Great East Swim 2014

John Ryan swam a personal best time in the Great East Open Water Swim on Saturday 21st June 2014 held at Alton Water Reservoir in Suffolk. Swimming in the 2 mile event John's time was 50 minutes 3 seconds finishing 13th overall and 1st in his age group (60-64).

John is now looking forward to swimming in the British Gas National Masters 3k Open Water Championships on 3rd August 2014 in Sheffield. 

Posted on 23rd June

Success at ER Champs for HoddSC Swimmers

Amy Godsave (14) and Libby Dunford (11) made the journey to Norwich to compete in the Age Group Championships on Saturday and Sunday 7th and 8th and 14th and 15th June. This long course (50m) event is held at the UEA pool in Norwich and is open only to the very fastest swimmers in the East of England, which includes Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire. In order to obtain an overall position, the Girls had to compete in a 100m sprint event, an Individual Medley event, a distance event, and a form event - a 200m swim in any stroke other than Front Crawl.

Libby and Amy, both accomplished swimmers, obtained the necessary entry times to compete in all categories, swimming 100 freestyle, 200 freestyle, 100 backstroke and 200 backstroke as well as the 200 IM, with Amy also competing in the 100 Butterfly and Libby in the 400 Freestyle.

Amy Godsave finished 5th in the Region with 2310 Fina points and Libby finished 10th with 1736 Bagcat points, despite feeling unwell on the second weekend.


Amy Godsave and Libby Dunford

Amy achieved a Silver Medal and her National Qualifying time in the 100 Freestyle with  a time of 59.53, a season’s best for Amy, and  a National Qualifying  Time of 2.10.75 for the 200 Freestyle, a 3 second Personal best Time. She also achieved a Bronze medal for the 100 fly (1.07.44), also a personal best time.

Libby also excelled in the 100 freestyle.  She went in to the final in 6th place and managed to improve on this with an excellent swim to finish third and claim a bronze medal, with a personal best time of 1.05.72.

On Sunday 15th June, Ralph Davies (12) joined the girls to swim the 100 freestyle, where he achieved a Long course personal best time of  1.08.52 coming 16th in his age group.

Assistant Head Coach Mary Wright said “ I am very proud of the swimmers’ achievements over these two weekends. These events can be very gruelling, especially if you don’t feel well, but they showed great determination and achieved some excellent results”

Libby Dunford, Amy Godsave, Ralph Davies

Posted on 16th June

Great North Swim 2014


The weekend of Friday 13th - Sunday 15th June 2014 saw twelve Hoddesdon swimmers travel to Windermere in Cumbria to take part in the Great North Swim.  

On Friday the 13th Ian Monksfield, Chairman and a member of the club for over 40 years, swam the 5k in a time of 1 hour 29 minutes and 53 seconds finishing in 126th position.  Also swimming on the Friday in the 2 mile race was Christopher Comer swimming the distance in 51 minutes 25 seconds finishing in 54th position.   Tragically a man died competing in the Friday's swim challenge.  The 52 year old was flown to hospital by air ambulance.  The event organisers confirmed later that evening that the event would still continue over the weekend.

The Saturday should have started with Ben Warrington (14) and Chris Donno (23) taking part in the 800m, however the journey by car, ferry and a one mile walk to the start took longer than the party thought, arriving too late to start the race.  Chris was allowed to transfer his swim to the 10am (1mile) wave with Janet, Emma and Hayley Warrington, however because Ben was too young he wasn't able to swim and took on the role of Chief Photographer!  

Janet who wanted to do something special for her 50th birthday and raise funds for the Charity Special Olympics finished her challenge swim in 37 minutes 56 seconds finishing in 1664th position, Hayley and Emma finished together swimming in 26 minutes 41 seconds and 26 minutes 42 seconds final positions were 181st and 185th respectively.  Chris doubling the distance of his original challenge finished the course in a respectable 45 minutes 24 seconds finishing in 2658th position out of a total of 4015 swimmers competing in the Great North Swim one mile challenge.


In the 10:30am wave Julian Dear swam a time of 25 minutes 45 seconds finishing in 130th position, Mark Charles swam a time of 28 minutes 35 seconds finishing in 320th position and Holly Charles swam the one mile in 29 minutes 35 seconds and finished in 424th position.  Lucy Charles was able to swim the course with her sister as a warm up for the Sunday 5k Elite race.  Pauline Page swam the mile swim in a time of 30 minutes 25 seconds finishing in 520th position.

