National Arena League 2016 - Round 1
National Arena League 2016 - Round 1 
Saturday 8th October 2016 at Luton Inspire Sports Centre
It was fantastic to have almost full support from the Team for the first round of Arena League. We had some very tough opposition in this round of the draw, with all the large London Boroughs taking part. The Team, however, was in good spirits throughout the Gala and the swimmers were a pleasure to coach!
Our 7th place overall should not take away from some fantastic individual swims, both in the Individual events and Relays. As this event was licensed, all the Individual PB’s will be put on the British Swimming Rankings. The swimmers performed well for an early season event, with a total of 10 individual and 23 relay PB’s on the night. 
First place was achieved in the under 12’s by Molly Cobbold, who swam a fantastic 50 Butterfly to knock 7 seconds off her PB and finish in a time of 37.50. This time was well inside the County Qualifying time for her age.
Lily Merrett achieved a First place finish in her 13/under 100 Butterfly, in a time of 1.09.31 – a small short course PB. She also swam an excellent 200IM where she finished 3rd in a time of 2.33.36, a 4 second PB for her and she also finished 3rd in the 100 Breaststroke, in a time of 1.24.16
Second place was achieved by Amy Godsave in the Open100 metres Butterfly (1.08.03) and 100 Freestyle (59.65). Amy who has been out of the water for 6 months raced really well and we look forward to watching her race as she returns to fitness.
Libby Dunford, just recovering from a chest infection, came 2nd in the 15/u 100 Butterfly (1.09.69) and in the 13/u 100 Freestyle (1.03.18), and Lucy Hinks smashed her PB by 3 seconds to come second in the 13/u 100 Backstroke (1.14.47).
Chris Smith claimed our final individual second place with a good early season swim in the 100 Breaststroke (1.08.95). He also finished 4th in the 200 IM in a PB time of 2.18.38
Second place was also awarded to the 13/u girls freestyle team of Lily (29.28) Lucy (31.83) Amy Bishop (31.77) and Libby (28.70), who all swam extremely well to achieve this result. Special mention must be made to Abi Larkman, Alexandra Heal and Jessica Callaghan, all of whom showed a very professional attitude.  Due to last minute team changes, Abi was asked to swim in the 15/u Breaststroke instead of the 13/u Breaststroke. With a very cool head, she took it in her stride and did not finish far behind the 15 year olds, despite being only 11! She achieved PB’s in both the 100 Breaststroke and 50 Breaststroke Relay. Alexandra was not daunted by her first ever appearance at Arena League and swam on her PB in both races and Jess, despite a less than perfect start in the 100 Backstroke calmly swam her way back into the race, finishing with a very creditable 6th place(1.18.85).
Third place was also achieved by the Open ladies Freestyle relay Team of Amy Godsave (26.97) Becky Freestone (30.58) Libby (28.63) Carly Bays (29.52) Lily (29.54) and Hayley Warrington (31.52). Carly, Hayley, Amy and Becky also came 4th in the Medley Relay.
The under 12 Girls relay team of Holly Morgan, Isabel Short, Molly Cobbold and Bella Parkus also deserve a mention as they finished 4th in both the Medley and Freestyle Relays, with Molly achieving a 3 second PB (34.15) in the Freestyle Relay and Molly (40.07) Isabel (49.41) and Bella (41.30) all achieving PB’s in Backstoke, Breaststroke and Butterfly respectively.
Although not achieving particularly high placings in the relays there were many PB’s worthy of mention, particularly in the Boys side of the event, where many of the boys showed how much they are improving. In the Under 12 boys, Sam Reynolds swam a massive 6 second PB in the Freestyle relay (38.22) and Sid Parkus swam a 2 second PB in the same event (41.35) Thomas Brown and Sam Nouroozpour were right on their PB’s. In the Medley Relay, Sid, Sam and Thomas achieved PB’s in the Backstroke (46.65), Breaststroke (47.33) and Butterfly (45.87) respectively. In the Boys 13/u Medley Relay Scott Carpenter achieved a 2 second PB in the Breaststroke (43.93), Alex Tate a PB in the 50 Butterfly (37.39) and Dougie Grayling a 1 second PB in the Freestyle (36.64). Scott also achieved a PB in the Freestyle Relay (34.89). Daniel Nouroozpour swam despite an injured arm, and we are grateful to him for not letting the team down.
In the 15/u Boys’ Freestyle, Dominic McCarthy, who has dropped over a second in a few weeks achieved a new relay PB of 28.97, whilst Ciaran Fahy achieved a 4 second PB (39.51) and Dougie was a second faster again at 35.65. It was great to see Rhys Dolan back in the Team, and he swam very close to his PB’s all night. With a little more competition I am sure they will convert into PB’s soon.
A huge thank you to Paul O’Doherty, Kane Hagley King, Ryan Brewster, Becky Freestone, Amy GodsaveCarly Bays and Hayley Warrington who have found time out of their busy lives to support Hoddesdon SC. You were fantastic and led by example on the night with a very professional attitude and showed what Team Hoddesdon is all about.
Many thanks also to Rachel Callaghan and Pam Bays for giving up their time to officiate for us, and to Derek Short for Team Managing and Anna Baker for stewarding.
Mary Wright
Head Coach 
Hoddesdon SC


