The Web Team
The Sevenoaks Sharks are never ones to shy away from a challenge, having competed in the Kent Water Polo league since the 1950s.
But this daring troupe took a brave step in the middle of the winter to swap the comfort of a heated indoor pool for frosty outdoor waters, all in the name of charity.
The team, part of Sevenoaks Swimming Club, took part in the chYps Children’s Hospice at Home sponsored Chilli Dip.
On Saturday 15 Feb they plunged into the icy pool at St Julians Club, Sevenoaks and took a shivering swim with other do-gooders.
The group of nine, aged between 18 and 60, proved they will go to any lengths to support chYps – Kent’s only children’s hospice at home.
chYps provide vital end-of-life and respite care to seriously ill babies, children and young people in Sevenoaks and across Kent.
Team mate Mark Bowman, 30, of Chalket Lane, Pembury, said: “We were all up for the challenge and couldn't wait to take part, although it was a shock to the system swimming in freezing cold water. There was some friendly competition between us all, to see who swam the most lengths."
“We can’t think of a better charity to be raising money for. Some of the team have children and grandchildren and know there is probably nothing worse than having a little one that is very ill. Kent is so lucky to have chYps on its doorstop, to provide hospice care in the homes of families who really need their help."
All were rewarded for their efforts with a steaming bowl of hot chilli helping them thaw out after they have completed their challenge.
chYps Events Manager Emma Whittington said: “We were very lucky to have the Sevenoaks Sharks on board and we couldn't wait to see them in action. The great thing about this challenge is that it doesn’t require weeks of gruelling training and all your efforts go to a very worthwhile cause.
“Money raised will be spent on hospice at home care for very poorly children, as well emotional support for their families."
Venue: Walthamstow Hall Swimming Pool, Sevenoaks
September: 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th
October: 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th
November: 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th
December: 1st, 8th
Reserve dates (Sunday): 15th December
Sevenoaks Minnows ~ Mini Minnows - Groups 1-6
Mini Minnows lessons concentrate on technique and are aimed at Swimmers, aged 5+ who can swim 10+ metres on 3 different strokes. By the end of group 6 the swimmers should be ready to attend a trial for Entry Squad.
Session Duration: 30 minutes
Session Times: 1.00pm - 4:00pm
Maximum Class Size: 4
Cost: £150 (plus £5 registration fee) ~ 15 week Course
Group 1: 15:00
Group 2: 13:00, 13:30, 15:00, 15:30
Group 3: 13:00, 14:30, 15:30
Group 4: 13:00, 14:00, 15:00, 15:30
Group 5: 13:30, 14:00, 14:30, 15:00, 15:30
Group 6: 13:30, 14:00, 14:30
Sevenoaks Minnows ~ Senior Minnows (Group 7)
Senior Minnows offers stroke work/training specifically aimed at teaching the skills and acquiring the stamina necessary for the competitive club environment. These lessons are specifically aimed at older swimmers who wish to swim but may not be ready for Entry Squad or are unable to make the training times during the week. Senior Minnows are aimed at developing and preparing the swimmer with the necessary skills and speed required for entry into one of the Sevenoaks Swimming Club Squads. These sessions are also ideal for current Entry Squad swimmers who wish to experience additional water time.
Session Duration: 45 minutes
Maximum Class Size: 6
Cost: £225 (plus £7 registration fee) ~ 15 week Course
Group 7: 14:15
A contingent of Sevenoaks SC competitors made the wet and long journey down to Millfield over the weekend of the 25th and 28th January in order to participate in the ASA Southern regions Zonals.
Stiff competition from a wide variety of swimmers from all over the South / South-West of the country awaited the Red Army who didn’t disappoint in their efforts !
Charlotte Hook and Ninah Strydom both kicked matters off in the Women’s Open 200m Backstroke heats placing 20th and 22nd respectively in times of 2:37:10 and 2:37:51.
Henry Choong, Connor Lowry and Joe Gaster continued the momentum in the men’s 16yrs and under 50m freestyle, placing 16th, 20th, and 23rd (25:94, 26:13, 26:29) before Paddy Mac stormed his way into the 17yrs and above final seeding 2nd in the heats in a time of 24:33.