The Sunday should have seen Lucy compete in the Elite 5k womens race at 14:30 but Lucy didn't manage to finish.  Lucy said "We had to swim without a wetsuit and by the time I had done one lap I was far too cold, was shivering too much and I couldn't swim properly so had to stop."




Posted on 15th June



 Saturday 7th June 2014 - Session 1 and 2



A fantastic first day's competition saw Hoddesdon Swimming Clubs Amy Godsave and Libby Dunford improve their long course PB s in the 200m IM to 2.38.33 and 2.49.22 respectively. Both girls then swam excellent heats in the 100m freestyle with Libby going in to the 11 year old final in 6th place with a long course pb time of 1.07.03 and Amy swimming 59.56 to go into the 14 year final in 1st position.
Libby stormed home to finish third, with a bronze medal, in a time of 1.05.78, a massive improvement in her time. Amy swam slightly faster in the final 59.53, to win a silver medal, just behind Rebecca Sherwin (58.95).
Mary Wright Assistant Head Coach said "Both girls excelled themselves this afternoon, and it was so nice to see all their hard work in the pool and out being rewarded by swimming of which they can be proud."
Sunday 8th June 2014 - Session 3
A well deserved bronze medal for Amy in the 100m Butterfly swimming it in a great time of (1:07.44). Libby's 400m Freestyle was textbook style! finishing in a time of 5 minutes 11.91 seconds finishing in 16th place in the 11 yrs age group. 

Posted on 7th June

Hoddesdon Tri Club Team 2nd in London Hyde Park
Reece Barclay, Lucy Charles and Ant Collier
Hoddesdon Tri Club had a busy weekend of racing at the ITU London triathlon at Hyde Park.  Saturday, 31st May 2014, saw Lucy Charles, Ant Collier and Reece Barclay compete in the Sprint distance relay in a field of over 300 athletes. Lucy Charles completed the 750m swim in 9 minutes 14 seconds, exiting the water in first place before handing over to Ant. Exiting transition in first place alongside the professional Army team. The 5 loop, out and back, bike course was very busy, and the Army team managed to pull away by one minute. Ant held on to second place riding the 20km course in 30 minutes 20 seconds. Reece Barclay would be anchoring the relay team for the 5k run, which he completed in a rapid 18 minutes and 6 seconds securing a fantastic second place. The Hoddesdon Tri team achieved second place overall in Total time of 58 minutes 55 seconds, a brilliant achievement in a very competitive field with semi professional and elite athletes racing.
On Sunday, 1st June 2014, saw five Hoddesdon Tri Athletes racing in Olympic and Sprint distance triathlons. Lucy Charles completed the Olympic distance in 2 hours 15 minutes, claiming 9th lady overall. Reece Barclay finished the Olympic distance in 2 hours seven minutes. Ian Brinkley finished the sprint distance triathlon in 1 hour 16 minutes with a storming 5k run. Craig Leverett finished in 1 hour 23 minutes and Ian Wilkinson finished in 1 hour 24 minutes with some very competitive racing.
Fantastic racing from all the athletes in Hoddesdon Triathlon Club.

Posted on 2nd June

Olympian visits Hoddesdon SC

OLYMPIAN Craig Gibbons visited Hoddesdon Swimming Club as part of their Motivational Day on Sunday 1st June 2014.  Craig who competed in the London 2012 Olympics as part of the 4 x 100m freestyle relay team shared his journey with the swimmers and then coached the pool session before getting in the water to race against them.  


The day started off at the new Nigel Copping Community Hall in Stanstead Abbotts with Carl Cooper England Disability Talent Officer explaining to the members what they need to do if they want to be a world-class athlete.  Carl's message was: swimmers need to take control of their own training from packing their own bags, to making sure they perform all their skills in the training pool perfectly.  "Perfect Practice makes Perfect" very similar to the clubs mantra "Perfect Practice makes Perfect Performance!".

Chris Smith then took to the floor with mum Jacky.  Chris has been at the club since he was 9 years old and he talked through the highs and the lows, the different competitions he has taken part in and the experiences he has had along the way.  Janet Warrington said "I think Chris was a brilliant speaker, he got the message across and was very funny too.  I am very proud of the progress that Chris has made and wish him every luck with his exams because I believe Melanie Marshall at City of Derby will be a brilliant coach and has a great programme for Chris to move onto and progress his career further."