Posted on 9th October

8th Hoddesdon Open Meet
On Saturday 17th September, 27 swimmers from Hoddesdon Swimming club attended our 8th Open Meet at Harlow Leisurezone. They competed in 97 races between them, acquiring an impressive array of personal best times (PB’s) and amassing a total of 7 gold, 11 silver and 14 bronze medals. 
Abi Larkman
Abi competed in 6 events, swimming Time Trials in each of her races. After a solid start to the meet, Abi came through to produce and excellent display in her 50 breaststroke, with a PB of 44.30 and then continued this form in her 100 freestyle, where she PB’d in a time of 1:14.30 (1.5s PB).
Alex Tate
Alex competed in 2 events, producing PB times in both races. In the 50m Butterfly, Alex produced a time of 37.79, finishing in 4th place. He then improved on this placing, with a 2nd place performance in his 100 IM, with a time of 1:26.27 and a 7 second PB.
Alex Heal
Alex competed in 2 events, producing PB times in both of her races. Starting with a solid swim in her 50 freestyle, Alex produced a time of 33.27, placing 7th. In her next event, Alex produced a wonderful PB to finish 4th in the 50m Breaststroke with a time of 45.55.
Bella Parkus
Bella competed in three races during the meet, winning one silver and two bronze medals. Bella started with an excellent 50m freestyle (34.63), where she produced almost a two second PB, finishing in 2nd place. She then produced a solid swim in her 50m Breaststroke in a time of 50.59 before producing a fantastic 2.5 second PB in her 100m freestyle (1:23.70), finishing 3rd in both events. 
Catherine Ryan
Swimming in three events, Catherine produced three excellent PBs in her events. Starting with PBs in 50m Breaststroke (47.37) and 100m Freestyle (1.23.60), she then went on to her days best result, finishing in 3rd for the 50m backstroke in a time of 40.08.
Ciaran Fahy
With six events to swim, Ciaran had a busy day of competition. He started strongly with a PB in his 200m freestyle (2.56.48), winning bronze, before a solid swim in the 50m backstroke, with a time of 45.72. Ciaran then added another bronze to his tally, swimming 1:37.95 in his 100m IM, with a stunning 4 second PB. Ciaran’s third and final PB of the day came in his 200 IM, where he finished in a time of 3:45.61, a fraction under his entry time. Ciaran finished the day with a good swim in the 100m backstroke (1:47.11) and then winning another bronze in the 100m freestyle in a time of 1:23.44.
Daniel Nouroozpour
Arriving for the second session, Daniel competed in two events. He produced some pleasing swims, achieving a 1:47.37 in the 100m backstroke and then 1:01.93 in the 50m breaststroke. 
Daniel Ryan
Competing in three events, Daniel started in the day in excellent form, producing a 8 second Pb in his 50m backstroke, with a time of 55.74. In the second session, Daniel produced a good swim in the 50m freestyle where he finished in a time of 1:02.32.
Dominic McCarthy
Dominic will feel like he had an extremely successful meet, competing in 5 events and PB-ing in each of them. Furthermore, Dominic came away with 4 silver medals and capped the day off in the 100m backstroke with a gold, in a time of 1.12.56. For his silver medals, Dominic swum the 50m fly (33.14), 50m backstroke (33.41), 100m IM (1:14.80) and 50m freestyle (29.83). 
Dougie Grayling
Dougie had a busy day, racing 5 times through the meet. In the morning, Dougie produced solid performances in his 100m breaststroke (1.50.01) and 100m Im (1:40.69), finishing 11th and 12th, before swimming the 50m freestyle (38.96), 50m breaststroke (47.64) and 100m freestyle (1:33.12) in the evening session. 
Henry Knipe
Henry had a busy schedule of events, swimming 5 times through the day. Having never raced his first two events before, Henry achieved PBs in the 100m breaststroke (2:01.68) and 50m backstroke (53.05), before producing an excellent PB in his 50m freestyle in a time of 47.00. Henry finished the meet with the 50m breaststroke, where we produced a time of 57.78. 
Holly Morgan
Holly had an excellent afternoon of competition, PB-ing in two of her three events. Holly started strong with a 1 second PB in her 50m freestyle (34.85), before a magnificent 10 second PB in her 100m backstroke (1:30.99). Holly then finished the day with a solid performance in her 100m freestyle, hitting her PB in a time of 1:24.26. 
Isabel Short
