The Web Team
Sevenoaks Swimming Club stormed through the opening weekend of the Kent County Championships 2019 at the London Aquatic Centre, home of the 2012 Olympics. The weekend combined the gruelling Men’s 1500m & Women’s 800m Freestyle events as well as the 50m sprints in the Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke and Freestyle. Qualifying times for this event are tougher than any other county, such is the depth of talent in Kent across all ages. Over the 4 weekends of the 2019 championships, Sevenoaks SC can boast 104 qualifiers across all age groups. At the end of the first weekend of racing, the club sits at the top of the points table with an astonishing 10 gold, 11 silver and 19 bronze medals as well as an additional 63 finalists’ medals from the 255 qualified heat swims. An incredible 40% of heat swimmers had gained qualification into the finals – qualifying as the best 8 swimmers in Kent!
Following the heat swims in the 50m backstroke on Day 1, Eva Okaro started her championships with a victory in the 13 yr girls 50m Backstroke - 3 other Sevenoaks swimmers also qualifying for the final. Amelia Childs achieved a strong 2nd place in the 15 yr finals. In the finals of the 50m freestyle, Alyze Gentles took a well deserved silver medal in the 12yrs, whilst there was a clean sweep in the 13yrs with Eva Okaro in 1st, Isabella Okaro in 2nd and Samriddhi Das in 3rd. Finally in the 16yrs age group, and after a week of GCSE mocks, Zoë Naylor-Perrott finished strongly to claim the bronze. In the 50m butterfly, Louis Hayes and Aiden McMillan both stormed to victory in their respective 15 & 16 yrs finals, with McMillan also claiming the 16/u Junior Shield. In the 10/11 yrs final, Devon Tannock secured a gutsy bronze. In the next boys events, the 50m Breaststroke, Devon secured another bronze medal whilst in the 12 yr category Demi Alli stepped up to take a well deserved gold. In the 13yrs final, Sam Martin-Young secured a fantastic silver medal whilst in the 15 yrs age group, Louis Hayes climbed the podium again, this time taking silver and was joined by team mate Jacob Hudson who finished 3rd after a nail-biting finale. Oliver Coote won a spectacular bronze medal in the 16yr old also having raced after a gruelling week of mocks! The loudest roar of the first day came after club captain George Tyler secured a well-deserved and surprising bronze medal in the 17 and over category.
Alyze Gentles (12yrs) led the way for the Sevenoaks ladies on Sunday morning in the 800m Freestyle, one of 7 competitors who all achieved long course personal best times, winning a strong bronze medal. Two more medals were to come from this event with Lilie Chambers taking bronze (15 yrs) and Jasmine Wallace (16yrs) earning silver. The boys followed with the 50m backstroke. Devon Tannock continued his fine form achieving another bronze medal and inspired club mates Joseph Box and Christopher Lee to do likewise, winning thoroughly deserved bronze medals in the 13yrs and 17+ age groups respectively. Jaedon Lynch (14 yrs), inspired by Tyler’s exploits the day before, battled from an outside lane (ranked 8th) to deliver an astonishing bronze medal that portrayed amazing competitive race spirit and instinct. Louis Hayes (15 yrs) continued his medal winning streak by storming to victory not only in his age category but by claiming the Junior shield for the fastest swim by a 16/under competitor in Kent.
The girls 50m butterfly finals followed. Evie Armstrong, competing at her first Kent Championships like to a stunning bronze in the 10/11-year final. Alyze Gentles (12 yrs) finished her successful weekend with another well deserved medal, finishing 2nd, whilst twin sisters Eva and Izabella Okaro (13yrs) shared the podium with a stunning gold and bronze respectively. Lilie Chambers (15yrs) collected her second medal of the weekend after an exquisite swim to earn silver, followed by Ellie Vowell’s (16 yrs) securing a well deserved bronze in the 16-year category.
The girls completed the weekend with the finals of the 50m breaststroke. Eva Okaro (13 yrs) finished her amazing weekend with her 4th consecutive gold, this time sharing the podium with first time medallist Martha Roberts who fought to a thoroughly deserved bronze medal. In a highly competitive final Kara Dimond (14 yrs) won a fantastic silver medal whilst Ellie Vowell (16 years) jumped on the podium again securing a silver medal, one place behind team mate Maddy Glen who won a well deserved gold. In the final boys event of the weekend, the 50m freestyle, Devon Tannock (10/11) claimed yet another medal to secure 3rd place, whilst Jaedon Lynch repeated his achievement from earlier by producing a phenomenal swim to move from a ranking of 8th to winning silver! Louis Hayes completed his weekend with yet another powerful swim, claiming gold in the 15 yrs final. Finally, Nathaniel Rodrigues (17 +) rounded off the day with a thoroughly deserved bronze medal and in so doing, achieved the qualification time for the British Championships to be held in Glasgow in April.
