Essex Mini League – R2

A Mini League gala during the school holidays and the Club also competing at 2 Open Meets over the weekend was always going to be a tough ask and so it proved with 15 swimmers missing from the original selection made.

On the night, the competitive environment also proved challenging, with little room on poolside for both swimmers and parents and starts in the water at the shallow end, but all teams had the same conditions and the pool was a last minute replacement for the original venue.

That said, you cannot fault the swimmers commitment or willingness to compete, some in some unusual events! On the night the overall result was as follows:

1st Boro of Southend 159
2nd Rochford 136
3rd Basildon 131
4th Harlow Penguins 129
5th Canvey Island 63

Detailed results are on the file below:

Essex Mini League Result


  • 3 first places on the night were achieved by Kallie Jackson(25m Fly), Tommy Moody (50m Brst) and Ashleigh Jolley (50m Fly).
  • 15 PB’s in individual races by Brianna Hansen-Hoare, Kasey Bradley, Ashleigh Jolley, Joseph Quelch, Esme Stringer, Xavier Pierrejean, Kallie Jackson, Thomas Moody, Hannah Death, Sophie Brennan, Owen Stringer, Emilia Doble, Ethan May, Morgan Arnold, & Patrick Hansen-Hoare.
  • Best swims in relays were hard to assess given the start in the water at the shallow end, (2nd, 4th & 6th legs of the relays), generally times from that end were about 1 sec slower.

Overall there were some great individual results and times achieved.

Next round 12th May in Brentwood!

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Essex Mini League 2018 – R1

Saturday night at Harlow Leisurezone saw Penguins start the defence of their position of 2017 League Champions.

On the night, we finished second behind Witham Dolphins, but this was an outstanding performance from Penguins who fell foul of 11 Time Faults and 3 DQ’s on the night and when you are only scoring in 35 of the 49 events, it does tend to limit your points scoring chances!!

Final Points on the night were:

1st Witham Dolphins 166
2nd Harlow Penguins 159
3rd Colchester 143
4th South Woodham Ferrers 116

That said, all the Time Faults were as a result of swimmers setting PB’s and in some cases, they were massive improvements and you can’t legislate for that, you just accept the superb performance – at the end of the day, coaches want PB’s.

Detailed on the file below are the times and relay splits from the gala:

Essex Mini League Result

I don’t intend to mention specific swimmers for performance because this was a great Team Performance, the following facts speak for themselves:

  • Penguins won 22 of the 35 events they scored points in, and were placed 2nd in a further 11 events.
  • Swimmers PB’d in 23 out of 32 Individual Events.
  • During the course of the gala, there were 90 relay split times, 50 of those were Relay Best Times, and its worth noting several swimmers swam several times in the various relays and they can only PB once!

Congratulations to:

Jasmine Hall, Thomas Taylor-Marshall, Ella Edwards, Ellis Ryan, Jessica Miller, Charlie Plume, Freya Gordon, Cooper Smith, Shauna Pitcher

who all made their Mini League debuts.

In terms of team performance, galas such as this simply don’t go ahead with the help of a massive group of parents who give up their time freely, some of those do not even have children swimming – many thanks!!!

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Academy & Development Time Trial

Many thanks to all those who, swam, attended, watched, helped at tonight’s Time Trial. Ultimately it will be judged by the times the swimmers set, but as an event, it was so much more!

Big thanks to:

  • Jonathan Chan who was responsible for running tonight’s event and since 12th Jan when this was first suggested, managed to get it licensed at really short notice and an hour after the Meet finished, has provided me with draft results.
  • The Knight family and Claire Peirce who ran the timing system that needed “some work” on it throughout the night!
  • Julie Hayes who despite not being there, managed to organise everything poolside.

Helpers & Officials – many thanks to all those that helped tonight, it was great to see so many senior swimmers who helped with the marshaling, officiating & announcing on poolside. Julie’s Barmy Army had a a notable replacement in her absence. Officials, many thanks for committing your time freely, without it tonight would not have taken place.

Parents – many thanks for your support, time trials such as this are a massive undertaking for the Club and to get a 90% turnout is really great. The Club cannot survive without parents getting involved in the Club, if anyone would like to know more about helping, please contact Julie Hayes,

Last but not least, the most important people on the night – the swimmers. We had swimmers competing tonight who 2 months ago were coming out of Penguins Swim School, it is amazing what you have achieved in 8 weeks!! The results will will show some huge progress from swimmers across all the groups.

I have spoke to all the coaches on poolside tonight and asked for their feedback and there were some really positive comments and some real highlights.