Swimming in both sessions, Isabel had a total of 5 races at the open meet. She started strongly, just outside her PB in the 50m freestyle, in a time of 40.87, before swimming the 50m breaststroke in a time of 51.40. In the evening session, Isabel went on to produce a strong PB in her 50m butterfly (50.40), before showing a gutsy performance in her 100m breaststroke (1:52.95) and 100m IM (1:44.04). 
Jess Callaghan
For the start of the season, Jess produced three pleasing swims at the open meet. She swum well in the 50m freestyle (30.78), finishing in 2nd place, before two 3rd place performances in her 50m breaststroke (45.29) and 100m freestyle (1.09.37).
Lara Fahy
Lara had an excellent meet, PB-ing in 4 of her 6 races, as well as finishing 1st in her 200IM in a time of 3.09.35. Her 100m backstroke (1.30.36), 200m freestyle (2.42.32) and 100m breaststroke (1.50.94) were all brilliant PBs, whilst the skills demonstrated in her 100m freestyle (1.16.95) and 100 IM (1:34.32), were equally pleasing to see.  
Lily Rogers
Lily could finish the open meet pleased with her efforts, having swum twice and produced two excellent PBs in both the 50m freestyle (41.94) and 50m breaststroke (53.31) – a performance the coaches were thrilled to see. 
Lucy Hinks
Lucy swum in two events on Saturday, but what she lacked in quantity of swimming, she more than made up for in quality, achieving two fantastic PBs in both her 50m breaststroke (45.97) and 100m freestyle (1.10.07). 
Meisha Trend-Evans
Attending the evening session of the meet, Meisha raced in 4 events, PB-ing in three of her four races. Meisha showed excellent fitness and stamina to produce an 11 second PB in her 200m freestyle (3:30.52) before swimming the 50m fly for the first time, finishing with a 48.98 and a 4th place. Despite a DQ in her 100m breaststroke, Meisha’s day ended on a high with a PB in her 50m backstroke, in a time of 46.6 seconds. 
Mollie Downes
Swimming in the second session, Mollie achieved two brilliant PBs in the 200m fly (2.48.76) and the 100m IM (1:32.58), capping her performances with a silver medal in her 50m butterfly, in a time of 39.99.
Molly Cobbold
As one of the busiest swimmers at the meet, Molly competed in a 7 events, winning 2 golds, 1 silver and 1 bronze medal.  Molly started the day with four very strong swims, PB-ing in her 200 IM (3:26.54), 100m backstroke (1:30.33), 100m freestyle (1:21.14) and 200m freestyle (2.54.60). She then went on to match her PB in her 50m backstroke (42.03) and show some gutsy performances in her 50m fly (45.58) and 100m IM (1.40.05). 
Molly Hagan
After a solid swim in the 50m freestyle, Molly produced a fine performance in her 100m backstroke (1:41.82) to win a bronze medal, before matching this again with a PB in her 50m breaststroke in a time of 51.61. Not settling for just 3rd places, Molly then went on to win gold in her next two events, with excellent swims in her 100m breaststroke (1:50.27) and the 50m backstroke (45.87). 
Sam Nourzoopour
Swimming just the evening session, Sam produced two excellent performances in his 200 IM (4.03.86) and 50m freestyle (41.82) to record two new PBs. Sam topped these performances off with a bronze medal, which was achieved in his 200m IM.
Sid Parkus 
Swimming three events, Sid produced some brilliant performances to PB twice in both his 100m breaststroke (2:00.81) and his 100m IM (1.47.57). Sidney also showed good skills in his 50m backstroke, where he achieved a time of 48.77.
Ellie Bostock
Ellie had one swim in the afternoon, but one swim was enough for her to achieve an excellent PB and win gold in the 50m freestyle in a time of 36.48. 
Gabby Hunt
As one of our less experienced swimmers, Gabby did a magnificent job at the open meet, producing two great times of 57.25 in her 50m freestyle and 1.04.91 in the 50m breaststroke. 
Ellis Burroughs
Ellis showed great form in the open meet, producing multiple PBs and capping her performance off with a silver medal in the 100m Freestyle with a time of 1.14.56. Her other events included the 50m freestyle (33.48), 50m breaststroke (47.53) and 100m breaststroke (1.49.10). 
Ben Taylor
As a relatively new swimmer to the club, at 9 years old, Ben produced some wonderful swims at the open meet. He finished 9th in both the 50m backstroke and 50m freestyle in times of 54.90 and 45.71. 
Coach Mary Wright said “I'm extremely pleased and impressed with our swimmer's achievements this Saturday. It’s great to see so many swimmers coming back into the new season with such high levels of enthusiasm and producing such fine performances already. Hopefully this is a sign of positive things to come this season!”

