Category Archives: Swimming

Swimming Training Camp 2022


On the 3rd of January, 18 of CUSWPC’s finest swimmers embarked on the Lanzarote Training Camp 2022 for a 7 day and 13 session week of pure grind and torture. Unfortunately, due to COVID reasons, female captain Ellie O’Keeffe, Social Secretary Sophie O’Keeffe, and resident OAP Alex Goodacre had to miss out on the camp.


Upon arriving at the Airport, we found out the week had already started to test us with a flight delay. But with our Vice-Captain, Maxim De Wildt’s incredible bartering skills, and the fact it was Jet2’s company policy, we were compensated with a £10 duty-free voucher and a free drink on the plane. From here on in though, it was plain sailing. We arrived at the hotel, checked in and got to the pool in plenty of time for our TJ’s (Team Juniors), Megan Kemp and Yann Divet, to find out that they would be leading the land warmups for the week, much to their excitement. This is also when the team found out that the male captain, Alfie Collins, would be their coach for the week due to injury, again much to their excitement.


Over the week the team completed 55km of swimming and smashed 3 massive gym sessions. This year, we had a double focus. Not only were we aiming to substantially improve fitness approaching Varsity, we had the additional aim of maintaining technique through the hardest parts of the sets. This tested the mental and physical strength of the whole team, with every single one of the proving why they are part of the top university squad. The gym sessions proved to be a big hit as well, with freshers and veterans alike improving a vast amount over the week. Seeing the older, more experienced swimmers help and teach the less gym savvy swimmers was fantastic to witness and really developed the team bond. Charlotte Rowlands showed the girls how gym isn’t just for getting mega massive but is such an important aspect of the sport for everyone.


Alongside the tough training schedule, we enjoyed many games night, a great day out at the beach and multiple team challenges with O*ford, who happened to be there at the same time as us.


Finally, on the last day of camp, we held a little camp awards night to celebrate the achievements over the week. Big congratulations to Yann Divet for receiving Male Swimmer of the camp, to Megan Kemp for receiving Female Swimmer of the camp, and to Leo Karski for receiving Swimmer’s Swimmer.

Both captains are incredibly proud of all the athletes on the camp, in their training, the way they conducted themselves over the week and in the amazing team spirit that was shown, be that at 6:30 in the morning before 30*100s best average or when helping each other improve technique.


We would like to thank Chris and City of Cambridge Swim Club for providing us with the sessions and thank Sports Abroad for the amazing support they gave us in organising a camp with all the difficulties there are currently.

Onto Varsity! #GDBO

Swimming Varsity 2021

Swimming Varsity Pic

Virtual varsity

Cambridge: 26th June 2021 at Parkside Pool, Cambridge.

Oxford 24th June 2021 at Rosenblatt Pool, Oxford.

Cambridge 106 Oxford 74

Mens Cambridge 48 Mens Oxford 42

Womens Cambridge 58 Womens Oxford 32

This year, due to the restrictions of COVID, Varsity was held in a rather uncharacteristic way. The competition therefore took place with both teams swimming in their respective pools at a time booked by them. The results of each competition were withheld until after both had been completed and then revealed on the 27th of June. Unfortunately, Oxford’s session clashed with the open water varsity and so they lost some swimmers to that event. Both teams also had members isolating from contact tracing. However, both teams had an amazing turnout and lots of swimmers stepping up at short notice. The Cambridge team still swam amazingly, showing times that were much faster than expected with the significantly reduced amount of training available this year. An amazing 16 blues times were achieved in 13 out of 14 of the individual events by an incredible number of athletes, 10 in total. In addition to the blues times, 2 new university records were broken. These included Hugo Bellamy of Pembroke college breaking the men’s 100 fly record from 2012 in a superb time of 55.85 seconds, and the woman’s 4*100 medley relay team, including Ellie O’Keeffe on the butterfly, Sophie O’Keeffe on the backstroke, Alix Knagg on the breastroke and Juliet Merelie on the freestyle. They managed an amazing time of 4.27.84 which had been standing since 2001!

