#swimmingscominghome July Newsletter

Junior Polo

A few weeks ago now the juniors traveled to Warrington for a match. I was unable to attend due to a date with the Sterophonics so I will leave Mark to sum up:

We played really well as a team and it was good to see that some of our coaching on a Thursday night was paying off. We lost 6 – 5 in the end to a controversial goal when it looked like the ball hadn’t crossed the line. Unfortunately VAR wasn’t available. In fairness it was a really competitive game and it could have gone either way.

We then played another game short game afterward and we drew 4 – 4

All the kids came out of the game having really enjoyed it and are looking forward to the return fixture at home.


Abersoch Triathlon

The club was represented by 4 club members, although only one was wearing club colours. Ben Cartwright was incognito is his black and red number (correct colours) and Neil and Dave donned the pink of the Nightriders – (note to self, kit order over the winter)!!

Neil was first off in the Olympic distance and the sea state soon became evident as it was very difficult to see the swimmers between the swell. The distances for the swim were shall we say loose and no one is really sure how far we swam.

Next off it was the sprint boys, Ian, Dave & Ben. We all got pushed to the right on the swim out to the first turn, got lost between buoys across the back and then surfed back in! In the general classification it was, Ben 2nd, Dave 3rd and Ian 5th – so 3 out of the top 5 were Parogon swimmers!! Just think if our technique was good!!!

So onto the bike, a tough course with a long drag from the start, long climb to the summit of Mynytho and then down and flat to the finish. Ian passed Dave before the turn to the long climb and then the drama started, a house was on fire!! Ian and Ben were amongst the last through before the road closed, leaving Dave to say he is the only one who did the correct distance, including the diversion – or you could say that he should have been quicker to get through! At the end of the bike leg the order was Ian, Ben, Dave.

Onto the run, soft sand, jumping breakwaters, hot sun, steep rocky climb and back along the beach – a tough 5km! Ben put in a shift to pass Ian (all I will say is I can remember him being born!)  in the last 500m to come 11th overall, 30 seconds back and 14th was Ian and Dave did fantastically well in his first event to be in the top third overall.

Neil was taking it easy, due to having a full Ironman this weekend just gone  yet still came in in a very good time, despite Natalie moaning (sorry, encouraging, commenting, observing) that he was taking too long – sorry Nat!!!!

Summer Opening

We are aiming to stay open all summer and if there is anytime that we are struggling for a lifeguard we will advise, but as it stands all systems go!

Junior Water Polo will have its last session on Thursday 19th July and will reconvene on Thursday 6th September. Swimming lessons will follow the same pattern with the last session being Sunday 22nd July and the first one back being Sunday 2nd September.


Events for the Diary

A few events for the dairy:

Sunday 16th September: Shropshire Triathlon.


Saturday 21st September: Serpentine Swim, Hyde Park

  • The club will be well represented by a large contingent of swimmers heading down from Stoke station to the Big Smoke for the day. We have swimmers in the one and two mile events. So this year not only did Parogon take over Whitchurch we are also taking over London!!!
  • There are still places available for this event, so if you fancy……
  • https://www.swimserpentine.co.uk/


Saturday 29th September: Kids Duathlon Nantwich

  • Run, bike, run – a nice event to get the kids moving!! Set in Barony Park in Nantwich with distances determined by the age of the child.
  • We have 4 kids defiantly doing it with a number expressing interest – do we need T-Shirts for them to race in? Let me know and I can get some sorted…..
  • https://www.uktriathlon.co.uk/uk-kids/north-west-uk-kids-fun-duathlon


Just putting this one out there again, 24 hour swim? Would this be of interest? Not going to pursue it if I do not get interest, but if I do I will……..I would need helpers for a number of jobs and this would take considerable planning to do it well, so if you are interested please let me know and we can gauge interest.

Have a great summer all….

UK Ultimate Triathlon June 2018 The Relays

Relay 1 – UK Ultimate Sprint Triathlon (Female Relay – Parogon ASC)

(Claire Deakes, Louy Whitehouse, Sue Morley-Smith)

Fast forward to Sunday, even clearer blue skies and temperature rising – it was the turn of our relay ladies!