Posted on 3rd October

Hemel Hempstead SC Spring Development Meet 2016
17 swimmers from Hoddesdon Swimming club spent the weekend at the Hemel Hempstead SC annual Spring Development Meet. They competed in 50 events between them acquiring an impressive 40 personal best times (PB’s), 6 gold, 7 silver and 8 bronze medals. 16 speeding tickets were awarded to those swimmers who exceeded the upper limit entry time on their events. 10 events were also new times for some of our swimmers who were trying out particular distances and strokes for the first time in competition.
Lara Fahy (12) achieved personal best times in all her races, won Gold in both the 100m free (1:16.50) & 200m butterfly in a new time of (4:05.89) and a Bronze medal in the 200m breaststroke (3:49.54). Further pbs followed in the 50m butterfly (46.67), 50m breaststroke (50.10) and 2 speeding tickets in the 100m IM (1:28.98) & 200m free (2:43.63) showed what excellent progress Lara has made.
Molly Cobbold (10) gained a County qualifying time in the 200m backstroke (3:15.07) and a speeding ticket in the 50m butterfly (44.37).
Sid Parkus (9), won Gold in the 100m IM (1:50.68) & Bronze in the 50m butterfly (58.97).
Meisha Trend-Evans (9) gained pb’s in all her events. She achieved Gold in the 200m free (3:41.39), Bronze in the 100m breaststroke (1:57.17) and was awarded 2 speeding tickets in the 50m backstroke (47.18) & 50m free (47.18).
Ellis Burroughs (12) won Gold in the 100m backstroke (1:29.35) and was first in the 50 free (35.43) gaining a speeding ticket in this event.
Catherine Ryan (12) achieved a Gold medal in the 200m free (2:53.89) and was 6th in the 50m backstroke (41.70).
Ciaran Fahy (14) swam to pb’s in all his races, picking up a Silver in both the 50m breaststroke (54.46) and 200m breaststroke (4:15.98), and Bronzes in the 200m backstroke (3:27.33), 200m free (3:02.19) and 100m IM (1:41.34) and lastly 5th place in the 100m free (1:20.96).
Dougie Grayling (13), gained pb’s in all his races & walked away with 2 Silvers, in the 100m breaststroke (1:49.41) and 200m free (3:02.19) and 2 Bronze medals in the 100m free (1:24.71) and 50m breaststroke (48.50). He also swam to pb’s in 50m backstroke (47.79) and 50m free (37.75).
Isobel Short (10) Showed how much she has improved recently by obtaining 5 Speeding tickets in the 100m breaststroke (1:51.14), 50m backstroke (44.32), 200m breaststroke (3:59.26), 50m free (38.84) and the 100m IM (1:41.60). She also achieved a Bronze medal in the 200m free (3:16.32) and 8th place in the 50m butterfly (52.66).
Isabel Hinks (10) also obtained speeding tickets  in the 100m IM (1:38.57) and 100m backstroke (1:35.12) as well as a Silver in the 50m butterfly (48.85). All of her swims were pb’s.
Daniel Ryan (9) achieved a Silver in the 50m free (1:00.03) & 6th place in the 50m breaststroke (1:06.18).
Mollie Downes (12) recovering from a recent illness came to swim one event, 200m free and came away with a Silver and a new pb (2:55.29).
Bella Parkus (11) came to swim one race and walked away with a speeding ticket and a new pb in the 50m breaststroke (49.28).
Holly Morgan (10) showing great promise for the future, achieved two Speeding tickets in the 50m backstroke (44.32) and 50m free (37.80).
Zara Hussein (10) It was great to see Zara competing in her first open meet coming away with two 4th places in the 100m backstroke (1:35.12) and 50m free (46.63). 
Lucy Keens (10) a 11 second pb in the 50m free (55.97).
Jake Williamson (10) achieved pb’s in both of his events, 50m breaststroke (1:06.70) and 100m free (1:38.96). This was Jake’s last open meet with Hoddesdon SC and we wish him every success in the future.
Coach Andrew Woodhouse said “I'm extremely pleased and proud with our swimmer's achievements this weekend. Both the times and skills displayed in the pool were excellent; clearly reflecting the swimmer's commitment, positive attitude and determination across the season. It's always great to see when all the hard work in the training pool pays off!”