Lots of love,

Ellie and Alfie xx

Blues Swim Captains

BUCS Swimming 2021

Swimming Current Picture

On the weekend of the 19th November, the Blues swim team and a few seconds made the road trip of a lifetime up to Sheffield to compete in the annual BUCS Speedo Championships, the biggest competition of the British university calendar. For this early in the season, we weren’t expecting any huge times or swims, but how wrong we were. We took 7 cars to get the whole team up to Sheffield over the course of Friday, making sure those swimming that evening were up in plenty of time to prep. The trip was off to a strong start when the people’s publicity officer, Raphael McMahon, made one post and then forgot what his role was and ended up belting out J Biebs for the whole journey. While this delightful choral effort was occurring, our very own open water captain, Yoshi Eschen, proceeded to smash out a 1500m in a Blues record time and a new PB. Over the course of the weekend a total of 36 personal bests, 18 blues times and 4 university records were achieved. Theo Cannon came second in the B Final of the 50 Fly in a time of 24.56 and our Captain oh Captain, Ellie O’Keeffe smashed out a 1.02.74 in the 100 Fly, both qualifying for Nationals! Alongside this Hugo Bellamy also qualified for Nationals on the 100 Fly and Thomas Woolley qualified on the 100 Free! Overall a massive success for the team and we are so proud of all of them. Also big thank you to Chris for coming along to coach us at BUCS for the first time in CUSWPC history, it was great having him around and had a big impact.

Lots of Love,

Ellie and Alfie xx

Blues Swim Captains

Tight Varsity Finish for the Marlins’ Match

The Marlins have continued to grow and improve throughout the 2019/2020 season. Under the able captaincy of Nat Amos and Iris Hall, the Marlins have increased their training – both in and out of the pool – and continued to have more socials over the course of the year. This marks a continuation of the long-term plan to increase the competitiveness of the Marlins while not compromising on the fun! Despite a strong performance at Varsity, with improvements in speed in almost every event, the Marlins were narrowly pipped to the finish by a very strong Oxford team who are much larger in number due to their enviable training facilities. Special mentions must go to Nick Maini who smashed the 50 Fly and the members of the women’s team that stepped up to fill the gaps caused by a very last-minute absence! Despite this difficult loss, the Marlins went on to compete hard on the dancefloor in the night out following. The team continues to improve year on year, bring on Varsity 2021!

Iris Hall & Nat Amos
With continuing competitiveness of the Marlins, the team went from strength to strength throughout the year. Although this did not end in success in the pool the team continues to grow, even with the limited pooltime available to the team.

Tight Varsity Finish for the Marlins' Match

Racing, Rallying and Records: Another thrilling Varsity Match for the Blues Swimmers

Blues Swimming Varsity 2020 was a closely fought contest, with Oxford winning by 97-83. The men’s teams tied 45-45, despite last minute injury to the Cambridge captain and breaststroke star, Lewis Waters. The men showed excellent team spirit in stepping up to race in last minute changes, with particular credit to Alfie Collins for rising to the challenge and achieving an excellent PB in the 100m breaststroke. There were outstanding swims by both the men’s and women’s Cambridge teams throughout the match, with our strength in depth highlighted by the fact that the swimmers achieved blues times for 22/28 individual swims. Club records were broken by Anna Kirk, Claire Collins, Alex Lezard, Theo Cannon, the women’s 4x50m medley relay team and the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay team. Carmen Lim raced in the Match’s first ever multi-classification events, winning both by a clear margin and breaking her own South East Asian records. Theo Cannon was the very deserving winner of ‘Swimmer of the Match’ for his record breaking 100m free, 200m IM and anchor leg of the 4x100m freestyle relay.

Lewis Waters & Juliet Merelie
In a closely fought Blues Swimming Varsity O*ford prevailed with a narrow win. Although Cambridge suffered late injuries, many club records were broken with several stand out performances. This included the Match’s first ever multi-classification events.



Open Water Varsity 2019 Roundup

With no Biannual Channel Swim in 2019, the Cambridge open water season was geared towards our annual varsity race at Henley.