In the Women’s event Lily Snell placed an impressive 12th (28:90) in her age group whilst Izzy Woods and Charlotte Hook maintained the momentum returning in 16th and 26th places (29:20, 30:61).
Connor returned to the pool next in the Men’s 100m Backstroke placing 13th in a time of 1:04:57
Likewise, it was a busy morning for Lily as she hit the blocks in the Women’s 100m breaststroke placing 22nd (1:23:52)
We then moved onto the tough 400M IM with MJ setting the pool on fire (not literally) placing 5th in a time of 4:53:87.
In the penultimate event of the morning session, Ellie Cox swam an impressive 200m fly placing 3rd in a time of 2:24:34 gaining a NQT in the process.
Seb Stewart completed the first session swimming a 2:40:45 placing 18th in the Men’s 16 yrs/under 200m breaststroke.
From heats to the first set of finals –
Paddy Mac – 50m freestyle - 5th
Michael Jacobs – 400m IM - 4th – (4:50:94) – achieving his NQT
Ellie Cox– 200m Fly – 3rd
In the first of the weekend’s afternoon sessions, we welcomed yet more Sennockians to the impressive 50m facility.
But before they swam Connor and Henry kicked matters off in the Men’s 100m Free placing 13th and 16th (55:78, 55:98). In the 17yrs and over age-group, Paddy once more showed his strength confirming a place in the finals, seeding 5th in a time of 54:57
Charlotte Hook returned to swim the 400m Free together with Ninah Strydom in the 14 yrs/under placing 13th & 19th respectively (4:50:73, 4:56:98).
In the 15yrs/over age groups, Emma Mitchell blasted to 3rd in a time of 4:30:44 gaining an NQT in the process.
MJ was next in the Men’s 200m IM, together with Joe Gaster placing 14th and 21st. (2:20:53 and 2:22:26).
Up next Ellie Cox in the 400m IM seeding a 6th position in the finals (5:15:66)
A busy day for Connor & Joe both returning to swim the 50m Fly (10th and 13th – 28:18, 28:37)
Likewise Izzy Woods and Lily then returned the favour for the girls in the Women’s event placing 4th and 13th in the 14yrs/under age group.
In the 15yrs and above age group, Emma placed 14th (30:57) whilst we also welcomed Annie Keppel-Palmer to the meet placing 23rd in a time of 31:78
From heats to the second set of finals –
Paddy Mac – 100m freestyle - 5th
Paddy Mac – 50m fly - 8th
Izzy Woods – 50m fly – 3rd
Refreshed and ready to rock, the 7Oaks contingent returned at a very unsociable hour to Millfield for Day 2 of the Zonals.
Warming things up Charlotte Hook, Lily Snell and Emma Mitchell kicked off in the Women’s 200m free placing 13th, 22nd and 5th (2:17:04, 2:20:69, 2:10:17) in their respective age-groups.
MJ repeated the same feat for the boys next in the 400m placing 10th (4:24:33)
Izzy Booth made a grand entrance next in the Women’s 100m Backstroke together with Ninah and Charlotte. Izzy rocked her way into the finals seeding 4th (1:09:28) whilst Ninah and Charlotte returned in 15th and 16th (1:13:01, 1:13:19)
Joe Gaster placed 9th in the Boy’s 200m Fly (2:24:43).
Moving onto the Women’s 200m IM, Ninah placed 25th (2:41:44) whilst Annie K-P found herself a place in the final of the 15yrs/over swimming a 2:33:08 in the heats.
In the 16yrs/under Men’s 100m Breaststroke, we were treated to Seb Stewart swimming to a 24th place (1:14:35).