Posted on 11th June

Junior Regional Championships 2016
Five swimmers qualified for the Junior Championships this year, which were held at the Inspire pool, Luton over the Bank Holiday weekend, 28th, 29th and 30th May. 
Marco Tontodonati (13), Libby Dunford (13) and Lily Merrett (13) all qualified in multiple events and represented Hoddesdon in every session of the Competition.
Libby Dunford (13) Currently Hertfordshire County Champion in her age group, entered 10 events at the East Region Championships. She won Gold in the 50 Freestyle (28.44  Heat, 27.95 Final) and Silver medals in the 100 Freestyle (1.04.04 heat, 1.02.56 Final) and in the 100 Butterfly (1.09.39 Heat, 1.07.96 Final). In the 50 Butterfly Libby swam a PB in the Heat (30.51) and finished 3rd for a Bronze in the Final (30.39). All swims were PB’s. Libby also competed in the 200 Freestyle (2.18.94  5th Heat, 2.23.27 7th Final), 400 Freestyle (4.53.81)5th, 50 Back (33.63 Heat, 33.91 final 8th), and 100 Backstroke (1.12.94 Heat, 5th). Libby also finished 10th in the 200 IM (2.38.23) and 200 Backstroke (2.38.86). Libby showed a great deal of determination taking on some very talented swimmers in her age group, and should be proud of the results she achieved.
Lily Merrett (13) who finished 3rd in the County Championships this year, qualified in 10 events and competed in 8 events.  She swam some excellent PB’s throughout the weekend, making Finals in the 50 Butterfly, 100 Butterfly, 50 Backstroke and 100 Backstroke, and picking up a Bronze medal in the 400 Freestyle (4.48.43) PB 3rd. In the 50 Butterfly Lily swam 31.42 in the Heat and 31.40 in the final PB to finish 8th. In the 100 Butterfly heat (1.09.70) Lily swam a 3 second PB to make the final, where she improved her time further to finish 4th in a time of 1.08.72.  Lily also finished 4th in the grueling 800 Freestyle (10.05.13) missing out on a Bronze by .40 of a second!  The 100 Backstroke (1.13.34) was a small PB for Lily, and fast enough to make the final where she finished 7th (1.14.13). In the 50 Backstroke Lily once again made the final with a PB time of 33.69, improving her position to 6th with a time of 33.74. Lily also finished 11th in the 200 IM (2.38.66), a 3 sec PB and 16th in the 50 Freestyle (30.09). These results were excellent for Lily who has not had the smoothest year of training, but show she is capable of much more in the future. 
Marco Tontodonati (13) who is currently overall Hertfordshire County Champion in his age group, met with some fierce competition, particularly as boys of his age are all at different stages of physical development. Marco qualified in no fewer than 11 events for the Regional Championships, which in itself showed a massive improvement on last year, and came away with Personal Best Times (PB’s), in all but one of the events in which he participated. Marco’s impressive results were as follows: 200 IM (2.38.10) 10th, PB, 400 Freestyle (5.01.12) PB 12th, 200 Breaststroke (3.03.58) which represented a34s PB on his previous Long Course time, 12th, 100 Breaststroke (1.25.07) PB 14th, 50 Backstroke (34.25) PB 14th, 100 Backstroke (1.14.91) PB 17th, 200 Freestyle (2.22.12) PB 20th, 100 Freestyle (1.05.32) PB 21st and 200 Backstroke (2.44.85) 21st. Marco rose to the occasion with the new challenges the competition had to offer, including working out how to use the Backstroke ledges! He shows great promise for the future, and should be very proud of his achievements to date.
Two other swimmers also qualified for this year’s Junior Regionals:
Ellie Godsave (14) was unable to take part due to other sporting commitments and Dominic McCarthy (14) suffered an injury to his leg shortly before the competition.
Mary Wright said “I am very proud of these swimmers. They conducted themselves in an excellent manner throughout the Championships analyzing their own performances in a very mature manner. They have worked very hard to achieve these results and I am pleased to see them doing so well. I feel that they have so much potential for the future, it will be exciting to see them develop over the next few seasons.”

Posted on 7th June

Team Luton May Long Course Open Meet

On Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th May 2016, nine Hoddesdon swimmers travelled to Inspire, Luton to compete in the Team Luton May Long Course Open Meet, a Level 1 National Qualifier event.

Poolside warm up 'with a twist' from Matteo and Ralph

Libby Dunford (13), swam the 100 Free in a LC PB time of 1.02.91 to claim Gold, came 2nd in the 100 Fly (1.10.92), 50 Back (33.63, LC PB) and 50 Free (28.92); she also achieved Bronze in the 50 Fly in a time of 31.04.

Lily Merrett (13), achieved Gold in the 800 Free in a LC PB of 9.54.10 which she swam in a very consistent and convincing way. She also came 3rd in the 50 Back (34.04) and 4th in the 400 IM (5.41.97, LC PB) and 200 Fly (2.49.56).

Marco Tontodonati (13), secured 2 Silver Medals in the 50 Breast (38.99, PB) and 400 Free (5.01.27, LC PB) and a Bronze Medal in the 200 Free (2.25.53). He also achieved 4th place in the 50 Free (30.19, LC PB) and 200 IM (2.40.17, LC PB), and came 7th in the 100 Free in a LC PB of 1.07.66.