The swim was 2.1km upstream along the Henley regatta rowing course with the race start at 5:40am. This year the varsity swimmers were combined into the “performance wave” of the Henley Classic Swim to add to the competitive feel. All the Cambridge team put in strong swims to be proud of, especially considering how new to open water swimming some of them were. Special mentions go to Naoki Toyomura and Evie Anema as the fastest Cambridge man and woman respectively.

Sadly, our efforts were in vain and Oxford won both Men’s and Women’s Varsity. However, the Women’s Varsity was closely contested with Oxford only narrowly coming out on top. There were no alumni races this year, but Cambridge did win the mob match for the 5th consecutive year. The Cambridge team reflected the strong diversity in open water swimming with pentathletes, triathletes, swimmers and water polo players all involved.

Cambridge results: Naoki Toyomura (32:15), Matthew Chadwick (35:27), Evie Anema (35:30), Eve Hull (35:42), Meghan Mulhern (35:43), Kit Gallagher (36:22) and Abbie Currington (45:24)



CUSWPC Varsities

WATER POLO VARSITY – 16 February 2019, Parkside Pools:

13:15 – 14:15 Alumni Match
14:15 – 15:30 Women’s Seconds Match
15:30 – 16:45 Men’s Seconds Match
16:45 – 18:00 Women’s Firsts Match
18:00 – 19:15 Men’s Firsts Match


SWIMMING VARSITY – 3 March 2019, Parkside Pools:

12:00 – 13:45 Seconds Swimming Varsity
14:00 – 14:15 Alumni Warm Up
14:15 – 14:45 Alumni Swimming Relays
14:45 – 15:05 Blues Swimming Warm Up
15:15 – 15:40 Blues Swimming Parade
15:40 – 18:00 Blues Swimming Varsity


relays gala 2018

Relays Gala 2018

On 20th October 2018, Cambridge University Swimming Club welcomed UCL, KCL, Imperial and Leicester to Parkside Pools for the annual season-opening Relays Gala. Cambridge entered two teams, named Team Alpha and Team Aleph in honour of random alphabets worldwide. With neither team selected to be stronger than the other, the stage (pool) was set for some tight races. Several Cambridge newbies made their debuts in light blue – on the male side Joe Anderson, Jacques Bonsell, Theo Cannon and Segev Gonen Cohen all appeared for the first time whilst Eve Hull, Anna Kirk, Meghan Mulhern, Ellie O’Keeffe, and Elizabeth Perry all made their debuts on the women’s team.

The first half of the event consisted of the individual events – 100m of each of the four strokes and 100m individual medley were contested. Some impressive victories, particularly by Bonsell, Cannon and Kirk in the Men’s 100m freestyle, 100m butterfly, and Ladies’ 100m backstroke respectively, saw both Cambridge teams at the top of the leaderboard at halfway. However, having won the Ladies’ 100m individual medley and the Men’s 100m backstroke, UCL were close behind just 5 points down.

Photo credits: Cassius Clark
Photo credits: Cassius Clark

The events in the second half were the relays. 4 x 50m relays of each stroke for each gender were raced, and then mixed gender 8 x 50m medley and 8 x 50m freestyle relays concluded the competition. Following on from the strong individual events, Cambridge’s swimmers continued to ooze speed and class as they extended their leads at the top of the points table, winning every relay and getting a 1-2 finish in six out of the ten relays. The highlight of the second half was no doubt the Cambridge breaststrokers squaring off against each other, as Daniel Toy pipped a tiring Finn Harman in the first leg of the breaststroke relay.

The final standings were:

Cambridge Alpha102
Cambridge Aleph92
University College London77
University of Leicester58
King's College London46
Imperial College45

Thank you to everyone who came to make this memorable event happen, and well done to our winners Team Cambridge!


Swimmers finish 9th in the UK

The swim team finished 9th in the BUCS championship national finals for the 2013/2014 season. A fantastic feat, finishing behind teams with Olympians and state of the art facilities. Well done team! Due to this incredibly result, next season will see a second team being entered into the BUCS competition.