The amount of personal best times and spectacular swims are too many to mention from the opening weekend for Sevenoaks Swimming Club. The following swimmers are deserving of mention, having qualified for at least one final over the weekend, winning a place medal (4-8th):-
Girls 50m backstroke: Lilia Formasier, Alyce Gentles, Samriddhi Das, Millie Armstrong, Isabella Okaro, Ella Wood, Imogen Stoddart, Lillie Chambers, Daisy Widdowson, Jasmine Wallace, Zoë Naylor-Perrott, Ellie Vowell.
Boys 50m Butterfly: Toby Burke, (and 50m backstroke) Jacob Crombie, Demi Alli, Jaedon Lynch, Thomas Creasey,
Boys 50m breaststroke: Albert Whitlock, Seamus Hamilton, Jaedon Lynch, Noah Enticknapp, Oscar Wilson, Dominic Percy,
Girls 50m freestyle: Ella Wood, Lilie Chambers, Amelia Childs, Madeleine Glen,Edith Norton, Ellie Vowell
Girls 50m butterfly: Fern Gray, Vivien Rooney, Amelia Tovey, Millie Armstrong, Samriddhi Das, Ella Wood, Imogen Stoddart, Zoë Naylor-Perrott
Girls 50m breaststroke: Emily Brown, Imogen Stoddart, Eleanor Allen, Megan Marter, Ruby Jarrett, Jasmine Wallace, Olivia Chapman
Boys 50m freestyle: Demi Alli, Aiden McMillan, Eddie Hammond
Finally, recognition to those who qualified and swam over the first weekend: Abigail Saunders, Anjola Pratt, Aoife Lauerman, Ben Strebel, Ben Watson, Betty Simpson, Boris Argirov, Caiden Hibbert, Caitlin O’Sullivan, Charlotte Dormiuex, Charlotte Prideaux, Daisy McMillan, Dillon Bentley, Emma Evans-Wilson, Ethan Martin, Evelyn Martin, Freya Ashdown, George Rehbein, Holli Gushlow, Iris Whitlock, Isabel Tyler, Isla Murphy, James Fry, Jonathan Vowell, Joseph Strebel, Joshua Crombie, Katie Vowell, Laura Wright, Macauley Johnston, Martin Argirov, Maxwell Haslam, Ptolemy Mangat, Robert Allen, Rosie Deacon, Ruby Jarrett, Ruth Godfrey, Sarah Williams, Thiago Gentles, Thomas Johnston, Torsten Mangat, William Jarrett, Zachary Howard and Zachary Raymond.
As a Committee and Swimming Club we are committed to ensuring the safeguarding and wellbeing of all our swimmers. We also appreciate that our swimmers are club ambassadors whenever they compete and swim.
A number of parents, coaches and swimmers have raised the issue of appropriate swimwear during warming up and cool down poolside, training and poolside during competitions.
The club wants to be clear about the standard expected from all of our swimmers.
We have therefore introduced new guidelines and we request all swimmers adhere to:
- No swimmer is to change poolside using towels – all must return to the changing rooms.
- No female swimwear is to be rearranged to expose more of her body, nor be too low cut nor high cut on the leg.
- No removal of straps specifically of racing suits after racing. If straps need to be removed for comfort, all swimmers must ensure they have a Sevenoaks Swimming top on.
- All female swimmers to wear shorts while warming up / down poolside.
- All swimmers to wear Sevenoaks kit t-shirt when they leave poolside.
- All swimmers to wear clean and appropriate footwear around/ when they leave poolside.
Coaches have been advised of the new policy. Failure to adhere to these guidelines may result in a swimmer being asked to change or, if no appropriate attire is available, be requested to leave the poolside.
After watching GB star James Guy race, Louis Hayes qualifying in 7 events, stepped up to the occasion and achieved personal bests in each of his 5 events he competed in. Earning Club and Kent records alike as well as picking up his first ever national medal in the 100m Individual Medley as an U14 in the U15 Junior Category. Louis achieved his outstanding personal best times in the 50m Butterfly, 100m Butterfly, 100m Backstroke, 200m Individual Medley & 100m Individual Medley.
Teammate Aiden McMillan too ensured that his debut at this event would be worth the journey, storming home strongly in the gruelling 400m Individual Medley and smashing his personal best in the 200m Butterfly. Jake Hudson and Amelia Childs also qualified in breaststroke and backstroke events respectively but were unable to compete.
The remainder of the Club were in attendance that same weekend in Margate at the Thanet TYR Festive Meet, chasing vital Kent County Qualification Times. The Red Army were in full force and dished out PB after PB and Qualifying Time after Qualifying Time. Swimmers and coaches hope to follow this rich vein of form into the Kent Weald County Qualifier Meet in early January before the long-course season kicks off with the Kent County Championships 2019 in mid-January.