Libby, Lily and Marco will return to Luton in 2 weeks time to compete in the Age Group East Region Championships 2016.

Matteo Tontodonati (15), swam all backstroke distances coming 5th in the 100 back (1.07.80), 6th in the 200 Back (2.26.81) and managing to get into the water just in time to swim the 50 Back (32.08, 9th) after a very stressful ‘run to the correct lane’ (he was assigned the wrong lane). He also swam the 100 Fly (1.10.14, 11th), 200 Free (2.15.69, 11th), 50 Fly (31.14, 12th) and 50 Free (28.27, 13th).

Lucy Hinks made a great return to competitions after being injured, securing a 6th place in the 100 Back (1.18.29, LC PB) and 18th place in the 50 Fly (35.83, PB).

Chris Smith (20), achieved a 7th place in the 100 Breast, which he swam in a time of 1.10.32.

Bella Parkus (11), swam PBs in both her races: she came 7th in the 100 Back (1.28.41) and 9th in the 50 Fly (40.10).

Ralph Davies (15), achieved 9th place in the 50 Free (27.77, PB), 12th place in the 200 Free (2.16.83, PB) and 15th place in the 200 Back (2.38.32, LC PB).

Grace Harvey (18), who has Cerebral Palsy and swims in the S7 category for Backstroke and Freestyle, swam a 25 secs PB in the 800 Free (12.05.62); she also swam the 200 Back in 3.20.66.

Coach Manuela Teti said: “It was a weekend of tough competition with many top level competitive clubs attending. It was an excellent opportunity for our swimmers to work on different competing areas which they managed to do brilliantly, focussing on the process and skills, mental toughness and team spirit. And I would like to say a big thank you to Lily, who stayed with me during the long waits on Sunday and assisted me in stroke counting one of the races!”

Posted on 16th May

Regional Success for Hoddesdon Swimmers

The first part of the Summer Regional Competition was held over the Bank Holiday weekend at the UEA Sportspark in Norwich, on 30th April, 1st and 2nd of May 2016. This Competition brings together the very best swimmers in East Region, which comprises Norforlk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex and Hertfordshire.

Qualifiers for this event were Christopher Smith (Open Age Group), Amy Godsave (Open Age Group), Matteo Tontodonati (15 years age group) and Ralph Davies (15 years age group).

Competing on Saturday 30th April were Matteo in the 50 Backstroke (30.86) 6th and 400 IM (5.26.04) 13th, Amy in the 50Freestyle (27.31) 2nd and Chris in the 100 Breaststroke (1.08.43)3rd.

These swims qualified them for the Finals in the evening.  There was a great atmosphere at the Finals sessions, which helped the swimmers raise their performances for the races. Matteo swam an excellent PB in the final of the 50 Backstroke (30.83) to finish 5th, bettering his placing from the heat and missing out on 4th place by one hundredth of a second!

Amy competing in the Open Age Group for the first time, confirmed her second place and Silver Medal in the 50 Freestyle (27.01), an excellent swim for her as she is busy revising for her GCSE exams. Chris Smith swam a season’s best in the 100 Breaststroke, (1.07.92) to claim a second Silver Medal for Hoddesdon in the open age group, beating the Bronze medallist by a few hundredths of a second with an excellent finish.

Amy Godsave

Day 1 completed with 3 finals and two silver medals – excellent work from the Hoddesdon Team.

Day 2 saw the arrival of Ralph Davies (15 years Age Group) to join Matteo, Amy and Chris. The Heats went well with Chris qualifying for the Finals in the 200 Breaststroke (2.33.73) 6th, and 50 Breaststroke (31.30) 6th, Amy in the 100 Freestyle (59.52)2nd and Matteo in the 200 Backstroke (2.26.54) 8th. Ralph Davies swam a fast 50 Breaststroke in a time of 36.77.

The Finals in the evening session saw Chris achieve a 6 second PB over his original entry time in the 200 Breaststroke to claim a very well deserved Bronze in a time of  2.30.56.  He swam the 50 Breaststroke in a time of 31.15 to finish 5th.

Chris Smith

Amy swam the final of the 100 Freestyle in a time of 59.88 to finish 4th and Matteo bettered his position in the 200 Back final from 8th to 7th with a swim of 2.26.44.

Matteo competed in the 200 IM and 100 Backstroke on day 3, completing the 200 IM in a time of 2.33.14 and finishing 11th overall in his age group. He swam 1.06.67 in the 100 Backstroke Heat to finish 5th and guarantee a place in the final.

He improved his time in the final with an excellent swim of 1.05.99 finishing in 5th place.  Matteo swam at a consistently high standard throughout the weekend, especially in his favoured Backstroke events.

