LGBT Masters Aquatics Club

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.

Final Call - Pride 2014

Added on by Chris Richards.

It's your final boarding call, Pride 2014 is tomorrow! I hope you've your outfit ready and you're ready to stand Proud!

OTS is in Group 1 and we're meeting at 11am on Baker Street at the intersection with Portman Close, if you can't find us on the day get in touch with me on facebook or twitter.

Come along in whatever branded OTS team gear you own, your swim wear, waterpolo wear or whatever you like that shows off both you and OTS!

See you tomorrow!

Chris x

Psst are you following us?

British Gas Masters & Senior Age Group Championships

Added on by Oonagh Gormley.

This year the Long Course National Masters Championships was held in Swansea at the National swim centre from  13th - 15th June 2014. OTS managed to double the number of swimmers from last years event which was held down in Plymouth although one of the OTS members was just supporting oh and running all over when ever he could. The team consisted of Chris P, Lucille, David D-M, Tom, Lizzie and Martin S (chief supporter).
The weekend started on Friday with the 1500m race. Lucille  was the first OTS swimmer to compete in only her second 1500m race (her first just being a week previous at WAMM). Having never swam 1500m long course before she put in a fantastic performance finishing in a time of 27:05:48 and gained 6th place.
Next up was Chris in the 100m frontcrawl, swimming a time of 1:22:09 and a long course PB.  Chris was also my hero of the day as he saved me from gay shame having left my razor at the hotel and needing to shave down before the 200m IM! Oh yes it does make a difference.  200m IM saw Lucille swim a solid 3.45 (after a 1500m) and I broke 2.40 for the first time ever long course going 2:39:45 to win silver.
Saturday morning started with the Tom show, well what we mean was that the 400m fc was the first event and Tom was in the first event with two 80 plus year old men as he had entered his 800m fc time!!! So the heat was all about Tom and he swam a good time but has also learnt to check his entry times very carefully in the future.  Tom finished 6th in his 'new' age group and David D-M finished 5th in his.
The next hero of the weekend was David and his amazing skills in helping me into my super duper fastskin suit. I'm sorry to say Clinton and Martin B you may have lost your job!!! I then swam the 100m butterfly in 1:06:52 and broke the British Record that had stood for 12 years! I followed this up with a great 50m fly on the Sunday again lowering my British record for that event!
Chris had a very successful weekend swimming, the 3rd weekend on the bounce of swimming competitions for him and he produced 3 PB's, two of which were long course PB's.
David had to wait for the last event of the weekend for his main event. the 800m fc and swimming out of his skin he lived up to his nickname 'sharkie' and smashed his PB by 10 seconds to take bronze. 
Out To Swim is where the heart is!

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Pride Volunteering Fair Tonight

Added on by Chris Richards.

If marching really isn't your thing but you'd like to see how else you can help out with this year's pride The List are hosting a Pride Volunteering Fair at Hogan Lovells, 50 Holborn Viaduct from 6pm tonight.

It's free and you can just turn up, but it would be a big help if you add your name via the button below.

Important Pride Update

Added on by Chris Richards.

We're only 9 days away from OTS showing it's colours at this years London Pride and we've had final confirmation of our walking group and meeting time: 

OTS is Group 1 and we're meeting at 11am on Baker Street at the intersection with Portman Close.

Come along in whatever branded OTS team gear you own, your swim wear, waterpolo wear or whatever you like that shows off both you and OTS!

Pride is a fantastic time to celebrate your involvement with OTS so please do come along, show your colours and support your club and LGBT London! I'm talking to all of you, including you ;)

See you a week Saturday!

Chris & Chris & Chris & James x



London Pride 2014

Added on by Christophe Claux.

The big day is almost up on us. We will be parading through the streets of Sunny London on Saturday 28 June 2014.

As we are a swim team, we want everyone in their brightest possible swim wear. Vibrant colours, eye catching designs, anything that's going to help us stand out.

Pride in London 2013 was a huge success and it was delivered by amazing volunteers from across the LGBT+ community alongside fabulous straight allies. 