In the Girls’ 100m fly Izzy Woods again swam herself into a final position seeding 8th (1:08:52)
Jammed pack session with MJ returning in the Men’s 50m backstroke placing 11th (29:57)
Third set of finals –
Emma Mitchell – 200m freestyle – 2nd (2:09:29)
Izzy Booth– 100m Back - 4th (1:09:71)
Annie Keppel-Palmer – 200m IM – 7th (2:30:65)
Izzy Woods – 100m fly – 5th (1:06:96)
In the final afternoon session, we moved onto the Men’s 200m free with Henry Choong placing an impressive 4th= in the heats (2:00:31) whilst Connor placed 16th (2:04:56)
Next up the Women’s 100m free with Izzy Woods placing 10th (1:02:33), Lily 16th (1:02:93) and Charlotte 24th (1:04:98)
Joe Gaster hit a 1:03:53 in the Men’s 100m fly placing 11th.
Thereafter Izzy Booth placed 8th in her age-group of the Girls 50m Back (33:58) whilst Annie K-P returned in 33:31 to place 18th
One more swim for Joe before he hit the long journey home placing 16th in the Men’s 50m breaststroke (34:45)
In the final set of finals (!) Henry Choong improved yet further in the 200m Free returning a 1:59:14 to place 4th
Likewise Izzy B improved on her heat time in the Girls’ 100m backstroke final to place 5th (33:11)
And with that, the pool fell quiet (from a Sennockian point of view) and many a tired swimmer curled up in the back seat of their parent’s car en route home through the floods and rain).
Congratulations to all the swimmers who attended, swam, and succeeded !
Sevenoaks Swimming Club welcomes interested swimmers looking to join a winning team.
Ready to join your first Competitive Swimming Club?
We regularly hold New Entrants' Trials for young swimmers
The trials are aimed at swimmers aged 6-11 years, who are considered by their swimming teacher as ready to progress to and join their first competitive club.
We also consider applications from swimmers aged 11+ who can demonstrate age related speed and technique
Full details can be found on our Trial Application Form.
New Entrants’ Trials & Minnows Co-ordinator: Ben.mcdonald @ sevenoakssc.org
To download your application form CLICK HERE
Wish to transfer from another Club?
For competitive swimmers who wish to transfer from another club, please contact our Membership Secretary - Jane Wilson, to arrange for a Trial - space permitting - with the relevant Squad.
Please contact our Membership Secretary- Jane Wilson - for all Membership related queries including:
Junior & Senior Water Polo
Please check out SSC Website for the next lifesaving course
A big round of applause to the Sevenoaks Swimming Cub Masters squad who competed in the 2014 South East Region Long Course Championship at K2, Crawley in February.
The team produced an incredible total of 10 Golds (up from 4 last year), 14 Silvers (up from 6 last year) and 8 Bronzes (up from 4 last year), despite the cloud and the rain that has been lingering over the South East over the past few months.
The team, led by the Club's Master legends Tony Meek and Shelley Robinson, and consisting of seven male and eight female swimmers (the largest team for four or five years) swam in 15 individual and 2 relay events.
Charlie Parkinson, one of the Squad's newcomers led the medal tally with an amazing 3 Golds in her three individual events (100m free, 100m Breaststroke & 200m Free). Tony, Shelley and Pauline Caven each swam to gold medal positions in two of their events.
The 14 silver medals are shared among Tony (5), lndra Hidayat (1), Lesley Cameron (1), Jill Geer (4), Lucy Dickson (1), Charlie (1), Katy Robinson (1), Stephen Rickards (1), Mark Phillips (1) and Shelley (1).
Shelley (1),Fay Smith (3), Katy (1), Lucy (4), Pauline (1) and Lesley (1) all swam to Bronze medal positions in the 100m Free, 50m Back, 200m Breast, 50 Free and 200m IM respectively.
In the team relay event, the Squad which has been absent from the event in the past few years, finished in Gold medal position in the Ladies 200+ Years Medley Relay (Pauline, Lesley, Jill, Shelley), with the Mens 200+ Years Medley Relay team (Gary Smith, Stephen, Tony, Yon Marsh) finishing in Bronze position.
Sevenoaks Swimming Club regularly attends, supports and competes in selected licensed / non-licensed open meets and galas.
This page details the upcoming galas that we will be supporting.
Sevenoaks SC members can now enter all club supported Open Galas listed on this page through your TeamUnify account.