A 1030 start and the Sprint event was 500m swim, 20km bike and a 5km run.  It was the first time that our fabulous trio came together to race as a team, hand-picked for their respective disciplines and they certainly rocked!

Claire opened up with a very strong swim (emerging 4th out of the water) especially given her known love for open water ;-(


The baton (timing chip) was duly passed to Louy who whizzed around the bike course (and took timely inspiration from Christina by letting her overtake and then Louy drafted legally behind to return home – a stroke of genius and solid team work);

Girls transition

Finally, a very slick handover to Sue who legged it out of transition – Sue is a seasoned runner, it was a strong run and performance, and she was pleased with her time; the heat was a challenge for everyone.

girls run

However, in the end, there can be only one winner and our ladies were victorious – a wonderful achievement!

[Total relay trophy count = 3]

Relay 2 – UK Ultimate Sprint Triathlon (Male Relay – Parogon ASC)

(Adam Whitehouse, Andy Ligocki, Mark Gunning)


Another 1030 start and the same Sprint distances as the ladies; ‘twas also the trio’s first time competing together and they naturally treated each other with a healthy respect from the off!

This is where the fun and confusion started J:

  • The team was entered under Karl (see the race numbers);
  • The team competed as Karl;
  • The eventual result was announced as Karl;
  • But where was he, clearly missing in action from this relay (see Relay 3 update)!;

An explanation is in order; we needed to re-jig the male relays during the last 24 hours to ensure Paragon ASC competed in both events. So, how did our chaps do?

Adam opened up with a strong swim (12:21), he motored around the lake in a new PB and managed to minimise the impact on his body – why bother – he was on a flight later that day to Asia for 18 hours – what commitment to Parogon ASC and his team mates!

Next up was Andy, drafted (oops coerced) into the team in the last couple of weeks and he stormed out of transition (reminiscent of recent Simon Yates’ stages in the 2018 Giro d’Italia), on the back of some very strong training runs; however, suffered from “mechanical trouble” but made swift repairs, so an admirable performance in the circumstances and especially in his first tri – brilliant!

boys bike


Mark – also a seasoned runner, often found pounding the canal paths around Trentham & Barlaston, sprinted towards “transition exit” with timing chip in his hand (to fading echoes of “Gunners, timing chip”) and in a move worthy of a Royal Ballet audition, deftly swapped the chip onto his leg, ahead of leaving transition – pure class – certainly a brave run from Mark battling with increasing heat and also nursing an aggressive injury.

However, having performed admirably during the run, and controlling both his pace and fluid intake, Mark will be remembered for his pre-race nutrition tips (or was this Karl in disguise?)

WhatsApp Image 2018-06-03 at 22.36.54 (7)

However, in the end, there can be only one winner ………. again!

NB Sue’s trophy allegedly full of gin (again) and shared around!

[Total relay trophy count = 6]

Relay 3 – UK Ultimate Quarter Triathlon (Male Relay – Parogon ASC)

(Karl Deakes, Simon Mansell, Paul Morley-Smith)

And onto our third relay trio with an earlier 1015 start for this crew, given the tougher distances!

This Ultimate Quarter event was a more testing 0.6 mile swim, 28 mile bike and a 6.2 mile run (ok I hear you, you want it in metric, so read 960m swim, 44.8km bike and 10km run)

  • Pull-buoy Deakes – down to the water’s edge in his sleeveless number, slipped into the lake, headed straight for the start line and assessed the competition. Playing it cool for the first 150m, and swimming neck and neck with a lone contender (reminiscent of the TV show, Gladiators!), he turned on the burners and pulled away from the masses, emerging 1st from the water (in an open water PB of 12:55).  Tip to self – find your own way to each of the course buoys and don’t just follow the canoeist (improves your time)!  A special mention here to “The Beast” Davies (in his individual event) who also had a fantastic swim (as the same 1015 start) and we ensured that Parogon ASC emerged well ahead of the masses;


  • Simon – a naturally gifted cyclist and a staunch commuter to work by bike, had completed some tough training runs (e.g. recent Dougie Mac ride) and clearly a proud recipient of corporate sponsorship (look at his ‘Gucci kit’). This man lives and breathes biking … you could say he has strong “bike-ability” J  Back to the race, Simon “gently” mounted his trusty steed, took the 28 miles in his stride and raced home in a very respectable 1:30:39;


  • Paul – Mr Calm from the off and another experienced runner, was seen playing cricket with the kids before his race! Paul clearly enjoyed the experience, as he was smiling for the camera, every time we spotted him per lap and delivered a strong performance in 47:52. Well done!

