Welcome to UCL Swimming Club 2020-2021!

Hey everyone!

It’s been a really strange couple of months for everyone. Like most people, our events that were planned for the end of last year were cancelled, and coronavirus is continuing to present new challenges to everyone. Whilst there is still a lot of uncertainty, we are excited to get back to the pool and show everyone the best society UCL has to offer!

Meet the 2020-2021 Committee: Despite the challenges of navigating a world with coronavirus, the new committee is already hard at work behind the scenes, planning the year ahead. They are:

What will training look like next year?

We’re not quite sure how many training sessions we’ll be able to provide this year, due to the current situation but we are working hard to secure some pool time that allows us to put on COVID-safe training sessions🏊‍♀️.

What we know for sure is that we will have land (and hopefully pool) sessions run by our qualified committee members, suitable for everyone regardless of ability! At the moment, these will be both online and face-to-face, but this may change depending on any new rules and regulations put in place by the UK Government.

We will still be running socials, however there will be an extra emphasis on remote socials, so that we can accommodate everyone! Keep your eyes peeled for icebreakers, games nights and pub quizzes 🙂

Membership is on sale now: Interested in joining us? Membership is available to purchase now. For this year, it is £65 for fitness and £85 for competitive. Click here to get yours !

Facebook Group: We now have a UCL Swimming Club 2020-2021 Facebook Group! Once you have bought your membership, click here to join.

Welcome Fair 2020: If you have any questions that we haven’t answered here, or you just want to say hi to the committee, then be sure to drop by our stall at the Welcome Fair! It will be taking place on 30th September (12-4) and 3rd October (10-2).

Varsity 2020!!

The date was 6th March and the venue was the prestigious Crystal Palace National Sports Centre. In the grounds of the pool, the FA Cup final was held from 1895 to 1914, and athletics records were broken by names such as Usain Bolt, Michael Johnson and Paula Radcliffe.

However, on this Friday afternoon, UCL Swimming brought it names that included Justin Semenkoff, Rebecca Hoadley, and Janis Mok, to conquer the Kings Swimming team. Not only did we conquer, but in doing so we secured our 6th straight victory in Varsity, continuing our unbeaten record!!

Nevertheless, congratulations to the Kings team for running (swimming) us so close on the day, with only a slim margin of victory separating the two teams overall. Also, a big thanks goes to Kings for organising the event!

After the day’s proceedings, our swimmers sat down (Chinese takeaway in one hand, a selection of Tesco beverages in the other) to watch the UCL and Kings water polo teams battle it out! Big shout out to our own Welfare and Sponsorship Officer, Lizzie Rose, for her match winning performance as the UCL Females overcame their Kings counterparts.

Big credit must go to the two competitive captains, Justin and Rebecca, for leading the team to another Varsity victory! Also, shout outs to Becca Lin, Janis Mok, Oskar Soulas, Maya Kirlew, Daniel Morgolin, Caterina Vanelli-Coralli, Rory Alexander, Samuel Bouilloud, Toby Katerbau and the two Robs for some great swimming.

Special plaudits go to John Telensky for swimming probably more events than Michael Phelps did throughout the entire 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

Another successful year, and onto the next one!! #bleedpurple


London League Round 2!!

(30 November, 2019)

London league Round 2 was set in the territory of Imperial College London.

Unfortunately we were rather undermanned conpared to the first round, having only 4 girls, (Rebecca, Janis, Goggy, and Nicole) and 6 guys (Justin, Sam, Daniel, Oskar, John, and Jonghak) showed up.

Nonetheless, Rebecca led the girls as they swam through all the events, having no backup squad members to even out the race distributions. Her strategy and willingness to hand over the 100im and the 100 fly to Goggy was very commendable!

On the other hand, Justin led to the boys through an equally tough series of races due to the evident lack of rest and squad. However, in the end we managed to achieve a respectable result and win a couple races, despite fierce competition from the other unis!

Thanks to everyone involved!!

BUCS Short Course 2019!!

[15 – 17 November, 2019]

Our first BUCS competition of the year got off to a great start on the Friday with Goggy getting a win for UCL in the 1500m freestyle (after just swimming in 2 relays!!). In the evening we prepared for the rest of the weekend by eating burgers at GBK (maybe not the best pre-race food) and were up early for the following morning’s races.

Saturday was a successful day, with some great PBs and Maya making the 50 back final and going sub 30s for the first time! Not to mention Goggy also getting a bronze medal in the 800m!! The day ended with some Italian food and a viewing of Johnnie English 3. The weekend finished with some great swims, especially from John and Maya, who both got PBs and then we all headed back to London after a fun weekend of racing.


Justin and Rebecca rallied the troops for another class weekend of swimming in Sheffield!


Shark Run 2019!!


The night which UCL Swimming Club is famous for, Shark Run, even more appealing this year because it fell on Halloween!! With our two Social Secs (Rob and James) being masters of the English language, they devised the idea of calling this year’s event…drum roll please…’SPOOKY Shark Run’.

To mark the occasion, our sharks (Rob Hilton and Becca Lin), terrorised the rest of the club with RED (not blue) paint. Rob later stated that being a shark in his fourth year at UCL was the proudest moment of his life.