A huge congratulations and respect goes to all swimmers, team managers, volunteers, parents & coaches who contribute into making all the hard work and success possible. On to 2019!
On Saturday 8th December the Club sent an A and a B Team to compete in the final round of the National Arena Swimming League, with the A Team travelling to Wycombe and the B to Maidstone.
The A Team had qualified for the South Premier Division final, competing against Thanet, Bromley, Wycombe District, Oxford City and Guildford City – the repeat of the final last year, whilst the B Team were competing in the “Middle” final of Division 1 East after having already secured their place in the division from stellar performances in the previous rounds.
The B team were depleted on the night due to a variety of illnesses and injuries, but their typically raucous team spirit propelled them into a strong 4th place finish behind winners Maidstone, Black Lion and Thanet – beating Orpington Ojays and Erith & District.
The A Team fielded the youngest squad by quite a considerable margin in the final and battled to a hard fought 6th place in the league, 1 point behind Thanet Swim Club. This result placed Sevenoaks A as the 6th strongest team in the South of England and meant that, for the third year running, the A Team qualified for the National Arena League Cup Final in Cardiff.
This is astonishing achievement should not be underestimated, with the National Arena League themselves naming the South Premier Division being the strongest division in the entire country, as all 6 teams have now qualified for the National Final 2 years in a row. The Club will compete in Cardiff March 2nd and will attend ranked in 15th place.
Firstly, on behalf of the Welfare team, we would like to wish all swimmers and especially the parents and carers who make all of this happen a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
Also, a very special welcome to those who may be just embarking on this journey and will be excited to be swimming in their first Kent Swimming Championships. Hopefully this piece will help reassure those who are new and perhaps not so new, that the welfare of your children and young people is paramount to all teachers, coaches, officials and volunteers, who make everything happen on a day to day basis. In addition, to those who have been involved for a period of time, I hope there are things that maybe new or go towards re-enforcing the importance of safeguarding and protecting children and young people.
As a club, Sevenoaks Swimming Club is required by its National Governing Body, Swim England (previously ASA) to adopt its Child Safeguarding Policies and Procedures Clubs; Wavepower 2016-19. Wavepower is a comprehensive document that covers all aspects of safeguarding from categorising the different types of abuse to proving useful templates and guidance for coaches, teachers and poolside helpers. Our intention as Welfare Officers, is to provide regular features, good practice and challenges that will help us ensure that SSC provides an exemplary environment, not only for each swimmer to achieve their potential, but to do so in a safe, positive and above all, fun environment. Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility, not the Welfare Officers alone, so we look forward to working with you to achieve our collective goals.
There are two areas that we would like to cover in this edition. Firstly to promote the real value parents can have in helping SSC to develop as a club that we all aspire it to be. Secondly to re-enforce the dangers of mobile phones and other image capturing devices within swimming, particularly in the changing room environment.
SSC, as you know, is predominantly a competitive swimming club and as such, positive parental behaviour is critical for ensuring that not only each and every swimmer achieves their potential, but to ensure that this is done in a manner that doesn’t take away from the enjoyment that a child has. As part of its ‘our game, not yours’ campaign, the Child Protection in Sport Unit developed this video Magic Sports Kit Video that shows several children involved in different sports describing how the behaviour of parents and spectators deteriorates when they wear their ‘magic sports kit’ – that is, when they compete.
We would also like highlight the dangers of mobile phones and other image capturing devices within the swimming environment and request that you adhere to the Head Coach’s rule to ensure mobile phones are not present at any time that you are representing SSC.
By following this simple rule, we can better protect our swimmers from any inappropriate disclosure of images Well, that’s about all for now, we hope you have found it useful and informative.
Liz Wallace & David Gentles- SSC Welfare Officers
Kent Water Polo lifted the Swim England Club Network of the Year award and manager Ben McDonald admitted: “It’s a great achievement.”
The network is made up of six clubs – Bexley Water Polo Club, Faversham Water Polo Club, Hythe Water Polo Club, Invicta Water Polo Club, RTW Monson Water Polo Club and Sevenoaks Water Polo Club – and is responsible for developing water polo and ensuring the future of the sport in Kent.
The group came about through a combined desire to improve the grassroots of the game in the county. Many junior squads across the county were unable to field full teams and were struggling to produce county level players.
McDonald added: “This is a great achievement for the network and credit must be given to all the clubs in Kent and all the young volunteers in the whole team that have worked towards this. Thank you and well done.”
McDonald is also the head coach of the Sevenoaks Water Polo Club and the national award by Swim England is a huge achievement for him and the club, which is part of Sevenoaks Swimming Club.
