Pride Volunteering Fair - Tuesday March 31st, 6pm

Added on by Chris Richards.

Back for its third year, the ever-popular Pride Volunteering Fair is a chance to meet a range of charities and voluntary organisations and find out how you can get involved to support them with your time and skills.
 
The event is kindly being hosted at St Thomas’ Hospital in Shepherd Hall, overlooking the river and the Houses of Parliament. All bar proceeds will go to the Hospital Trust.
 
This is a free event but to help us plan for numbers guests are asked to register below: 

Gay Aqua Sports Social Tomorrow

Added on by Chris Richards.

Happy Friday Team OTS!

This Saturday night please do come along to the Gay Aqua Sports Social at Jetlag Sports Bar, 125 Cleveland Street, W1T 6QB from 8pm. We'll be there along with members of the newly formed Gay Rowing Team (London Otters) and Gay Dragon Boat Racing Club (Flaming Dragons). Admission is free but please do register here to make sure you're on the list.

See you there!

Chris & Chris

Some 2015 Diary Dates

Added on by Chris Richards.

Happy New Year Team OTS!

We often get sent notifications of events around the world that you may find of interest so to help plan out your fabulous year ahead here's some dates for your diary!

Gay Sports Fair

Tuesday 27th Jan, 6pm

The Kia Oval, Kennington Oval (via Alec Stewart Gate)

More Info

Back for its third year, the ever popular Gay Sports Fair returns just in time for that post festive-season fitness burst. Come along and meet the various gay sports teams of London, with the backdrop of the iconic Kia Oval cricket ground. 

Gay Aqua Sports Social

Saturday 31st Jan, 8pm

Jetlag Sports Bar, 125 Cleveland Street, W1T 6QB

More Info

The London Gay Rowing Team have organised a Gay Aqua Sports Social on 31 Jan in a sport bar in Central London.

European Snow Pride 2015

21st - 28th March

Tignes, Espace Killy

More Info

Back for it's 3rd season I'm told this year will be an even bigger event, with guests from even more countries converging on Tignes to experience an unforgettable week of great skiing, partying and socialising.

Prague Rainbow Spring 2015

1-3rd May

Prague, Czech Republic 

More Info

Prague Rainbow Spring is an international sports tournament for LGBT athletes, their friends, colleagues and supporters. More than 500 participants from many countries are expected to compete in 8 different sports.

EuroGames Stockholm

5-8th August
Stockholm, Sweeden
More Info

Along with teams from across Europe, Team OTS will be competing in all of our disciplines in what promises to be quite an event! Register now to guarantee your place!

TSIGALEM 2015 - Sports International Tournament Gay and lesbian Montpelier

28, 29 & 30 August

Montpelier, France

More Info

More details are yet to be announced, check their site if you're interested.

Buttermere Open Water 5K & 10K Swim

20th September

Buttermere, Cumbria

More Info

Registration due to open mid-January 

Tel Aviv Water Games Swimming Tournament

15 - 18 October

Tel Aviv, Israel

More Info

An international LGBT sports and cultural festival happening October 15 – 19, 2015 in Tel Aviv, Israel. For the first time ever, the festival will unite the freedom of gay Tel Aviv with an international sports event on the shores of beautiful Tel Aviv.


See you poolside,
 

Chris & Chris xx

OTS Christmas Party, After Party & Uber Credit

Added on by Chris Richards.

The big day is almost upon us, this time tomorrow you'll be polishing your dancing shoes ready to tear up the dance floor at this year's OTS Christmas Party at Pause Bar, 80 Leadenhall Street, London EC3A 3DH. Doors open at 6.30pm, make sure you arrive promptly as food will be served from 7pm. On arrival you'll receive your two free drink tokens that you can exchange at the bar which will be serving until midnight

Unfortunately if you don't already have a ticket we cannot sell any more and we'll be unable to sell tickets at the door on the night...but you can join the unofficial After Party at East Block, 217 City Road, EC1V 1JN. 

OTS party ticket holders are on the guest list, just quote your name at the door for cheap entry (£5 instead of £10). The main room is pop until 4am when the pumping house arrives! The second room this month is the bear night Hot Fuzz and the third room has Tony from East 17 (LEGEND!) doing a 90s pop set. If you want to know more check out the event page on the book of faces: https://www.facebook.com/events/599069263549883/?fref=ts 

Also our friends at Uber have a little treat to help you arrive in style if you've never used them before, you can use use this promo code XMASfxk4t and receive one free ride up to £20 in London (Valid until 31/12/14. Up to the value of £20, first riders only).

