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NAL Last Gala (Posted on Thursday, 18 December 2014)
Saturday 13th December saw Team Ojays at Crook Log for the Final gala of the National Arena League.

Things got off to an exciting start with the relay events and our first win of the evening which was delivered by the undefeated boys 9/11 years 4 x 50m free team.

With another 7 first places throughout the gala and numerous top 3 places Ojays were placed in 3rd position for most of the gala with just a few points between Erith, Canterbury, East Grinstead and ourselves. The final two races were the ladies and mens 6 x 50m free relay and what an exciting climax to the evening - the roof of Crook Log was almost raised with the noise poolside. Our ladies finished second in a very close race and the men finished first with just a finger nail between us and Erith - just goes to show how important that finish is! The evening finished to the time honoured roar led by past captain James May of "give us an O.... " A very exciting finish to the National Arena league this year with Ojays in 4th place with just 3 points between us and second place. Well done swimmers - thanks for the great entertainment for spectators and the team poolside. Thanks to the "old boys" who return from university and work commitments to race for us, to the team of helpers poolside (Sandra, Julie and Vanessa ) and to officials Yvonne, Mandy, Karen and Fran. Last but of course not least thanks to head coach Sergio.
6th & 7th December ASA Regions and GNSC Open (Posted on Monday, 15 December 2014)
The 6th & 7th of December was a busy weekend for Team Ojays. Exams and illness aside the club had two target competitions set for this training cycle. London ASA Regionals held at the Aquatic Centre where nine of our fastest and more experienced swimmers swam in this very competitive event achieving good performance all round and some excellent pbs.
Gravesend Open saw 20 swimmers competing in over 100 events again producing many pbs, medals and those all-important Kent times.

Well done to all the swimmers who competed in both events and also thank you to helpers, officials, parents and coaches who supported these successful events.
New Post Box for Gala Entries (Posted on Wednesday, 10 December 2014)
Some off you may be aware of the new Post Box which has been recently acquired which has now been fixed adjacent to the Trophy cabinet in The Walnuts reception area. It will be emptied on a regular basis so all entries should be received on time and not go missing until two weeks later as some have in the past.

PLEASE make sure you put the contents into an envelope first and mark it appropriately. Model Yvonne Ridley is pictured using the box for the first time !!
Club Champs 2014 (Posted on Tuesday, 02 December 2014)
The grand finale of this years club championships was held on Saturday evening at Trinity school from Tadpoles to masters - all squads were represented and what a fun evening it was.

It's always great to see our young tadpoles competing in a gala for the first time - the older swimmers are always on hand to guide them through and to ease their nerves. Masters were ably represented by Gina Charleston, Tracey van Rooyen and Mandy Jackson - well done ladies - fantastic performances.

Congratulations to Molly Haynes who was presented with the Keighley Mayes Trophy for Perseverance and Endeavour from president of the Kent ASA Kathy Hook - see picture.

It all culminated in the skins event which has the top 6 swimmers from the 200im competing against each other. Congratulations to Boys : Jake McDonnell, Samuel Gaster, Ollie Randall, Ben Strover, James Waller& Callum Baronti and the girls : Katie Napier, Molly Haynes, Daniella Shipley, Elizabeth Bennett, Clio Bacon & Chloe Ashley. After that sparkly fly ball kept being pulled out of the bag for the girls - Katie Napier won for the girls and Ollie Randall for the boys -well done!

Thanks to all of our officials and band of willing volunteers who without your help we wouldn't be able to host any of these galas - and of course to our coaches Sergio, Clare, Dave and Shauna. All there's left to do now is to make sure you have your ticket to the presentation evening to help celebrate the swimmers achievements.
Kent Junior League Round 2 (Posted on Thursday, 20 November 2014)
After a last minute change of venue the second round of the KJL was held at Downham Leisure Centre on the 15th November. Once the gala finally got underway after a few technical hitches Ojays found they had some stiff competition in the form of Dover Lifeguard, Saxon Crown, Dartford, Bexley and Black Lion.

It was an evening full of great swims, new pbs and exciting team relays including the ultimate event of the evening - the squadron relay – it’s surprising anyone had a voice left after all the cheering for their team mates.

Congratulations to everyone who swam and special mentions to our first place swimmers : Niamh Laker – 13 yrs & under 100m free, girls 9/10 years 100m free relay team, Jessica Herbert - 10 yrs 50m free style & Callum Baronti - 11yrs 50m Fly.
Ojays finished a valiant 4th place.