We want 2014 to be an even bigger success but for that to happen we need your help. 

The parade starts at 1pm, so we need everyone to be there by 11am. You will see us all standing on Portman Close near to Baker Street Tube Station.

Once the parade is over (15:00) we will be drinking around the streets of Soho.

Its going to be lots and lots of fun. You do not want to miss this!!!

London Aquatic Centre - Sunday Morning Swims

Added on by Thomas Harris.

Some great news just hot off the press – we have managed to secure two lanes at the 50 metre pool in the London Aquatic Centre (Stratford) on Sunday mornings from 09:00 to 10:00.  The sessions will start from Sunday 22nd June (so NOT this Sunday).

A few important points:

  • The sessions will be open to all main club swimmers in groups 1,2,3 or 4
  • It is likely that almost all of these sessions will need to be coached from the water (and a set will be e-mailed to one of the swimmers ahead of time)
  • We will carefully monitor the popularity of this slot; in particular, whether or not the slot in any way relieves the busyness at any of our other swimming sessions
  • At the moment, we have booked this session across most of this summer.  We will take stock when we get to September as to whether or not to continue with it.

Most importantly, of course, there will doubtless be a breakfast trip after a Sunday morning session – a guilt-free full English is a wonderful thing.

We continue to keep our eye out for swimming slot availability in different pools around London.... but this one is a great win!

The Swimmers' Manifesto - Call for Participants

Added on by Chris Richards.

King's College in association with Museum of Water by artist Amy Sharrocks have invited Out to Swim members to participate in an event they are producing with Somerset House. The event is called The Swimmers' Manifesto which is part of a larger programme of accompanying events that will take place on Midsummer's Day on 21 June, on the River Terrace of Somerset House. 

Accumulating over two years in different sites worldwide, Museum of Water is an invitation to ponder our precious liquid and how we use it. The exhibition will take place in Somerset House from 6 to 29 June.

To tie in with the theme of the exhibition, they are inviting passionate swimmers to go and create a public manifesto about the love of swimming. They've invited Out to Swim members to go and speak at The Swimmers' Manifesto and share your passion for swimming with the public and other swimming enthusiasts. 

They are asking speakers to prepare around 10 minutes to share on their soapbox on the River Terrace on 21 June between 12pm – 5.30pm. The manifesto will comprise of programmed speakers as well as an open callout to members of the public. The opportunity is unpaid.

Serpentine Swim Update

Added on by Kevin Stewart.

Please note that after discussions held at the Out to Swim committee meeting last Wednesday, including advice taken from SwimforTri who run the Serpentine sessions on Monday nights, a decision has been taken by the comittee that Learner and Developer swimmers will no longer be approved to swim at the Serpentine sessions on Monday starting tomorrow.

This is also a reminder that all swimmers are required to sign in with me before signing in with SwimforTri. If you are running late then please make an effort to find me after the session to register your attendance.

If you wish to discuss this or any other aspect of Open Water swimming with OTS with me then do feel free to drop me an email via the OTS Open Water site.

Nothing but Gold at WAMM

Added on by Oonagh Gormley.

Out To Swim gold rush...  Three relay golds for the intrepid team of five women who made it to Manchester for a weekend of fun and frolics. Thanks to Northern Wave for a fantastic international weekend. 


Serpentine swims

Added on by Kevin Stewart.

There was a big queue outside the Serpentine Lido swimming club on Monday night for the first swim this season!

Yes we finally are back in the slightly disturbingly green water of the Seprentine again. The temperature in the water was hovering around an enchanting 17 degrees. Just over 20 OTSwimmers glided serenely into the waters of the 100 meter long lido with the odd sharp intake of breath and only one or two little screams (of delight I’m sure) and started the 600m warm up. A few of us threw caution to the wind and slipped right in without wetsuits and it has to be said with way less drama than most tri-athletes (in wetsuits).

Although it was a very crowded first session, I can report that we all had a jolly good time.