For instructions on how to enter a gala via your TeamUnify account - CLICK HERE
Thanet Festive Qualifier
The British Gas ASA Age Group and Youth National Championships were held this year between 30th July and 10th August, with each group competing over 5 days respectively.
The following swimmers achieved national qualifying times (NQTs) :
- Michael Jacobs - 400m IM, 1500m Free, 200m Backstroke, 4x100m & 4x200m Free relay
- Seb Stewart - 100m & 200m Breaststroke, 4x100m Medley relay, 4x200m Free relay
- Emma Mitchell - 200m, 400m & 800m Free, National Youth & Age Group Open Water Championship 2014, 4x200m Free relay
- Ellie Cox - 200m Fly, 400m IM, 4x200m Free relay
- Lily Snell - 100m & 200m Free, 4x100m Medley relay, 4x100m & 4x200m Free relay
- Ninah Strydom - 200m Backstroke, 4x100m Medley relay
- Jakob Goodman - 100m & 200m Fly, 100m & 200m Backstroke, 200m & 400m IM, 100m, 200m, 400m & 1500m Free, 4x100m Medley relay, 4x100m & 4x200m Free relay
- Michael Davidson - 200m & 400m IM, 4x100m Medley relay, 4x100m & 4x200m Free relay
- Caitlin Fearon - 100m, 200m, 400m & 800m Free, 200m & 400m IM, 4x100m Medley relay, 4x100m & 4x200m Free relay
- Henry Choong - 200m Free, 4x100m & 4x200m Free relay
- Connor Lowry - 100m Free, 4x100m & 4x200m Free relay
- Imogen Hawkins - 200m Backstroke, 4x100m & 4x200m Free relay
- George Tyler - 100m & 200m Breaststroke
- Nathan Rodrigues - 200m Free
- Patrick Maclachlan - 50m Free
- Joe Gaster - 4x100m & 4x200m Free relay
- Megan Lee - 50m, 100m & 200m Breaststroke (+ 50m, 100m and 200m Breaststroke British International qualifier)
- Charlotte Hook - 4x100m Medley Relay, 4x100m & 4x200m Free relay
- Joshua Bedford-Eatwell - 4x100m Medley relay, 4x100m & 4x200m Free relay
- Annie Keppel-Palmer - 4x200m Free relay
- Izzie Woods - 4x200m Free relay
- Tom Harris - 4x100m Free relay
Our national qualifiers
Masters swimming is swimming for adults, encompassing the whole range of ability from casual fitness swimming to highly organised competitive swimming. The only requirement is that you are at least 17 years old.
Organisation and Development
Masters swimming began in the USA in the 1970s when some ex-élite swimmers organised a competition for adult swimmers. Since then the sport has spread all over the world but, although there are World Championships at the top end, the sport remains one in which all who want to compete at any level can do so. The broad objectives of better health, better fitness, and the friendship between swimmers are paramount - with no compulsion to compete.
The ASA (Amateur Swimming Association) is keen to encourage swimming as a fitness-improving pastime and recreation as well as a sport. It is currently in the process of developing initiatives for fitness swimmers and has a national Masters Committee whose remit is to promote masters swimming and to encourage new masters-based activities.
There are currently some 5,000 Masters registered with the ASA, and about 400 clubs either dedicated to masters swimming or are masters sections of larger clubs.
Unlike mainstream swimming, Masters competitions rarely impose a qualifying standard, so if you wish to take part in a Masters event you can. You simply join a club and send in your entry. Competitions are almost always seeded on the basis of ability, and therefore no matter what standard you have reached it is likely that you will be in the pool with people of similar ability. Results are then collated on an age-group basis.
Masters competitions are usually organised in five-year age bands, from 25-29 and upwards … and upwards as required. The oldest age group result so far is in the 100-104 group! Many competitions also include a Senior 18-24 group. Competitions can be national, regional or county ones or one of the fifty or so organised by individual swimming clubs throughout the year. For those who want to travel there are World and European Championships, as well as a large number of open competitions.