Thanks as always to Head Coach Sergio, Coach Shauna, our team managers Sarah and Julie, timekeeper Trish, Judge Mandy and all parents and supporters.
Bexley Distance and Sprints Open (Posted on Thursday, 20 November 2014)
It was an early start for our long distance swimmers on the 16th November, taking advantage of a rare opportunity to compete in 800m free (girls) and 1500m (boys) free events in a 50m pool.

William Magee-Brown and Ben Strover completed the 1500m event both with PBs and a Regional Time for Ben. Daniella Shipley and Alice Bennett completed the 800m event again with PBs and a regional qualifying time for Daniella with Alice very narrowly missing her qualifying time.

Respect and congratulations to you all for competing in these tough long distance races.

Sessions 2 and 3 were 50m and 100m events and swimmers competing were: Louis Goff, Jessica Herbert, Daniella Shipley, Kate Ridley, Callum Baronti, Anna Cvetjan, Katie Napier, Eddie Sellar, Alicia Foreman, Clio Bacon, Jess Sellar and Amy Jeffreys. For some of the younger swimmers this was the first time competing in a 50m pool and despite the unusually cold conditions poolside and delayed session start times, swimmers performed admirably with pb’s and county qualifying times being achieved – well done team Ojays. Congratulations to our medal winners: Clio Bacon - Gold 100m breaststroke and Callum Baronti – Silver 50m Free, Gold 100m free and Gold 50m breaststroke.

Thanks to Sergio who endured the delayed start times and chilly poolside conditions to motivate and coach our team, to Yvonne for officiating and to all parents for their endurance during what was a very long day!
Billy wins 2 golds in Mexico (Posted on Friday, 14 November 2014)
Billy Birchmore, as many of you know, is in Mexico this week fighting it out at the DSISO World Championships. Battling illness and events being cancelled Billy is making his presence known.

In a closely fought battle with the reigning champion and world record holder Colin Marks of Australia, Billy burst pass on the final length to win gold in the 200m Free. He narrowly missed out by 0.01 of a second on 50m Fly, securing a silver medal. Billy also secured 4th places in 50m and 100m back.

On the final day of the competition Billy was on the podium again after taking gold in the 100m Fly and Silver in the 200m IM, making him a double World Champion!

Billy has also been 'adopted' by the Mexican press. Well done Billy and we all look forward to having you back swimming with us soon.
Siobhan completes the Ironman (Posted on Monday, 10 November 2014)
Congratulations to Siobhan Curtis (Masters Squad swimmer and Top Squad Yoga instructor) who completed the incredible Ironman event in Brazil yesterday. She finished 10th in her age group in an incredible time of 12 hours 55 minutes and 19 seconds. Siobhan reports that she finished injury free which is great news and can't wait for the next one!!!

The race consists of a 3.8km swim, followed immediately by a 180km bike ride (which is twice the length of the famous London to Brighton bike ride) and then finishing off with a full marathon run of 42.2km/26 miles.

An incredible and inspirational achievement Siobhan, well done from us all!
Ojays swimmers sparkle at Fireworks meet (Posted on Saturday, 08 November 2014)
Another successful weekend for our swimmers competing in the Fireworks Open last weekend. 27 of our swimmers participated in over 100 events giving their very best accompanied by our parent's loud cheering.

The event ran smoothly with 63 top six positions, 13 first, 16 seconds, 11 third - 51 pbs and a few Kents times plus it was a fun weekend - what more could a Head Coach ask for!

Congratulations to the swimmers competing in this event: Clio Bacon, Callum Baronti, Matilda Barrett, Jessica Bridges, Lilli Cutajar, Samuel Gaster, Emily Goff, Ellie Harden, Jessica Herbert, Amy Jeffreys, Niamh Laker, Ben Langdown, Rachel Langdown, Abby Leeves, Elizabeth Marsch, Katie Napier, Ella Norwood, Eve Peel, Max Peel, Edward Sellar, Jessica Sellar, Emily Smith, Abigail Stanton, Isabelle Stanton, Ben Strover, Chloe Waller and Will Dennis.

Special thanks goes to parents, officials and volunteer who helped to make this weekend a success. Also, to our hosts Erith & District SC for a well run meet.

Well done Team Ojays!
Disability World Championships Mexico (Posted on Saturday, 08 November 2014)
Good Luck to Billy Birchmore and Team GB looking to secure pbs and a few medals in Mexico this week. Billy is swimming 100m & 200m free, 50m & 100m fly, 50m & 100m back and just for good measure 100m and 200m IM. Plus he is in the relays!

NO HAY BRONCA for Billy (Mexican for 'no problem').