Because the meet is licensed, some of the formalities involved will delay publication of the results, so please bear with us!

All in all – a great night!

Martin Stringer
Head Coach – Harlow Penguins

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Xmas Training Hours

The following file details the Christmas training schedule:

Xmas Schedule 2017

In summary:

  • Morning sessions are as normal this week, none over the Christmas period and then restart on Wednesday 3rd Jan.
  • Burnt Mill – no sessions this week or over Christmas, first session back after the holidays is Thursday 4th Jan.
  • Leisurezone – as normal this week until Thursday 21st December, sessions restart as normal on Tuesday 2nd January.

Friday 22nd December – Fun Swim

There will be 2 sessions:

  1. 6:15-7:30 – all Academy Squads, Development 1 and 2 and Junior Performance Squad
  2. 7:30-9:00 – Development Squad, Junior Regional, County and Senior Squads.

Special Training Sessions

Over the Christmas period there will be 3 “Special Training Sessions” on Weds (27th), Thurs (28th) and Fri (29th) December. The squads allocated to each session are as follows:

Xmas Schedule 2017 – Special Sessions

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Redbridge County Qualifier Meet

Sometimes as a coach you take decisions that affect your swimmers and you hope that they come through. Over the weekend at Redbridge our swimmers have quite simply smashed it.

From our youngest swimmers such as Michael Mannix in the 9 Y/O 200m backstroke, to our senior swimmers like Megan Cook in the 200m Freestyle, recent times previously set were taken apart.

There were Regional Qualifying times for Phoebe White in the 100m Free, Daniel Monk and Ethan Peirce in the 200m Freestyle, additional County Qualifying times for Evie Jamieson (200m Brst & 50 Free), Ben Stringer (100m Back), Jack Banning confirmed his potential and its great to see a first time County Qualifer for Ethan May in the 50m Breast.

The big improvements to PB’s will move our swimmers up the rankings and improve their chances at Counties, William White epitomized it, 5 secs off 100m Free (1:13.54) and 9 secs off the 100m Fly (1:22.32). Tyler Jackson and Kai Henson both improved times in the 200IM and Jack Banning smashing the qualifying time in the 200m Breaststroke.

There were lots more highlights over the weekend, and these should be celebrated with the swimmers, I will update PB’s etc. in the coming days, if anyone has a new County time, please notify Julie Hayes.

And while talking about Julie Hayes, I’d like to thank her for her tireless efforts in making the switch possible, she had to totally rework the Basildon entry file to summit to the Redbridge organisers to see if they could accommodate us and then rework it again to take into account requests for additional swims or change entries to take account of the different programme order.

Attached are the results from the weekend:

lbrsc dec 2017 results – harlow



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Harlow Penguins Winter Party & Club Awards

Presentation Night

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Essex Mini League Champions 2017

Congratulations to all the swimmers who have competed in the 5 rounds of the Essex Mini League in 2017, this is the first time since 1994 that the Club has won the League and it is an outstanding achievement.

Final positions can be seen using the following link:     Final League Table

There is no doubt that this has been a long journey since claiming 1st place in the gala at Southend in February and following that up with further success at Saffron Walden in March. Our unbeaten run came to an abrupt halt in May when we were only placed 4th in our home gala at Leisurezone. In June we visited Central Park in Hornchurch where the 33.3m pool provided some big challenges and we finished 2nd on the night. Our final gala in July at Braintree saw Penguins dominate and we recorded our highest point score of 188.

This League is important for the Club, it allows us to give our youngest swimmers the chance to compete for the first time and also gives swimmers who may not get individual events in other leagues the chance. Over the course of the league we have used 71 different swimmers and those swimmers have been drawn from all groups across the Club, from the new starters in Academy 2 to the occasional dip from Toni Howard!

On a personal note, selection for this League is a selection nightmare, it can literally take days and does not help when you have an Open Meet the week before and the swimmers you have selected,  PB and take them past the the Time Fault limits!

In 2017 we had 29 Time Faults (9 at Harlow, which may explain 4th place!!) in total but it has to be recognised that all these will have been personal best times.  I may curse a swimmer under my breath as another 5 points goes into the deep end but in some cases swimmers have smashed PB’s which in swimming is all a coach can ask for!!

I’d like to thanks all the Clubs officials for giving up their time and making this possible, Toni Howard for multitasking as a swimmer and coach, Patrick Arnold for leading us to victory in the early rounds and Nicola Arnold for managing the team and also taking 450 relay splits over the course of the 5 galas. This is very much a Club event and success and should be celebrated on that basis.

Martin Stringer
Head Coach – Harlow Penguins

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