Gay Sports Fair Sucess

Added on by Chris Richards.

Out To Swim had a huge success at taking part in the Gay Sports Fair with loads of keen interest from new swimmers, water polo players, open water swimmers, and synchronised swimmers.

Remember at Out To Swim we cater for everyone's needs from non swimmer up to national level, so if you chatted to a team member on Tuesday and want to give us a go.. Why not.. 
Come on Sunday evenings to Queen Mother swimming pool in Victoria between 7-8pm. Looking forward to seeing you in the pool soon.

Many thanks to Chris Jepson for the photos. 

Club Night - to end women's month

Added on by Oonagh Gormley.

Saturday 31st May is Club Night at ULU, 5-6pm.  ALL welcome, that means Ducklings, Development, main club, synchro-ers, polo-ers and ESPECIALLY their women friends.  Come along, bring a woman and let's all have fun.  We will make sure we have activities that everyone can enjoy.

Afterwards, women's social, with men friends, at the New Bloomsbury Set.

Strike a pose

Added on by Kevin Stewart.

Strike a pose with the new Out to Swim Open Water caps!

Whether it's lip-smakingly shocking pink, diabolically day-glow yellow or ludicrously luscious orange it would seem that the new Out to Swim Open Water caps are this season's must have swimming accessory. However I'm sorry to have to report that your club has now run out of its first ever print run of these beauties.

I can almost hear the disapointment from those of you not lucky enough to get your hands on one this time round. Don't be down hearted because you too can or strike a pose lake, river or poolside in one of these dazzling delights. I'm already compiling a list for the next print run so choose a colour and get tippity tapping on your keyboard. Simply drop me a "can I have one too please, oh please, oh please" email via the OTS (open water) website and I'll add your name to the growing list of people who want to see and be seen.

Happy swimming you lovely people!

Socials 2014 Update

Added on by Chris Richards.

Thank you so much to everyone that completed our survey! We had an overwhelming response that's allowed us to tailor our socials to your taste-buds :)

All that's left to do now is sign up to every single one of the winning entries! Check them out now

Enjoy the heatwave! Chrisses x

Out to Swim Water Polo Myth Busters

Added on by Daniel Morgan.

Javier, one of our new beginners who recently finished the London Orca Beginner's Lessons has written the following article based on his experience.

5 water polo myth busters or How I learned to stop worrying and joined London Orca

If you are reading this, chances are you want to learn more about London Orca. You may have heard about the club from a friend, seen them play at an event or maybe you have googled the words “gay” and “water polo” on a lonely Friday night (we’ve all been there). By now you have probably checked the team’s website and discovered, among all the Photoshop-free eye candy, the 6-week beginners course they run. You might even be toying with the idea of trying it out but do not know what to expect. Fret not, for I survived the course and can provide you with a reassuring, semi-informed opinion of what it feels like and more importantly, dispel any excuses conjuring in your head that are preventing you from joining us in the pool:

EXCUSE No. 1 - I have never played any (team) sport in my life – yet here you are, with your finger hovering over the ‘Join’ button, mmm… There must be a part of the Orca water polo experience that has piqued your interest, and the beginners course will be the perfect environment to put it to the test regardless of your ability handling wet balls (the jokes truly write themselves with water polo). The beginners lessons start from humble basics such as treading water and week by week build up to more complex techniques like passing and protecting the ball. You will even get to play some short games after the third week and you will grow more and more comfortable with your position and disposition in the water as weeks go on. Take it from someone who had never played water polo in his life before and was scoring goals by week 5 (technically it was off-side but they will not take that away from me). 

