In the summer, all our top squad swimmers, along with two coaches and a teaching assistant, honed their water polo skills with the Worthing Water Polo Club. Fifty Penguins swimmers took part over 4 sessions, and they all thoroughly enjoyed the chance to try a different aquatic discipline. We have a longstanding relationship with this historic Club, who also compete at a national level. We are very proud that one of our swimmers, Annah Bowles, is a member of both the Worthing Girls Team and the Sussex County Water Polo Team.
Penguins young and old have been enjoying our fun new synchronised swimming classes. These exciting, creative and energising classes take place on Sunday mornings (10am-10.45am) for swimmers aged 7 and over. It is a great way to try a new aquatic discipline, work together as a team and improve overall fitness and water confidence. Here’s what one mum thought of the sessions:
“I thought the class was really well structured with the warm up and warm down, then a good mix of skills practice, and learning a routine in between. Practicing the routine poolside was good, in terms of getting them synchronised – it also made it very obvious what a range of heights there were in the class. I was absolutely amazed at much they achieved in only 4 weeks.”
Let us know if you are interested in having a go – the first class is free!
Southern Water Achiever of the Year 2015
The Southern Water Achiever of the Year ceremony was held in Fareham at the end of October. We nominated Anya, aged 5, who was awarded a gold medal by Duncan Goodhew. Anya has cerebral palsy and is a huge inspiration to us all at Penguins. She achieved her 5 metres this summer. We were so proud of Anya, it moved us and her parents to tears!
Anya’s parents are very dedicated, ensuring that her cerebral palsy never holds her back. We feel privileged to be able to work with Anya and her family. She is our Saturday morning sparkle, always bursting to tell us her weekly news and we love seeing her beautiful smile as she walks down poolside to greet us.
We are really pleased to announce that we have been able to purchase a defibrillator, with the aid of a grant from the British Heart Foundation. This is now available for all swimming pool and sports hall users and anyone in need in the Lancing College facility. All Penguins teachers attended AED training specific to the model we now have at the pool. Please speak to any member of staff if you want to find out more.
In addition, some of our brave Masters Team swimmers took part in the 2015 Brighton Sea Swim to raise money for the British Heart Foundation. The team undertook the gruelling 1.25K swim around the West Pier in memory of Linette and Gill’s father, who used to compete in the Brighton Pier to Pier swimming race every year in his youth. Linette was the first non-wetsuited lady to complete the swim! She says: “The sea was choppy and it was a bit scary swimming around the Pier, but a great achievement to the Penguins team. My dad would have been really proud.”
Penguins Swimming Teacher Francesca, currently on a 6-month sabbatical teaching in Brazil, jetted over to China in November to ‘Walk the Wall’ in aid of Chestnut Tree house. She even managed to take a dip in the Olympic pool in Beijing while she was there! Francesca says: “As a group, we managed to raise over £93,000 for Chestnut Tree House, which has paid for at least two weeks of care costs”.
She adds: “Tutoring in Brazil is going well. I’m sea swimming, paddle boarding and hoping to do some scuba diving in my free time. I’m also hoping to set up an English school over Christmas (their summer holiday), where I will teach arts, crafts and sport, all in English.”
The 2015 Gala really topped off the year. It was fantastic to see so many brave swimmers taking part, some as young as 3, standing up and waving to a packed spectator gallery when they were introduced before their races. The children all swam their very best and were cheered on by mums and dads. It was amazing for us to see our swimmers step up and do their best. We could see how far they had come. Teacher Rosalind said it made her feel proud to be part of Penguins
We raised around £1,000 for the Shoreham Lifeboat. Steve Smith, Coxswain of the Shoreham Lifeboat presented all the prizes. The raffle raised around £300 – thanks for buying so many tickets! It was drawn by our older swimmers and all prize winners have been contacted. Thank you to everyone who donated such great prizes.
At the Gala, Penguins Special Achievers 2015 were nominated for showing dedication and determination in their attitude to their swimming:
Mya Hutton (aged 5), Declan Taylor (6), Macey Jennings (7), Sam Wilson (7), Leyla Serrtas (7), Harrison Dyball (8), Maia Hodges (8), Sofia Short-Ladero (9), Todd Peart (10), Daniel Byrne (10), Paddy Gladman (11)
Some messages about the Gala from parents which we love and sum up the event so well:
“We just wanted to say a big thank you for all your hard work in organising the Gala today. It was a first for Lottie and Noah but they both loved it. We were so proud of their achievements as a only a year ago Noah would not enter the water without one of us and Lottie could not swim 25m. This is thanks to everyone at Penguins.They can’t wait to take their medals into school!”
“Thank you so much for all the hard work you invested to make the Gala an enjoyable event…”
“It was so exciting! You all did such a great job. I nearly cried at how brave those kids were lining up in front of that packed spectator gallery.”
Gala photos: Wonderful and inspiring photos of the Gala can be viewed and purchased directly from Solent Sports. Ask a member of staff for the password.
We have lots of lovely Penguins merchandise available, from hoodies and hats to bags and bottles. There are Penguins folders for your swimming awards and certificates and we will soon be bringing you…Penguins Onesies! Speak to us at the pool if you would like to purchase anything.
Water safety is at the heart of our ethos and every member of Penguins staff receives lifesaving training each month to ensure our skills stay up to date. These 2-hour sessions are led by Scott Winstanley, our fantastic Royal Lifesaving Society (RLSS) approved trainer from Training-2Save. Some members of the Penguins team have been attending lifesaving training for nearly 30 years!
Our training covers everything from emergency incidents to Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation, use of the Automated External Defibrillator and First Aid. The photos here show our site-specific lifesaving and first aid training at Lancing College working as a team to support a swimmer who has a spinal injury in the water, April 2015.
Scott Winstanley says: ‘Penguins swim teachers are excellent at what they do. I am very impressed by the standard of the daily operation they deliver. Linette and her team are very dedicated to providing a safe environment for everyone involved. They are all competent in water safety, first aid and the use of the AED, which is excellent and something that we are very proud of here at Training-2save.’
All Penguins teachers are RLSS National Pool Lifeguard and National Rescue Test for Swimming Teachers qualified. We have now teamed up with Scott to offer the National Pool Lifeguard Qualification in October half term 2015 at Lancing College to anyone who can meet the criteria. Contact us for more details.
In October, nearly 40 young swimmers donned snorkels and fins to explore a deep sea coral reef – right here in our pool! Penguins teamed up with the Sussex Wildlife Trust to transform the swimming pool into a marine wonderland, perfect for underwater adventures. Two groups of 18 swimmers, along with 4 instructors, went exploring the seabed, swimming around life-like models of coral, seaweed and ocean creatures. The children learnt how to snorkel and swim using fins, whilst playing games and discovering facts about our oceans. An amazing day – we are very grateful to our friends at the Sussex Wildlife Trust for bringing the pool to life for our young deep sea divers.