Matteo Tontodonati

Mary Wright, Head Coach of Hoddesdon SC commented “I was very proud of all four swimmers who attended. I am convinced there is much more to come from all of them in terms of performances and I look forward to working with them to achieve their goals. “


Posted on 9th May

Grace Swims in Para Trials - April 2016



British Para-Swimming International Meet

Tollcross International Pool, Glasgow

Saturday 23rd April to Wednesday 27th April 2016


Grace travelled to Glasgow with coaches Lee Dorman and Mary Wright and mum Jackie Harvey to participate in this prestigious event, which was also the selection event for the Paralympics in Rio this summer. Grace, a pupil at Presdales School in Ware has cerebral palsy and competes under the Categories S7, SM7 and SB6. As a result of her performances, Grace not only broke her own British Record in the 200m Individual Medley on the last day, but also consolidated her position as the Number 2 in her Classification Group in Great Britain.

Grace qualified for the International Meet in no fewer than seven events. This is a very prestigious event in the Para calendar and attracts swimmers from all over the world. Ellie Simmonds and Jessica Jane Applegate, stars of the 2012 Olympics were there together with many more stars from Para Swimming. After completing her Classification Review and a training swim on the Friday, Grace took to the pool to compete on Saturday morning in the 100m Freestyle and 100m Breaststroke. Her first swim in the 100m Freestyle of 1:15.37 knocked a second off her Personal Best Time (PB) and ranked her 8th overall with 735 British Disability Points (BDP) and guaranteed her a place in the final. A very strong 100m Breaststroke swim (1:55.45) resulted in a PB and 556 BDP and again secured a place in the final that evening.

Tollcross International pool, Glasgow

There was a great atmosphere for the finals that evening, where Grace further improved her time in the 100m Free (1:15.32), 737 BDP, and knocked a further 2 seconds off her 100m Breaststroke (1;53.46) to increase her points score to 586. These swims left her ranked 9th and 15th respectively across the multi classification groups.

Sunday saw Grace competing in the 100m Backstroke where she equaled her PB with a time of 1:32.70. She finished 13th with a total of 681 BDP.

On Monday 25th April, Grace competed in the 50 Butterfly, where she swam an almost identical time in both Heat and Final – Heat 40.68 (574 BDP) Final 40.74 (572 BDP). Grace finished 5th overall across all classifications in this event, and once again swam a 1 second PB.

The grueling 400m Freestyle took place on the Tuesday and Grace smashed her PB in the Heats by 6 seconds with a time of 5:41.78. This gave her 674 points and meant she finished in 6th place overall. She matched her Heat time in the Final with another excellent swim to consolidate her position.

Grace in the swim down pool, coached by Lee

The morning of last day of Competition saw Grace competing in the Heats of the 50m Freestyle and 200m IM, where Grace currently holds the British Record with a time of 3:17.78. The 50m Freestyle went well, with Grace swimming on her PB, finishing in 15th place with 682 BDP. Her 200 IM did not go so well as there was little time for recovery between the two races. Grace knew she could do better in the 200m IM, and so elected not to swim the 50m Freestyle in the Finals session so she could concentrate on the 200m IM. This turned out to be a good decision. As Grace stormed down the Breaststroke leg, it became apparent she might break her own British Record, and the crowd got behind her to help her through to knock 3 seconds off the Record with a time of 3:14.19. This earned her 652 BDP and was a fantastic ending to an excellent meet for Grace. 

Mary Wright said “We would like to thank ‘TeamLuton’, and particularly Head Coach Pete Woodbridge for all his great coaching, help and support to Grace over the last couple of years. We have no doubt this has contributed to Grace’s success. Grace herself is definitely a star for the future in British Para-Swimming, and has worked hard for all she has achieved”

Grace enjoying time with friends after her race

Disability Swimming Head Coach at Hoddesdon Swimming Club Janet Warrington said: “We are all very proud of Grace who has had a brilliant meet in Glasgow.  Grace has worked extremely hard in training and her preparation for this competition has perfect.  We all completely believe she will represent Team GB one day in an International Event in the near future.”

Posted on 6th May

Head 2 Head Gala - LTLC Cheshunt (23/04/2016)

Saturday 23rd April 2016 saw Hoddesdon SC swimming in a 'friendly' gala with Cheshunt SC at the Laura Trott Leisure Centre, Cheshunt.  The gala mirrored the Hertfordshire Swimming Leagues Peanuts Gala (Division Two).  The competition was extremely close, and lots of fun!  The final result was split by just one point - with Cheshunt SC being the winners this time round.  

The full set of results can be found here.

Posted on 2nd May

Grace Harvey CP Swimmer of the Year 2016

Grace Harvey ‘CP Swimmer of the Year 2016’


Grace Harvey (17) pupil at Presdales School, Ware travelled to the new long course (50m) swimming pool in Nottingham (Harvey Hadden) for the Cerebral Palsy National Championships on Sunday 3rd April 2016.  The National Championships use the British Swimming classification and British Disability Points system to award winners.