EXCUSE No. 2 - But I’m not fit enough to play it! There were people of all genders, ages, shapes and sizes in the course I attended. Yes, when you see polo on the telly all the guys have outrageously buff bodies and they always look on the verge of physical exhaustion after a match, but the Orcas let you take things at your own pace and choose whether you want to jump into the deep end (literally) or take smaller, gentler steps. You can rest at any time and no one is going to think less of you if you need to stop for a breather (I use the old loo excuse constantly…). What’s even better, by the end of the course you will notice your stamina levels improving and you will understand much better what you are doing in the water. Don’t get me wrong, you need to be able to swim confidently in order to play and yes, the game is taxing, but there is no peer pressure to perform, no recriminations when you fail a pass again and again and the Orcas have ridiculous levels of patience with us newbies (sorry for hitting you in the face, Matt. Twice. In the same game). 

EXCUSE No. 3 - I’m shy and I don’t know anyone – It’s not the first day of school and you are not twelve. The beauty of joining a team as big as Orca is instantly becoming part of a slightly dysfunctional family with members of the most diverse nations, creeds and social backgrounds. I would be lying if I said I was not feeling a bit apprehensive when I turned up on my first day, but you should bear in mind you will meet other people there, including some Orcas themselves, who are just as shy as you are. Remember, everyone is there to have a good time. The team actually goes out of their way to organise social gatherings (monumental piss-ups) where newbies can get to know each other and the rest of the group in a fully clothed, relaxed environment. I promise you by the end of the first session you will have struck up conversation with at least a couple of people and next thing you know you will be sharing lurid personal details in a drunken stupor down the pub (ahem). I cannot stress this point enough, because a great team atmosphere will encourage you to challenge yourself and perform better, boosting your self-confidence as a result. Win-win!

EXCUSE No. 4 - Ok, I’m not particularly shy but I have body issues and everyone on your website looks so buff (I know) – I am pretty sure everyone has parts of their body they like more and parts they like less (yes, even ripped boys get the blues) and it is true fabric runs low in water polo costumes. But the good news is this is not a beauty pageant, Loretta: your skill in the game and more importantly your capacity to have fun is not intrinsically linked to the ripness of your abs but to your ability to let it go like a Disney princess and have a good time. The most common misconception about swimming pools is they are catwalks for the beautiful, but the truth is everyone is self-conscious to a degree and once you dive in the water all matters of the flesh are forgotten and the game is on. Have you ever heard of ‘gay abandon’? London Orca owns the copyright to that expression.

EXCUSE No. 5 - I am scared of commitment – ah, that all too common gay malaise… Admittedly, if you choose to sign up for the course, you will get more out of it the more you put in, little Padawan. However, coaches do their best to help by going over the exercises of the previous week and no one is going to deny you entry if you miss a session. The beginners course is only a month and a half long and should you decide to join the squad full time afterwards there are three different sessions a week if you can’t come/have a hot date on a particular day. If this does sound too much like the gym membership you have been flogged in the past (oh we’ve all been there too…) I can hand on heart tell you no one is after your money here: these guys are really invested in new joiners for they provide new blood to the group and they genuinely want everyone to enjoy themselves in the process. Orca membership also gives you access to all swimming pool activities of its parent organisation Out to Swim, so you can’t really blame them for not pulling their weight in this relationship. 

BONUS ROUND: EXCUSE No. 6 - But I’m not gay! – What? Scandal! Fortunately for you, London Orca does not require any official Gay ID to join. What’s more, like the understanding homosexuals they are, the Orca boys and girls know all too well what it feels to be the odd one out in a group, so at no point you will be questioned, challenged or made to feel awkward because of who you are. In fact, cheerful captain Dan had some sweet words on the matter during our first prep talk that spoke volumes about the levels of acceptance in the team. I attended the course alongside a few heterosexual people and sexuality only came up in casual conversation in the pub afterwards. And in case your devious, straight mind is wondering, no, you do not have to kiss the captain to play (although I’m sure he won’t mind if you are cute :-) and no, no one really cares about your hetero butt in the changing rooms because, believe it or not, we all have been near naked men before and frankly we are too tired to even feign interest after a game!

So come on, do it. Try us out. You will never regret signing up for something as crazy fun as this but you will always wonder what it would have been like if you don’t try it.

Note: The beginners course runs a couple of times a year. To find out more about it and any other general enquiries you can contact us here 

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