Category Archives: Club events

Swimathon fundraiser for Ukraine

As originally published in the Lent 2022 Ospreys Newsletter. 

Many often refer to the ‘Cambridge bubble’, the sense that when in Cambridge, the outside world appears to dissipate, and you are at once transported into this 8-week period of academic seclusion. Whilst this distance can be welcomed, when crises such as the ongoing war in Ukraine, emerge, it is necessary to bridge the gap between where we find ourselves in Cambridge and global realities. This was the point of CUSWPC’s 24-hour Swimathon. Thirty-three water polo players took it upon themselves to swim in 30-minute slots around the clock from 5pm on Monday 14th March until 5pm on Tuesday 15th       , with the aim being to raise as much money as possible for the British Red Cross Charity as part of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC). Our challenge, to which we succeeded, was to swim the distance between Parkside Leisure Centre (where we train) and the Ukrainian Embassy in London; measured as 80.6km.

It was a pleasure to connect with many individuals who are as fond as CUSWPC as we are. Receiving an email from Penny Woods, the pioneer of women’s water polo at Cambridge, was a personal highlight of mine. Watching the comments from donators come through on the JustGiving page was also particularly endearing and shows the extent to which CUSWPC is more than just a club, but a family.

The war in Ukraine is a terrifying and heart-breaking situation, something that personally affects many CUSWPC members. It is for this reason that we participated in the Swimathon; to show solidarity with our friends, for CUSWPC is a team not just in the water, but out. Whilst we all love to win, in times of crisis, it is not the number of goals that matter but the ability to unite and champion justice that is what counts. We raised a total of £7,319 for Ukraine and I have never been prouder of my fellow teammates.

Anna Leeson (Women’s Water Polo Captain 2021-2022)

100 x 100m relay for Save the Children

On Saturday 14th May 100 people including swimmers, water polo players, alumni and even coaches from Cambridge, Oxford and all over the UK gathered at Parkside Pools to each complete 100m freestyle in the largest relay that has ever been swam in Cambridge. The race was led off by the CUSWPC and OUSC captains Ellie O’Keeffe, Alfie Collins and Andrew Hong. For the next 2 hours, everyone swam their hearts out. The team managed to finish the 10k in a time of 1 hour and 55 minutes, breaking the 2 hour barrier. Some honourable mentions for their swims include our alumni: David Skidmore OBE, Leila Goodman, Karen Wiemar, Eve Hull, and Joe Anderson, the swimmer with the fastest split: Theo Cannon in 52.47, and the best dressed swimmer: Kazimir Uswhyshyn-Jones who looked fantastic in his fishnets! 

We would like to say a tremendous thank you to everyone who participated, shared and donated to make the event the fantastic success that it was. We managed to raise a sum total of £2400 for Save the Children, a very worthwhile cause that will help many children currently suffering from the war in Ukraine. The event went so well that we’re hoping to host a big charity event every year in the future. Hope to see as many of you there as possible!

Ellie O’Keeffe and Alfie Collins, Blues Swimming Captains 2021-2022


CUSWPC 24-Hour Swimathon

CUSWPC are running a 24h Swimathon to raise money for Ukraine. We will each be swimming in 30 min slots from 5pm on Monday 14th of March to 5pm on Tuesday 15th of March. We are raising money for the Red Cross effort in Ukraine and would really appreciate any support you can show, even if it just sharing the cause with friends and family. If you are able to donate, our just giving page is linked in our bio. Thank you in advance.


CUSWPC Telephone Campaign 2021

Telephone Campaign Pic

It has been a great pleasure to reconnect with so many former members and friends of the club throughout our recent telephone campaign. From fond memories of the Varsity games being hosted at Crystal Palace back in the 1980s to stories of food fights at the Taddies Dinner in the University Arms, it was truly heart-warming to hear so many people speak so favourably about their time with CUSWPC.

One theme that ran universal throughout all of our conversations was the key role that CUSWPC has played in building lasting friendships. Whether it was helping to deal with homesickness, escaping from the pressures of Cambridge or using it as an opportunity to meet others outside of your college/ course, CUSWPC (and the Tadpoles) has remained a constant source of social joy for its members throughout the years.

A particular highlight of this experience for me was hearing about the time the Tadpoles apprehended a diamond thief in Antwerp back in the early 1990s. A strong demonstration of the courage, determination and slightly overconfident spirit that is still very much prevalent in the club today. This was truly a good deed to make up for the mischievous behaviour I have been informed about from their trip to Paris in the preceding years (a story fit to be told after a few drinks at Varsity Dinner rather than on our website I am afraid).

I would personally like to thank again everyone that contributed and gave up their time to talk to us. From all of us at CUSWPC we are very much looking forward to welcoming you back to Cambridge soon and are keen to carry on the legacy that you have left behind.

Thomas Adams

Tadpoles President, Alumni Officer and Men’s Water Polo Social Secretary

A Night of Celebrations at the 2020 Varsity Dinner

Varsity Dinner merged with the annual Taddies Dinner (usually held in Easter Term) this year, and was held on the 7th March. This change enabled alumni of all ages to come back and celebrate a wonderful season with the current cohort, and what a stroke of luck that move was! The dinner was held in the beautiful dining hall of Hughes Hall College, after a drinks reception where our talented aquatic athletes had the chance to mingle and sample much more pleasant fluids than the usual pool-water (a bit of bubbly), wearing significant finer (and more) apparel than we were used to seeing each other in. Members of all sections of the club, from Marlins, water polo and Blues swimming, were all treated to a delicious three-course dinner, including guinea fowl and a mouth-watering chocolate terrine, punctuated by (potentially a tad lengthy) speeches and topped off with a coffee-reception. The evening was an uproarious success, with the vino flowing, Tadpoles past and present celebrating the successes (and losses), but mainly the journeys undergone together and the friendships and experiences made over the years, and an unforgettable (or forgotten, depending on inebriation levels) trip to DangerSpoons afterwards. Fines were aplenty, each and every person present looked stunning, and we were lucky to have a photographer present to record the fun, beauty and shenanigans of the night. Taddies Dinner is one of the highlights of the year, and it was truly an honour to be able to bring everyone together especially given how quickly things went downhill only a week later. It was the perfect end to the year, and as a finalist the perfect goodbye to four years of CUSWPC, so a tear or two may have been shed. I have every confidence that this great tradition will find a way continue, and cannot wait to come back next year to see what new tales have arisen in the Club in my absence.

Lara Tritton
At a glitzy dinner at the end of the season CUSWPC managed to celebrate all the achievements of the club over the past year. With several alumni announcing themselves as undefeated Varsity champions for their whole CUSWPC career it really was a night to remember.

Taddies Dinner 2020 2

Taddies Dinner 2020

Taddies Dinner 2020 3

Swimmers beating those January Blues

Over Christmas, the Cambridge University Blues Swimming Team went on their annual training camp, returning this year to Costa Teguise, Lanzarote. Our squad of five women and six men completed fourteen 2-hour pool sessions in the hotels outdoor 50m pool, clocking up around 75km. This was as well as pre pool work prior to each session, and two sessions in the gym.

Our aim of the camp is to get a solid aerobic block of work done to have a high fitness level going into Lent term training, allowing us to get race fit for Varsity at the end of February. We had some really impressive sessions from all our team, and everyone pulled together to get through a tough week of training. Captains Lewis, Juliet and Anna were thrilled to see everyone giving their all throughout the week and maintaining high team spirit.

We’re now back in Parkside training harder than ever with our new-found fitness as the Varsity Match gets closer and closer!