Our two sharks for the evening (Check out the pristine DIY job on the fin and t-shirt from Becca)

After starting our mission at ULU, swimmers attempted, but failed miserably, to evade the two sharks in a route that went via the Main Quad, The Northumberland Arms, The Court and The Fitzrovia. Eventually finishing at Roxy which suffered from some serious queue management issues, many of the team could be seen enjoying a McDonald’s, whilst waiting for the 29 and covered head to toe in red paint.

Another fantastic evening for the team and we are looking forward to many more throughout the year!


Outside the Fitzrovia – lots of smiles, red paint and cheese balls

UCL Swimming Takes Cambridge 2019!


Another year, another pilgrimage to Cambridge, and yet again, UCLUSC did not disappoint. Well rested after a two-hour coach journey from the Royal Albert Hall, we arrived at the educational capital of the UK in suitably respectable style, goggles in one hand, KFC Bargain Bucket in the other, to take on anybody that stood in our way.

Possibly due to the debatable pre-competition nutritional tactics, particularly from the two Robs, and the fact that we were missing some key players, the team has seen better days in the pool. Nevertheless, plaudits must be given to John Telensky and Anna Spentzou for tackling the 100 fly! Also, special mention to our VP, Becca Lin, for swimming…well everything really.



We then enjoyed a delicious Thai meal before heading off to mark our territory at the Regal! With the theme being Tube Stations, our ingenuity in costume design demonstrated why we all deserve to be at UCL. From Chalk Famers to Nuns (Seven Sisters), from Napoleon (Waterloo) to Shepherds (Bush), our team impressed every innocent onlooker in town.


Despite briefly worrying (halfway down the motorway) that we had left the entire Imperial team behind in Cambridge, we were informed that they had actually all taken the train back to London earlier that evening. Once again, UCL had shown its superiority.

Thanks for a great trip everyone, especially to the Fitness team for coming along to support!

See you all next year!

London League Round 1 2019/20


UCL Swimming Club’s first competitive outing of the season did not disappoint, with us winning the year’s first round of London League.

Leaving all other London universities in our wake, including Imperial, Kings and Brunel, UCL dominated both the individual and relay events to conquer London League yet again. Despite fearsome tactics by Brunel in the 8x50m mixed freestyle relay of putting their four male swimmers on the first four legs, UCL fought from almost a length behind to touch the wall first – is there nothing we can’t overcome?!

Special mention must go to our elite performers in Goggy, Maya, Oskar, Alvin, Janis, James, Daniel and our resident captains: the ‘Mighty Medic’ Rebecca and the ‘Fake Frenchman’ Justin. Apologies if I missed anyone out (please blame Rob Brunton).

We celebrated by taking a classic team victory photo in the pool after the afternoon’s rather undramatic events. It must be noted however that this was after all the other teams had done exactly the same thing…maybe we should let them know that they have nothing to celebrate?

Onto the next round and well done team!


Summer Dinner 2019


The academic year has come to a close and it’s time to say goodbye to UCLSC until next September!

May 29th saw us all meet up for the final time for a lovely summer dinner together at The Barley Mow on Duke Street, followed by a wild night out at Loop (to keep up tradition of course!!)

Also following tradition, awards were given out to some extra special swimmers who showed superb effort all year round! The following awards were given out:

Swimmer of the year: Lizzie Rose (History fresher who went from fitness to competitive and can always be found with a big smile on her face!!)

Most dedicated member: Tahlia Spink (The number of years that Tahlia’s been a part of UCLSC is wILD)

Most improved member: Sam Bouilloud (Keep up the good work, Sam!! (How do you do it??))

Female competitor: Rebecca Hoadley (from fresher to next year’s Competitive Captain, we can’t wait to see what Rebecca does for UCLSC!)

Male competitor: Justin Gay Semenkoff (Justin has wowed us with his impressive swims and will be joining Rebecca next year as Competitive Captain!)


Thank you to everyone who has been a part of UCL Swimming Club this year, new or old, and we can’t wait to see you all again next academic year!


Swimathon 2019


15 members of UCLSC (both fitness and competitive!) took part in the annual Swimathon this March in aid of Marie Curie and Cancer Research UK! In teams or individually, our swimmers had to complete 5k and in total, the club has managed to raise a massive £3,056.67 for charity!

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We’re so proud of the amazing fundraising efforts, fab swimming and great team spirit you’ve all shown! Bring on next year!!


AGM (Meet our new committee!)


The time has come to say goodbye to our old committee…


…and hello to our new one!!


Thank you very much to everyone on this year’s (2018-19) committee for your hard work and dedication to UCLSC, you will all be missed!

UCLSC’s 2019-20 committee:

President: Melina Olson

Vice-President: Rebecca Lin

Treasurer: Emily Nice

Competitive Captains: Rebecca Hoadley & Justin Gay Semenkoff

Fitness Captains: Brooklyn Ho, Alex Harmer & Eloi de Clercq

Social Secretary: James Armitage

Community Outreach Officer: Rosalind Walden

Welfare Officer: Lizzie Rose