McDonald has been the head of Sevenoaks Water Polo since 2015 where they now boast 32 juniors, five of which are currently in the Kent County team. In addition, the club have also had a Sevenoaks player selected this year for the South East regional team. McDonald and his team also look at developing further links with schools in Sevenoaks.
As Manager of the Kent Water Polo Network, McDonald’s role is to share good practice across all clubs and be a point of contact. He and his team run nine different water polo tournaments each year and monthly Kent training sessions.
The club's disciplinary policy is available for viewing / download here
Sevenoaks Swimming A team competed in the third and final round of the Kent Junior League at Beckenham Spa with an expectation of defending the league title. The final round was seeded with the top six clubs based on results from previous rounds. Opponents were Thanet, Bromley, Beckenham, Royal Tunbridge Wells Monson and Black Lion.
The results were Beckenham 229, Sevenoaks 223, Bromley 194, Thanet 173, RTW Monson 159, Black Lion 82.
Having conceded second place to Beckenham in round three, the league table showed a tie for first position between Beckenham and Sevenoaks. The deciding factor for the trophy winner was therefore the gala points in round three, which gave Beckenham the trophy this year.
“A” team as follows..
Freya Ashdown, Iris Whitlock, Vivien Rooney, Ruth Godfrey
Fern Gray, Abigail Saunders,Amelia Tovey, Alyze Gentles
Izabella Okaro, Eva Okaro,Emily Brown, Samriddhi Das
Kara Dimond, Imogen Stoddart, Elspeth Watson
Devon Tannock, Jacob Crombie, Maxwell Haslam, Xavier Hards
Ptolemy Mangat, George Rehbein, Jonathan Vowell, Thomas Johnston
Ben Watson, Seamus Hamilton, William Jarrett, Joseph Box, Albert Whitlock
Caiden Hibbert, Jaedon Lynch, Noah Enticknap Tom Creasey
Meanwhile, the B team took on the second tier clubs in the premier division. They managed to hold onto their seeded position of second place.
Results were Maidstone 213, Sevenoaks B 196, Greenwich Royals 195, Bexley 178, Saxon Crown 163 and Shepway 103.
“B” team as follows…
Caitlin O’Sullivan, Amelie Thompson, Evie Armstrong, Caitlyn Semple Sophie Craig
Mia Bakunowicz, Valentina Groves Maisie Chambers
Millie Armstrong, Isla Murphy, Martha Roberts, Rosie Deacon, Ella Wood
Holli Gushlow, Evie Martin
Boris Argirov, Hugo Schwemm, Freddie Martin-Young, Aaron Green
Martin Argirov, Joseph Strebel, Louis Humphrey
Macaulay Johnston, Zachary Howard, Sam Martin-Young, Ethan Martin
Thiago Gentles, Edward Holness
To come second overall in Kent with such a young team is a huge achievement. Coach Vince Norris reiterated how proud he is of the swimmers in both teams with fantastic individual and team performances throughout the three rounds.
For the first time in 10 years SSC Water Polo held their awards. The afternoon started with a summary of the past year -
· Sevenoaks played in 8 different tournaments in 2018, the most recent a full team in the under 14 and 16 age groups
· 5 players playing for the Kent under 14 team - Joshua, Caiden, James, Thomas, Leo
· 2 players playing for Kent in both the under 16 and under 19s girls team - Chante and Leane
· 3 players playing for Kent in the over 40s - Mark, Tom H, Jonny
· Danny has contuned to play in the British Water Polo League
· 4 players have been training with the SER team - Thomas, Leo, Allegra, Josh
· Allegra has been selected to play for the SER girls under 14 team
· Chante and Leane - both attended the Young Volunteers programme
· Increased our pool time for the first time ever to 2 junior sessions a week, Big thanks goes to SSC committee and New beacon school.
Moving swiftly onto the awards, starting with the Club Awards which are for players who are 12 and under, to recognise achievement from moving from swimming to water polo.
· Water Polo Club Awards 1 - Farouk, Maxwell, Jacob, George, Jack, Lizzie, Axel and Gabriel
· Water Polo Club Awards 2 - Leo, Joshua, Thomas, Allegra
New trophy for this year for The Most Improved Junior Player of the year went to Allegra Cuomo. She has shown great commitment and continues to take every opportunity to develop and improve at water polo.
The Stuart Pettit Award – presented to the member who has made the most outstanding contribution to Sevenoaks Water Polo Club during the past year 2018 went to Leané and Chanté.
Senior captain Tom Howes gave a speech to the whole room inviting parents and the older juniors to come and give senior polo a go.
The Senior Wooden Spoon Award went to Reg.
The Seniro Player of the Year went to Johnny who was exstreamly surprise to have won the award.
It was great to see over 50 people attending. New members are always welcome to come and give water polo ago, Thanks to everyone for their support