Finally a massive thank you to the record number of ticket holders for this year's party, we're overwhelmed by the support and really excited for what is promised to be an amazing night!

Chris & Chris xx

Please note that Uber, East Block and the services they provide are in no way endorsed by Out to Swim. Your use of these services is entirely at your own risk. Out to Swim accepts no liability for any loss or damage suffered by any person arising from the use of this post. 

Festive Season Changes to Sessions

Added on by Chris Richards.

December is such a difficult month. On the one hand there are parties to go to, presents to buy and drinks to be drunk. On the other hand there is swimming, polo, lessons and synchro to fit in; not to mention cold Mincie Pie dips to be taken. Add into the mix pool closures and one's diary becomes a nightmare!

To help you through the maze that is December, here are some dates for you:

  • Saturday 6th December - ULU closed. No swimming or polo. OTS party instead
  • Saturday 13th December - ULU closes at 18:00. Swimming as usual, but no polo
  • Sunday 14th December - Synchro Christmas show. All welcome, QM pool, 6pm, only £3

Then, over the festive period proper, we have the following last and first swims of the year:

  • Oasis - last swim 18th Dec, first swim 5th Jan
  • QM - last 21st Dec, first 4th Jan
  • Guys - last 18th Dec, first 7th Jan
  • ULU - last 23rd Dec, first 5th Jan
  • LAC - not affected, open on 21st and 28th
  • Marshall St - last 19th Dec, first 2nd Jan

Hope to see lots of you at the OTS party on Saturday, but if not, have a great December and all it brings!

Best wishes

Oonagh

OTS Christmas Party - Final Reminder & After Party

Added on by Chris Richards.

This is my last post I promise....final reminder that Christmas Party ticket sales close in 24hrs - if you've not got your ticket already buy it right now, no more tickets can be purchased after 6pm on Sunday November 23rd.

Your ticket includes sumptuous food, amazing entertainment and TWO drinks tokens; you cannot pay on the door, this really is your last chance to come along!

We're really thrilled that so many are already on the list and big thanks to Iarla for negotiating an official after party at East Bloc where he's arranged guest list & cheap entry for all OTS Xmas Party goers, if you're on the book of faces sign up to the event here.

Don't forget to:

  • let me know if you have any dietary requirements
  • keep posting your OTS pictures in OTS Members
  • get in touch with your discipline rep to take part in the OTS Quiz!

See you in two weeks!

The Chrises

xx

Christmas Party Ticket Deadline - Only 5 Days Left

Added on by Chris Richards.

A massive thank you goes out to the record numbers of you that have already purchased your tickets for this year's OTS Christmas Party! If you've not got yours already there are just 5 days left to get your ticket - ticket sales will close at 6pm this Sunday so don't delay - buy yours now!

Only tickets purchased online before this Sunday at 6pm will be accepted on the night (this is a restriction imposed by the venue).

If you are coming and have any specific dietary requirements please reply to this email and let me know, we'll make sure they're catered for.

Don't forget that not only does your ticket grant you fabulous food, amazing company and some of the best entertainment around you also get TWO drinks tokens to use at the bar! 

Finally, don't forget to offer your services to your discipline rep for the inaugural OTS Quiz taking place at the party, click their face to get in touch.

Looking forward to seeing you all on the night,

Chris&Chris xx

OTS Team Swimwear

Added on by Chris Richards.

The first batch of the brand new OTS team swimwear has been received and I'm sure you'll agree that it looks fantastic! If you missed out it's not too late, you can now order direct from our supplier by clicking this link.

A massive thank you to James and the design team for putting together this fantastic collection!

Announcing the OTS Christmas Party 2014

Added on by Chris Richards.

Good tidings we bring, to you and your kin,
We're throwing a party, so the good-times can begin!

The tree's going up, the lights will be aglow,
It's a time to celebrate, with the people we know.

The night will be ours, and you should dress smartly,
Do come and join us, for the OTS Xmas Party!!!

Swimmers, this is your official invitation to this year's OTS Christmas Party! Saturday December 6th 2014 plays host to a fabulous evening of food, drinks and awards at Pause Bar, 80-84 Leadenhall Street, London, EC3A 3DH (near to Aldgate tube station, south down Aldgate High Street). The party starts at 6:00pm and we have the whole venue exclusively and fully equipped with our choice of music, until the early hours of the morning.

But wait boys and girls, there's more! Your entry ticket includes a full hot buffet but you also get TWO alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages from the bar!

A limited number of early bird tickets are now available at the discounted price of £20 (standard £22.50) each, once they're gone!