Was it Karl (or was it Adam) taking the picture

However, in the end, there can be only one winner ………. not again!

olympic podium

NB Trophy on left made of solid gold and also too heavy to hold

[Total relay trophy count = 9]

So, what did we learn?

Like all post-match reviews and write-ups, this was a fantastic club event for us, on both days, with great organisation from UK Tri.  The kids were amazing and luckily the weather was cooler for them (but still hot).  Even when the adults were ‘competing’ on Sunday, the kids played well together and required little supervision.

The vocal support that we provided all weekend was inspirational, not just for Parogon ASC but for so many other competitors, and some were in a tough way on Sunday, given the heat.  For me, this level of support is a true test of a club. Plus, it was great to see support from friends and family which contributed further to the atmosphere and celebration of our achievements – an event to be remembered for years and hard to top (now there’s a challenge).

A special thanks to Ian and Christina for all of the admin behind the scenes leading up to the event, the setting up of our humble abode (“Gazebo Parogon”), plus goodies, and keeping the pace/energy/motivation going all weekend!

Well done all!

i & C

[Editor’s note – for those struggling to remove their race number tattoos, or destined to proudly display for a few more days, I am reliably informed that Johnson’s Baby Wipes are up to the job – yet to test at time of writing.]

UK Ultimate Triathlon June 2018

What a fantastic weekend for the club, bringing together general members, swim trainers, polo players and swimming lesson kids and parents. ‘Gazebo Parogon’ was at the heart of the event and could not be missed by anyone and the camaraderie, support and friendship from all was fantastic. I for one will never forget the noise and support every time I passed a club member or supporter and the noise as each competitor came down the finishing lane was enough to bring a tear to the eye of this man as I finished my event!

Remember it’s the members that make the club – and this weekend we showed what a great club we are!

UK Ultimate Kids Triathlon

Saturday June 2nd saw 11 kids registered under the Parogon name take on the challenge of swim, bike, run at Alderford Lakes in Whitchurch.

It has to be said that they were all fantastic, taking to the lake and swimming fantastically, they were a credit to themselves and the club with many overtaking those who started before them. The race director was even heard to liken some of our swimmers to Olympians past and present!!

Then it was onto the bike, a tough grass course with some undulations pushed the kids to the max, completing their designated number of laps they then hit the run and this is when the realisation of the challenge hit home.

Poor Sophie missed one lap and then promptly threw up, now that is hard core and she had no issues hitting the BBQ later in the day!! Norika really dug in on the run with dad Adam running alongside and she did fantastically to finish and should be very proud of herself. Spencer was second in his age group, again a fantastic achievement. Team Deakes Junior competing for the first time were superb completing the course with smiles son their faces and the seasoned athletes, Amelia, Evie and Maisie lapped it all up! Zac was our first finisher and unfortunately I missed him as mine were starting their swim…

The phrase of the day was, ‘much better than Trentham!’ The associated support crew was loud, vociferous, and enthusiastic – a sign of things to come on Sunday!!

Well done all a great day and the future of the club looks to be in strong hands!

To see the results follow this link:



UK Ultimate Half Triathlon

Now the kids had set the bar high for the adults on the Sunday and they duly obliged!

First off it was the Half Ironman – 70.3 miles in total comprising of, 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and a half marathon to finish. With the clear blue sky’s overhead and the predicted high temperatures it was going to be a long day for our competitors: Harry Belfield, Ed Cross, Neil Oliver, Olly Tarpey, Ian Cartwright and ex club stalwart and polo player Ian Ross.

