London League 2018 – CHAMPIONS (again)

Grim pool. Sunday. End of term. BUT WE STILL LIGHT UP LONDON LEAGUE BECAUSE WE CAN.

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Smiling through the LONGEST EVER GALA (was it close to 3.5 hours?)

In the mistiest of 33 metre pools, lacking any T-marks, and with our block pointing towards pool side rather than our lane, UCL overcame all obstacles to hold on to our London League crown.

This was in spite of a great effort From LUST’s A * cough * alumni * cough * team…LUST’s A team.

Great swims came from most, with a few questionable swims later on in the evening (if you know, you know). Nevertheless, we managed to hold onto our London League crown over the three legs, with 146 points (10 points ahead of second place LUST’s A) in this leg, to successfully defend the title for the first time in UCL history! Another achievement to add to the long list oi oi!

First of all, this was also the last competition for Ellen!

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After being Captain, Vice President, and then Social Sec, it’s fair to say that Ellen committed more than most to the club! Always up for a race, Ellen didn’t let a sore ankle get in the way of her racing this weekend.

 

We’re gonna miss you Ellen!

The UCL Swimming Club would also like to thank Kai for his services to the club.

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This was Kai’s last London League, and he has not missed one in all his years at UCL. Timekeeping (and the donuts), as ever, Kai helped out once again, proving himself to be the legend that he is.

 

All the best Kai!

This marks the end of the 2017/18 season for the UCL Swimming Team, as the BUCS Teams events was unfortunately scheduled in the middle of exam season. Emily and Rob would like to thank all the swimmers for a top year, and good luck for your exams 🙂

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2017/18 – you’ve been a great year

#bleedpurple

Your lovely captains,
Rob & Emily xx

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VARSITYYYYYY

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good game guys

VARSITY WINNERS 2018!!

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#bleedpurple

Woo!

For the 4th consecutive year, UCL Swimming Team beat Kings to continue our unbeaten run in the competition! (What. A. Team.)

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unbeaten. podium performance. number 1.

As it turned out, Kings proved to be no match for our full-strength team, who lit up the Olympic Pool, with coach Alex watching on.

Great swims came from everybody, especially from Dan, who swam the 200IM and 100 Back within the space of 10 minutes!

JJ, Becca, Annalise and Goggy also showed great stamina by swimming a billion races in under an hour, and still coming out on top in each one!

Also, fantastic racing from everyone else on the team, including, Ellen, Frankie, Wall, Abdul, Apostolos, Ita, Jessica, Emily, Robs B and H, George, Oda, Alan, Gabi, Jackie, Josh and Kate, to name a few.

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Frankie catching Rob unawares (editor’s note: Rob is taking a selfie, he IS aware)

Louis also performed well, taking gold in all his events, despite enjoying a heavy evening the night before. Did you know that he actually swam at the Commonwealth Trials in 2014?

The team celebrated with a top evening in ULU! It turns out we can outswim and outdrink Kings. We do it all. Onto next year!

 

Out to Swim – Pride in Sport week

UCL Swimming is committed to diversity and inclusivity.

In lieu of Pride in Sport week, take a look at an insightful article written by our Engagements and Communications Officer, Louis Seller (2nd Year, Medicine).

For Pride in Sport week, UCLSC decided to explore how best to make our club inclusive and welcoming to all. We turned to London and Brighton’s Out to Swim (OTS), an aquatics club for adults founded 25 years ago for primarily LGBT+ people (also welcoming to all adults with an interest in aquatic sport, including disabled swimmers), with the hope they could offer some insight into improving our club.

As Communications and Engagements Officer and LGBT+ rep, I took part in a swimming session with the team and had the opportunity to speak to the Men’s Captain, Andrew Benson, before the session began.

Andrew has been at the club for two years and regularly competes in Masters events with the club, these include ASA British Swimming Competitions as well international LGBT+ competitions. Out to Swim is one of the largest Masters swimming clubs in the UK, and is well represented at these competitions which is reflected in their results.

However, it’s not just the training and results that Andrew thinks is so important about the team, but rather the community that’s been created. Like many teams, members are incredibly supportive of each other and experience comradeship in and out of the pool. Being a swimmer and a member of the LGBT+ community creates a unique opportunity in which like-minded people can come together in an environment where they feel comfortable in a space in which they can be themselves.