Ian Mackenzie, ASA East Region President and life member of Hoddesdon Swimming Club talked to the group of swimmers and parents about the changes that are coming soon, through the British Swimming’s Long Term Athlete Development research and this will mean our Competition Pathway is going to change.  Ian's message was "don't worry".  Mary Wright and Janet Warrington acknowledged that they both support the changes and are looking forward to the challenges ahead.  At the end of the presentation Ian presented Janet with a shield, this was because at the Herts ASA Counties Championships in March the Age Group Females won the Top Club.

A short walk back to John Warner for the pool session and the fun started again.  Craig coached the session and the Hoddesdon SC Coaches assisted. Emphasis was on good technique and skills with a bit of fun mixed in, everyone enjoyed the session.  Craig wanted to start a trend with a 'swimclubselfie' which we thought was brilliant.  It was Marco Tontodonati's 11th birthday and he said "it was a great birthday present!"


Janet Warrington said "the day was a brilliant success and I am very pleased.  We had to move the date back a week because Craig was told he had to stay in Dubai for treatment to his shoulder, so I was a bit worried we couldn't move everything.  But Carl Cooper moved his appointment, Chris who is in the middle of his exams said it was okay with him (which I really appreciate) and Ian Mackenzie confirmed he was available - so it was all back on!"


"A big thank you also to Jackie Harvey for sorting out the logistics and venue and Caroline Pryor and Azmina Mather for organising the raffle."



Posted on 2nd June

Peanuts Round 1

Well Done to the Hoddesdon Swimmers who competed in the first round of the Herts Peanuts Division One Gala on Saturday 17th May 2014 at Hemel Hempstead.  Once the full results have been sent over we will be posting on our website.

Posted on 19th May

Hodd Tri Club Junior Aquathlon 10th May 2014

Hoddesdon Tri Club put on a great 1st event

Saturday 10th May saw Hoddesdon Tri Club hold its very first event - the Broxbourne Community Aquathlon.

It was held on the same day that Laura Trott opened the newly renamed Laura Trott Leisure Centre.  There were many things to entertain on the day and with so many triathletes competing all the competitors coped really well, especially with the amount of people in attendance.

Athletes from all over the Eastern Region attended the event and we were very proud to have so many Hoddesdon Tri Club junior newcomers competing - the club was certainly well represented and we had quite a few top final positions too!

In the Tristar category 7-8 years’ age group Hoddesdon male triathletes, Fraser McCormack 6th, Tommy Liddiard 7th, Ethan Baker 8th boy and 9th overall and Monty Leverett, all doing their first event!  Also competing was Hoddesdon swimmers Tom Bishop 2nd and Molly Hagan 2nd (11th overall).

Tristar 1 age group 9-10 year olds, we had one new member to the team, Gabriel Thornton 3rd (9th overall).

Tristar 2 age group 11-12 year olds saw a mix of Hoddesdon Tri and Swim members; in the male category Rhys Dolan was 5th (9th overall), Robin Kettle 6th (10th overall), Scott Carpenter 8th (16th overall) Samuel Willis 9th (18th overall) and Ethan Biggs 10th boy (23rd overall).  For the females we had Libby Dunford 3rd (4th overall), Ellie Godsave 4th (7th overall), Kayleigh Perry 5th (8th overall), Amy Bishop 7th (12th overall), Maggie Wyper 12th (20th overall) and Lucy Hinks 14th girl (22nd overall).

Tristar 3 ages 13-14 year olds saw Thomas Willis gaining a great 3rd place for the boys and Alexandra Heal also achieving 3rd for the girls (9th overall).

In the Youth category (15-16 year olds) David Watts was the 3rd fastest male (4th overall) with Hannah Booth 1st in the girls and 3rd overall.

Steve Gershon (HTC Junior Coach) said “I was delighted by the large number of entries and especially because the majority of these were local athletes.”

Ant Collier (HTC Senior Coach) said “overall it was a very successful Aquathlon.”