Hoddesdon Swimming Club’s Grace Harvey, who has the classification S7, SB6, SM7, is currently on the British Para Swimming Wold Class Podium Potential Programme and the Hertfordshire Talented Athlete Programme.  Grace competed in five events on the day; winning all five events bringing home five gold medals.

The afternoon concluded with the organisers awarding the ‘Swimmer of the Year’ cup to Grace for an outstanding year which included breaking 10 British Records.

Results at the Nationals were as follows:  100m Freestyle 1:17:24; 50m Breaststroke 51:05 (10 sec pb); 100m Backstroke 1:33.48; 200m Freestyle 2:49.95 (17 sec pb); 100m Butterfly 1:40.18 (20 sec pb).

Janet Warrington, Disability Swimming Head Coach at Hoddesdon SC said This event is a brilliant competition for Grace to practice her race skills in preparation for the Paralympic Trials in Glasgow in three weeks.”

She is now focussed on what she needs to do and where she needs to be in three weeks.  We are all very proud of Graces achievements so far and very excited about the future.”

Posted on 4th April

Excellent third round finish from Herts Major League Team


The Major League Team arrived in good spirits to swim the last round of the Herts Major League, to bring the Senior Team Galas to a close for the season.

Our Boys team was weakened somewhat by illness and other commitments, but it was nice to see Matt Williams joining the Open boys’ Team home from Uni and his training with Plymouth Leander. Several Boys were taken ill on the way to, or during the Gala, but the Team were amazing and showed real versatility, grit and determination by covering all the events bar one. Special mention must go to Charlie Brown, who stepped in to the Under 12 Team, having only just turned 9 and swam two very good 50m freestyle races. What a star! Also of star status was Carly, stepping into the Open 100 Breaststroke slot at very short notice, and the Under 14 boys team of Marco Tontodonati, Dominic McCarthy, and Elias Baluch who swam multiple races at short notice.

First places were achieved by Amy Godsave, Open 100 Free (1.00.30), Open 100 Butterfly (1.05.21); Matt Williams Open Butterfly (58.45), Libby Dunford U14 Butterfly (1.08.31) and U14 100 Freestyle (1.03.92), Lily Merrett U16 Backstroke (1.11.89) and U14 Backstroke (1.11.81), Dominic McCarthy U14 Breaststroke (1.22.31) and U14 100 Backstroke (1.15.68); the Open Freestyle Relay Team of Amy (26.95), Hayley Warrington (28.93), Libby Dunford (29.03) and Carly Bays (29.49); the U14 Freestyle Relay Team of  Libby, Lily, Amy Bishop and Ellie Godsave (1.59.81) and the Under 14 Medley Team, Lucy, Ellie, Libby and Amy (2.20.93)

Second Places were achieved by Ryan Brewster in the Open Freestyle (58.20), Matt Williams in the Open 100 Backstroke (1.01.33), Chris Smith in the 100 Breaststroke (1.07.85), Carly Bays in the Open 100 Backstroke (1.11.30) Matteo Tontodonati in the U16 100 Butterfly (1.07.14), Ellie Godsave in the Under 14 Breaststroke (1.26.05), Libby Dunford in the U16 Breaststroke (1.24.52)and the Mens Open Freestyle and Medley Relay teams of Matt, Chris, Paul O’ Doherty and Ryan (1.55.37 for medley, 1.44.73 for Freestyle) The Womens’ Open Medley Relay Team of Carly, Hayley, Amy and Lily were also second (2.14.05)

The three third places went to Matteo Tontodonati in the U16 100 Backstroke (1.07.96), his brother Marco Tontodonati in the U14 100 Freestyle (1.06.58) and Ellie Bostock in the U12 50 Freestyle (37.47)

There were 13 Individual Personal Best times and 13 Relay Personal Best Times, which was exceptional in view of the number of races some of these swimmers had. Please see the results for full details.

Mary, Manuela and the Coaching Team would like to thank Marcello as co-ordinator and all the Officials who have loyally helped out with the officiating – it is great to see some new faces on the Team, please keep up the good work, and there is always room for more, so if you are interested, please let us know!  We would also like to thank all those Parents who gave up their time to help with the hosting duties and stewarding duties, and all those parents who have given up their Saturday evenings to drive their swimmers to and from the various venues, and of course to support the Team.

And last but not least I would like to thank the swimmers. What a fantastic, talented bunch of swimmers we have! They have swum under difficult conditions this year, but next year will be better for you all! Under 12’s you now have the Peanuts League to look forward to, details coming shortly!

Mary Wright

Head Coach

Results here

Posted on 4th April

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