Despite this, it hasn’t proven as easy for all members of the community to get involved; gender based changing rooms and costume restraints create limitations. This is an issued shared with UCLSC as we have little to no Trans and non-binary participation within the club. OTS, in collaboration with TAGS – Trans and gender non-conforming swimming group, now have a twice monthly swimming session at Swiss Cottage. The pool has its own private changing for members and OTS provide a coach to help develop swimmers style and technique. We are fortunate at UCL to also provide certain sessions that have non-gendered changing rooms. However, we both agree that there is more to do to increase participation, as there have been no swimmers making the step from their Trans and non-binary sessions to the general OTS sessions available.

On top of this, there are additional boundaries of gendered racing. OTS keep themselves up to date with ASA guidelines and regulations on this, but go one step further with their involvement in LGBT+ competitions. These competitions have less regulation and therefore cater more towards all people included in the LGBT+ spectrum, as well as holding separate races for non-binary swimmers. It’s been important to note the scope of which can be made available and how limited we are within our own swim team currently.

Lastly, Andrew expressed the importance in any sports team that it was everybody’s responsibility to call out discriminatory behaviour. Having someone who’s specifically available for discrimination to be reported to, in cases where it may be inappropriate or difficult to call out behaviour at the time of incidence, would make carrying this out easier. He thought the idea of having an LGBT+ rep to do this was a great step in the right direction.

It was great to meet Andrew and then experience a training session with the team and gave an insight into the importance of having these spaces and how they’re a benefit to the community. The session was hard work and good fun, with members managing to make me feel welcome in the limited time there was to talk during the rest. I hope to be able to train with them again in the future as I thoroughly enjoyed it – if you want to find out more about OTS then please visit their website https://www.outtoswim.org/. See also our other featured Pride in Sports week events.

 

BUCS Long Course: 16-18 Feb

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lol the photo composition isn’t the best but at least we’re not lying when we say it’s long course

Ponds Forge – the scene was set, and yes, as you would expect, UCL stepped up to the mark.

UCL swimmers embarked on an impressive Friday evening in the steel city, with Phyllida (Goggy) Britton almost breaking her own UCL record in the 800m freestyle. Yes, you read that correctly, 800. Oh, by the way, did we mention that she also did it with one lung? #Thisgirlalwayscan.

That was followed by a cracking 4×100 Freestyle Relay by the LADS – JJ, Frankie, Dan and Rob. Unfortunately, they missed out on the B final by 0.5. This would become a sorry feature of the trip.

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Customary Wagamamas pic (We didn’t forget to take one inside…)

After a quick group shave on Friday night, we did indeed go on to smash Saturday, well guessed.

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6 award-winning shaves, 1 shave/record.

An amazing 6 records were broken!

These came from:
1. Dan the man with a plan in the 50 Back,
2. Annalise the rower in the 50 Breast and 50 Free,
3. Rob the captain in the 200 Free, and
4. the LADS in the 4×100 Medley Relay (Dan, JJ, Rob and Frankie).

To our disgust, the boys’ medley team got touched out of a spot in the B final by just 0.35 of a second – Rob told reporters that this was the lowest he’d been since Gerrard’s slip.

5. However, Goggy re-galvanised our spirits with a storming 2.04.63 UCL record in the 200 free FINAL, to finish in 7th place!

With a cheeky nandos from Saturday night fuelling our athletic endeavours, Sunday was also a successful day for the team, with a further 4 UCL records tumbling. These came from: Goggy in the 400 Free, Rob in the 200 fly (with a 17 second drop-off, that’s what we call pacing yourself), Annalise in the 100 Free, and JJ in the 200IM. It was raining records! If you follow our twitter @UCLSwimClub (cue: follow us, locate us on the side bar), you will know that we have already made that pun.

Special mention must go to Wall, who produced a cracking 100 Breast, and Alan. Alan, ladies and gents, smashed the 400 Free after doing a few 50 sprints approximately 30 seconds before his race. He’s Alan, he does what he wants.

Overall, 10 records smashed, lots of fast swimming, many PBs, and 8 top lads.

Good job team.

London League R2

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how many champions can a hot tub fit? 13.