Full set of Results can be found here 

Posted on 17th May

Super Swimming at Sudbury Time Trial

Two junior swimmers from Hoddesdon Swimming club, Dominic McCarthy (11 years old) and Lily Merrett (11 years old), travelled to Sudbury for the ‘Last Chance Time Trial’ on the 10th and 11th of May, determined to achieve new personal bests in their races. Having both achieved PB’s at this year’s Hertfordshire County Championships in March, they knew they would have to swim in spectacular style to achieve their goal. Both Dominic and Lily had a great two days with some impressive personal best times and many first places achieved in their races.

On the first day of competition Dominic came first in the 100IM (125.80)PB, first in the 50m free (33.24)PB and first in the 100m freestyle, with a fantastic 4 sec PB and a new time of 1:13.44. In his final race of the day, Dominic stayed strong and achieved second place in the 200m backstroke (2:57.21)PB.

Lily, who arrived for one race in the second session, swam a gutsy 100m free in a new time of (1:13.63)PB coming in first place.

On the second day, Dominic swam a further 3 races and remained strong throughout. He came first in the 200m freestyle (2:41.73), first in the 50m back (37.38)PB and in the 100m backstroke, Dominic swam an exciting heat, winning the race and securing another first place position in a new and impressive time of (1:18.42) gaining a massive 9 second PB.

Lily, a keen fly swimmer, arrived excited to swim the 200m fly. This was Lily’s first time swimming this event and she swam it brilliantly, winning her heat and gaining first place in her age group in a great time of (3:11.04) PB   20 seconds off her entry time. Lily finished the weekend with 2 more first place positions: the 50m backstroke (38.41) PB and the 100m fly (1:18.49) with an impressive 5 second personal best in this race.

Well done Dominic and Lily!

Posted on 16th May

Truly Inspirational


  John Willis – Challenge Swim 1 – executing a turn

JOHN WILLIS didn’t disappoint when he visited a Disability Swimming Session and Hoddesdon Swimming Club on Sunday 11th May 2014 at The John Warner Sports Centre. 

John travelled from Cambridge to Hoddesdon to complete two of his 1000m challenge swims as part of a fundraising effort where he will have swum 50 1000m swims at 50 schools promoting integration in sport.

The 48th swim was at 4pm which was swum in a time of 35 minutes 42 seconds and John swam in the middle of the Disability Special Needs Session at The John Warner Sports Centre which is held every week between 4pm and 5pm.  Coaches from Hoddesdon SC support this session and the swimmers who swam alongside John encouraged him through the challenge.

Head Coach Janet Warrington said “When John approached the club I really wanted the people who swim in the disability session to meet John and be inspired by him, but I also wanted the members of the swimming club to meet him and also be inspired.  Luckily for me John was prepared to swim the 1000m twice and therefore meet both groups.”

“The day worked brilliantly, because as John finished his first challenge our youngest club members were arriving for their session with their parents and the people who had just swum were able to stay a bit longer and everyone was able to listen and be blown away by John’s remarkable story.”



During his talk John spoke about his life growing up and the barriers he had to overcome, showed everyone how he learnt to use a spoon, fork and write, and then he showed the crowd some fantastic drawings and paintings that were truly amazing and jaw dropping.  The young swimming club members then warmed up in the pool and were poolside again for the start of the 2nd swim of the day at 6pm.


The Start of Challenge Swim 2

After watching John swim 50m the swimmers then went to their lanes to swim alongside John in support.  The swimmers in lanes 5 and 6 also swam 1000m broken as 10 x 100m.  The coaching team then made sure the swimmers were back poolside to cheer John on during the last 200m .

Carl Cooper tells John he has 4 lengths to go.

Carl Cooper, Disability Swimming Talent Officer (East/London) who supports Grace Harvey and Lottie Mills came along to support Hoddesdon SC, a Disability Hub Club for Hertfordshire, with the event.

Janet Warrington said “I am very grateful for Carl’s support, he recorded every 50m split and encouraged John providing important feedback on how John was swimming throughout both of the swims.”

“I am very confident that Hoddesdon SC and Special Olympics East Herts will be working with John Willis in the future as we strive to increase opportunities for integrated sports and more sports for everyone whether disabled or not.”


The finish!

The second 1000m was swum in a time of 36 minutes 05 seconds.  John finished his 50th and final 1000m swim on 12th May 2014 at Abbey Pool in Cambridge with Netherhall School.

For more information about John’s efforts, visit or


Posted on 12th May

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