Alongside some fantastic entertainment we have a fine selection of food available and of-course the hotly anticipated, star studded, awards ceremony! Will you win? Who knows? And you won't know unless you secure your place now! Voting will take place with the run up to the Xmas party, so please watch this space!

Also making a debut this year is the first OTS inter-club discipline quiz! Help your discipline representative secure a rightful victory by joining your team panel! The teams will be organised by the discipline reps so please do let them know if you want to be involved. There will be 3 club member to each discipline. The winning team receives not just the honour of victory but a much coveted prize too!

Halloween Social & Fall Theatre

Added on by Chris Richards.

The thermometer has fallen and the nights are drawing in but hold your despair; this Halloween come along to a free Halloween party where the team behind the London 2018 Gay Games bid, supported by the Out for Sport network, will be launching the countdown to Sport in the City; their week-long sports festival taking place in October 2015.

They've secured exclusive use of a great new gay venue in the trendy Smithfield Market area, just a two minute walk from Barbican or Farringdon tube stations.

Special cocktails and drinks offers on the night and prizes for best Halloween costumes.

As if that's not excitement enough this autumn brings a new must-see gay play at Southwark Playhouse - The UK Première of NEXT FALL staring Coronation Street’s Charlie Condou.

Next Fall portrays the ups and downs of Adam and Luke’s long term relationship and how they make it work - despite their differences. Luke is devoutly religious, while Adam is an atheist. However, following an unexpected accident which changes everything, Adam must turn to Luke’s family and friends for support…and answers. This timely and compelling new American play goes beyond a typical love story and paints a beautiful and funny portrait of modern romance, questioning commitment, faith and unconditional love. 

Next Fall opened in New York in 2009 to huge critical acclaim before transferring to the Helen Hayes Theatre on Broadway in 2010, where it was produced by Sir Elton John and David Furnish. We are delighted to produce the play in London and are blown away with the response we have received thus far.

Gay Games 9 – Go All Out

Added on by Richard Hughes.

When the Gay Games finished in 2010 in Cologne, we were all buzzing from a fantastic meet and many of us made poolside promises to do it all again. That was until the next Gay Games was planned for Cleveland. Yes, it’s not San Fran, or Chicago, but it was America and we hoped for plenty of super fast swimmers to make for a promising competition.

So, Steph and I dutifully completed our registration online in January this year, expecting (hoping?) others would follow suit. They didn’t, so Steph and I represented OTS and spent the week explaining that we swam with OTS in Brighton, not London!

After a cancelled flight, two further flights and 24 hours awake we arrived in Cleveland. The build up was slow and I’m not sure that Cleveland was ready for the rainbow covered masses, but the atmosphere warmed up gradually and it was an enjoyable competition.

471 swimmers were registered and of these 78 were women. We were a bit disappointed with this as we hoped that the land of Missy Franklin and Katie Ledecky would turn out some more ladies for racing, but alas, it was not to be. The first day of racing meant a 200IM for me; I’d not raced this event before so I figured anything was a PB – right?! Plus, we’d only done one cheeky 50m pool training session so I must say the lack of turns was VERY noticeable! I finished in second place with a time of 3:03 so I was pleased with that.

On the second day of swimming Steph and I both swam 100m free and 50m breast. In the 100m free Steph took 5 seconds off her time and I added a couple of seconds on. Steph finished with a bronze and I took the gold. In the 50m breast Steph was very accurate with her time, finishing in fourth place and I was again slow by two seconds and came in second.

The final day of swimming for us bought mixed feelings; Steph was feeling unwell and didn’t swim and I had my best day’s swim. In the 100m breast I took 5 seconds off my seeded time and came in second. I pretty much hit my seeded time for the 50m fly and came in first. It bothered me that I was the only woman in my age group to compete in the 50m fly, but it was my best and final swim so I was pleased with it.

The competition was incredibly well staffed, we even had a Policeman on poolside (no truncheon jokes please!) and there were plenty of friendly volunteers who each had their own story. They gave their time freely and made us feel very welcome.

The only down side to the meet was that heats were run in age group order, not speed order, which meant you weren’t always racing people of your speed. The other swimmers were talkative and supportive as not many people had made the journey from the UK. One swimmer from QUAC (Queer Utah Aquatic Club), stood at the end of the pool on my 50m fly and cheered me into the wall. I’d met him 20 minutes earlier and told him my partner was unable to swim or spectate. As I was there by myself, he said he would shout for me from poolside. When I finished, I was so pleased to see him standing there, congratulating me. That’s what the Gay Games are all about, so next time it’s a location you may not fancy, just give it a shot, you will certainly get something out of it.