Building on our momentum from Round 1 and itching to get back racing after the Christmas break, we arrived at the Imperial pool with high hopes of winning yet another London League round.

Safe to say we did not disappoint our travelling fans (Georgie and Ellen), who watched on as we beat a very competitive field, including a revived Imperial team.

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Our travelling support and Instagram team consisted of our two great social secs, Georgie and Ellen! Absolute legends

They still didn’t stand a chance though, as we continued our winning streak in the competition.

Special mention must go to Jackie, Becca and JJ for stepping up to the mark and swimming a ridiculous amount. Also congrats to debutants Matt and Hope! 100 fly for Hope in her first UCL meet, that’s how nice Emily and Rob are 🙂

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Becca and Jackie in the midst of battle. This was taken in between Jackie complaining to Rob about the events he had given her

Well done guys!

(the sesh after at the metric bar was pretty lit not gonna lie, good job Imperial)

Alumni Gala – it’s been a good half-decade

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they’ve returned (and they are still pretty fast in the water!)

What a night! UCLSC is half a decade old this year but our swimmers are always looking young (maybe it’s the chlorine).

To celebrate, we’ve brought everyone out to Hackney for a gala:

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it’s not exactly Hackney but we’ve got the entire pool (and 2 very bored lifeguards).

Here are some pictures of how the night went swimmmingly well!

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Our captain *trying* to look optimistic as our founders reunite.

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have they been training????????? they are fast!

And post-gala, we fall back on tradition for a nice BYOB curry. Now, that’s a lot of swimmers in one tiny curry house.

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how many swimmers can you fit in a curry house? 

MAJOR CREDITS to Ellen for organising this event and making sure we all get our curry. Insane feat.

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we just needed more reasons to eat cake 

And HUGE THANKS to Gabi for getting the club our first NON-WEARABLE MERCH – A WATER BOTTLE! We are selling them at £3 in 2 colours and they are stylish af. Ideal for pres if you need it! What are you waiting for???

Merry Christmas!

2017 has been crazy, but we are nearing the end of it!

Lots have been going on and here’s a breakdown of what went on in December:

1. Christmas Dinner 

With 53 of you joining us at the Shakespeare’s Head on Carnaby Street, this is the biggest turn out ever! Thank you Ellen and Georgi, our amazing Social Secs, for organizing such a blast! And if you haven’t heard about the latest ship of the club… cough *janiel* cough

2. Christmas Gala

We don’t have a picture for this but saaaaaaaay whaaaaaaaat. We’ve managed to raised £70 for Aspire, a national charity that provides practical help to people who have been paralysed by Spinal Cord Injury helping them move from injury to independence.

As our Engagement and Community Officer, Louis have organised this charity gala, throwing in fun races involving questionable Santa hats and socks to end our last swim session of the year on a high note. Congratulations to Team 4 for winning a box of Celebrations (that everyone stole from anyway lol)!

If anyone love to find out more about UCL Swimming’s other volunteering projects (i.e. Starfish Volunteering), do not hesitate to reach out to Louis!

Also, goodbye to our Canadian star, Will Brothers! We hope to see you again at UCL next year!

3. Naked Calendar

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We stripped … like we always do in the changing room lol

UCLSC will probably be on the naughty list this Christmas for posing *naked* but this is all for a good cause!

In support of mental health charity MIND, UCL Swimming has joined forces with other sports team in UCL to go bare for a 2018 calendar shoot! Head down to CSC reception or here to get your family and friends the best christmas gift! (ps im buying this for my mom)

4. Kit!

Our swimming caps are here! With the constant hard work of our Marketing Officer, Kai, Christmas came early with our newly designed swim caps! Do wear it proud when you head home and swim at your local gyms! T-shirts to come next year, and keep a look out for our Under Armour kit rolling out soon. Note: PAY UP TO GET THEM ASAP!

Mega thanks to our Alumni and Sponsorship officer, Gabi, for securing us a huuuuuuuuuuuge sponsorship from George Farha! You will see our sponsor logos on your kit as a form of gratitude. Also, with this sponsorship, we’ve managed to get our competitive team new personalized bullet caps! Wrap up! 

We hope all of you enjoyed your time with us here in UCL Swimming. Merry Christmas and have a great new year!