However, it is not always necessary to travel to compete. There is an annual half-hour competition organised by the ASA, and a one-hour competition organised by the British Long Distance Swimming Association. These are 'postal swims': each swimmer submits his or her performance in their local pool to a central coordinator who produces an overall result.
Masters competitions are held under the same rules as apply in mainstream swimming. Although races are keenly contested, there is always an informal air and a strong sense of camaraderie. Only very large international events such as the World Championships currently need to impose (modest) qualifying standards - everyone who wants to take part is welcome.
There are two national championships each year. The British Masters Championships are held in June over a long course (50-metre pool), and include the whole range of seventeen recognised long course events (50, 100, and 200 metres of each stroke, 400, 800, and 1500 freestyle, and 200 and 400 individual medley. Additionally there are male, female, and mixed relays swum over 4 x 50 metres). The asa (English) Championships, normally held in October over a 25-metre course, include all of these events plus the 100 metres individual medley.
Other Aquatic Disciplines
Open water (outdoor long distance competitive) swimming events often include a Masters or 'veterans' section. There are regular Masters events in open water swimming and national Masters championship in synchronized swimming. The World Masters Championships include all aquatic disciplines - swimming, open water, water polo, diving, and synchro, and there are also European Championships in these disciplines although water polo is held as a separate event.
Is Competition Compulsory?
No! Everyone has his or her reason for swimming-health, general fitness, camaraderie, just for fun. How far you go is up to you. A major survey of British Masters swimmers showed that the majority of them rarely competed.
How Can I Get Involved?
What age do I need to be to swim with the Masters?
At least 25 years old
Where/when do the Masters meet?
Sevenoaks Masters swim at a variety of locations throughout the week. Further information on our training schedule is available here
Do the Masters swim competitively?
Yes they do but this is not compulsory - some swimmers just train with the Masters. Everyone has his or her reason for swimming-health, general fitness, camaraderie, just for fun. How far you go is up to you. A major survey of British Masters swimmers showed that the majority of them rarely competed.
I've heard of the Kent FANS Scheme, what is it?
FANS stands for Free Access for National Sports People. The Kent Countywide FANS scheme was established in 1998 as an important sports development initiative providing support and encouragement to the County's leading talented and elite sports performers. The scheme aims to provide national level sportspeople with free access at designated off-peak times to a number of the County's leisure and sports facilities for personal training and development. It was established by the 'Kent Association of Leisure and Cultural Officers' in conjunction with Kent County Council's Sports Development Unit and has the full support of Medway Council, and the twelve district, borough and city councils in Kent. Some fifty leisure facilities are involved in the countywide scheme including leisure and sports centres, swimming pools, fitness gyms, artificial / synthetic pitches and athletic tracks plus a range of other specialist and general indoor and outdoor facilities.
The Kent FANS scheme provides opportunities for sportsmen and sportswomen of all ages who currently perform, or compete at a National level and who reside for the majority of the year in Kent, excluding the Kent London Boroughs of Bromley, Bexley, Greenwich and Lewisham. It caters for sportspeople (including those with disabilities) who are:
- currently members of a national team or squad.
- currently listed in the top 10 of any national age group ranking.
- successful in any national age group competition (top 10 finish), in the last 12 months.
- evidence or confirmation of a performer's involvement at a national level will be required from the appropriate governing body of sport.
So how does FANS affect Sevenoaks Masters?
A number of Sevenoaks Masters swimmers have FANS cards which entitles them to free pool time for training (together with a training partner) just by entering galas such as the KCASA Masters Competition in July. Results are submitted to the asa’s national database and, if a national top-ten ranking has been achieved, the swimmer should complete the Kent Sport application form and send it off as described. Once the FANS card is received, the swimmer can take advantage of all the benefits described!
Welcome to Sevenoaks Swimming Club - at the heart of Kent swimming.
Sevenoaks is a friendly competitive swimming organisation, affiliated to the ASA South East region, Kent County ASA and the RLSS.
We're acknowledged as one of Kent's top competitive swimming clubs - aiming to excel in all disciplines, be it competitive swimming, synchro, masters, water polo or lifesaving.