaststroke and Rachel relished her place in the golden lane. When it didn’t go quite as they wanted or expected they all analysed it and moved on, showing great team work. Thanks goes to Sergio, parents and family members, but most of all to the swimmers who conducted themselves brilliantly in and out of the pool.

Billy is European Champion

Sat 04/Nov/2017

Congratulations to Billy Birchmore who recently competed in the DSISO European Championships. Billy was once again on top form and on the first day made the 200m Freestyle and 50m Backstroke finals and won both easily. On the second day, he won the 200m Individual Medley and the 100m Backstroke. Following a well-earned rest day, Billy returned to the pool and once again made the finals in the 50m Freestyle and the 100m Individual Medley and once again won them both. He also won the 200m Backstroke and the 100m Freestyle bring his total number of gold medals to 8. With his two Silver medals adding to his points total, Billy was crowned the European Champion. An amazing meet Billy, fantastic swimming.