Kate Whitmill

Out to Swim - South


OTS Rule the White Water Waves!

Added on by Chris Richards.

Team Out to Swim took to the Olympic White Water venue at Lee Valley today for some thrills, spills and only a few minor injuries ;) Fantastic fun, a big shout out to our raft leaders for such an amazing day!

Out For Sport - School Sports Day 2014

Added on by Christophe Claux.

Hey swimmers, don't forget that on Saturday 16 August 2014, Out For Sport will be hosting a 'School Sports Day' on Clapham Common. This is a free event and by far the most entertaining day in the LGBT Sports Calendar. Would be great to see as many of you down there as possible. Full details on the Facebook page below.

Registration starts at 14:00 near the Windmill on Clapham Common. Once the day is over, we will all be heading to the 2 Brewers for a night of entertainment.

Any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me, otherwise checkout the Facebook page below.

Summer Picnic

Added on by Chris Richards.

Just a quick reminder that the Out to Swim Summer Picnic is tomorrow at 2pm on Hampstead Heath. We're meeting near the boating lake to the right of the men's pond and if the weather turns drizzly we'll head over to The Vine. See you tomorrow!

OTS logo/swimwear design competition: Winning designs

Added on by James Langridge.

Dear OTS Members

Following an extremely high level of response from the club to the Logo/swimwear design questionnaire, we have selected and finalised the winning new logo and swimwear designs. As the club has evolved over the past two decades, these designs capture the boldness, vibrancy and strength that the club has today. We hope that you will train and compete in these designs and be proud of what they stand for.

A massive thank you to Eduardo Murillo for his winning designs and significant and continued work, and also to Emily Chong and Sam Shepherd for giving their time and sharing their talent as part of this project. Also to Sion O'Connor for his expertise and ongoing support.

We have taken time to test various swimwear samples to ensure that we have selected the best quality swimwear for these designs. We are currently finalising artwork with the swimwear developer and, once this is done, will send details of how you can purchase the new swimwear range.

Many thanks and enjoy your weekend.

James

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Summer Picnic in the Park - Saturday 12 July 2014

Added on by Christophe Claux.

Happy Friday OTS!

As you've seen this week we've had less than summer sunshine and though we're hoping and praying the weather will improve tomorrow it doesn't look promising.

Now as much as some of you might enjoy sitting on the wet ground (and please if you do don't let us stop you) we think it's best to reschedule.

BBC are forecasting rain from 3pm all afternoon so for now, please keep you're Prosecco in the fridge and keep your fingers crossed for next weekend :)

Love the Chrisses



Summer Picnic in the Park - Saturday 12 July 2014

Added on by Christophe Claux.

In the height of the summer sun bring along some snacks and drinks (remember sharing is caring) to a gathering on Hampstead Heath ponds and feel free to swim/dive, run/ride, chase/hide. Obviously, the event is dependent on the weather, therefore rain-checks are likely (such will be communicated no later than the day before the event).

We are aware that many of you will want to attend your usual swim/ water-polo sessions from 5pm - 7pm at ULU, therefore the picnic is scheduled to start between 1 and 2 pm giving you enough time to get to mingle, eat, drink, relax and enjoy the summer sun before your Saturday evening workout.

We will be meeting in front of the boating lake (immediately next to the Men's pond).

If you decide your having too much fun, then a group of us will be staying by the ponds and heading in to Soho for additional food and drinks for about 7pm. All our welcome.

Any questions, then just ask.

Lots of love Chris & Chris

 

Great East Swim 2014‏

Added on by Oonagh Gormley.

Great East Swim - Alton Water, Suffolk
 
The Great East Swim on Saturday 21st June saw 4 OTS-ers make the journey to deepest darkest Suffolk for this open water race which is part of the Great Swim series.  The team of Clinton, Martin, Lizzie and Lucille arrived early at the picturesque Alton Water reservoir near Ipswich, with the sun shining and a nervous high, especially for Lucille and lizzie who had never swum in an open water swimming race before. 
 
Clinton and Martin B took part in the 2 mile race. In matching wetsuits (with red arms) it was great to spot them hitting the front of the field and that is where they stayed. Clinton was first out the water in 44.38 and Martin 3rd in 44.53. First race down and two podium places for Out To Swim.
 
It was then the turn of the 1 mile racers with 8 waves setting off through out the day.  Lizzie finished in a time of 23.04 having gone off course and was redirected back by a canoeist but finished 3rd in the women's event out of 362 swimmers, 2nd in age group and 15th out of a total of 682 finishers.  Lucille also had a cracking swim finishing in 29mins 19 sec, 47th out of 362 women. 


Well done all.