We started off by being paraded down the finishing lane behind a Union Jack with music blaring being duly cheered by the assembled relatives and supporters – that got the adrenaline going and calmed any pre race nerves. It was then into the fantastic lake, clear and warm at 21 degrees for our two lap swim with a small jog between each lap. First out was Harry followed by, and in the top 10, the 2 Ian’s, who somehow manged to stay together for the whole swim – the only way through the field for me from then on was backwards!!! I had peaked on my best discipline!!! Olly was not far behind and came into transition just as I was leaving. All swimmers, as with the kids, posted great times setting themselves up for the rest of the race.

We then headed out on the bikes for our two lap 56 mile ride, the course headed to Malpas, out to Bangor on Dee and back to Whitchurch – undulating but nothing too challenging with good areas to recover and conserve energy for the run that was to come. Food and drink was the order of the day on the bike and the order of team Parogon was shaken up, Harry, Neil, Ed, Ian R, Olly, Ian C – but would that hold through the run!

So we now hit the half marathon with temperatures hitting 26 degrees on the road section it was going to be tough. A three lap run, round the lake and down the lane with feed stations every couple of miles – much needed. Personally I hated the first 5km but then got into my stride, walking through each feed station taking on water and also chucking it over my head to cool down, Olly tied up on the run and did fantastically well to finish. The noise from the rest of team Parogon whenever we past them was suburb and really kept us going as did the multi-lap as we kept passing each other shouting words on encouragement, high fiving and keeping each other going. I also found the other competitors to be fantastic, it almost becomes a self-help group getting each other to the end…

So how did it all pan out:

Harry – an unbelievable 4th overall in a time of 4 hours 32 mins

Ed – 42 and second in age group in 5 hours 16 minutes

Ian R – 54th in 5 hours 22 minutes

Neil – 73rd in 5 hours 35 minutes

Then our first timers at this distance:

Ian C – 103rd in 5 hours 55 minutes

Olly – a courageous 131st in 6 hours and 10 minutes

216 starters


Whilst we were racing – so forgive me for the slight lack of detail – we had multiple competitors across other races.

UK Ultimate Sprint

Christina completed the sprint, 500m swim, 12 mile bike and 3 mile run, the longest race she has done as an individual and she did fantastically coming in as the 8th female out of 27 starters. Having put in a strong swim, she flew the bike and put in a steady, hot run to finish in 1 hour and 34 minutes. Again another fantastic achievement and she has even said she will race that distance again!


UK Ultimate Quarter

Tom ‘The Beast’ Davies took on the ¼ just under the Olympic Distance – 0.6 mile swim, 28 mile bike and a 6.2 mile run. No mean feat as Tom has only ever done one other event. As with all the club members Tom put in a strong swim exiting the water in 5th place, and he then hit the bike. Having only started riding this year he did a strong ride and then a good run posting 1 hour for the 10k. As with all of us Tom suffered with the heat and I was so pleased to be able to sweaty high five him a number of times on the run – it was that club spirit that got us all through….. Tom finished in a time of 3 hours and 3 minutes – again another wicked performance in club colours!




We also had three relay teams competing and a report is on its way to me for those to send out – but lets just say for now. Three teams, three trophies!!!!!


Christmas & Beyond


The Annual General Meeting of the club will take place at 7pm on Wednesday 10th January at 11 Parkway ST4 8AJ.

All welcome.

Christmas Opening

Sunday 24th Coached Swimming 9am – 10am – possibly followed by brunch somewhere

Tuesday 26th – Closed

Thursday 28th – Open 6 – 7.30pm No Junior Water Polo

Saturday 30th – Coached swimming 8.30 am – 9.30 am, general swimming until 10 am only

Sunday 31st – closed

Tuesday 2nd – open as normal.

Lessons – last one Sunday 17th December, starting back on Sunday 7th.

All other days we are open as normal.

santa hat pool

Old Boys Polo & Club Social

On Sunday 14th January we have the annual Old boys Water Polo followed by a social event at a venue TBC. We have the pool from 2 until 5 and then the social after. We would like as many people as possible to attend, past players for the game and club members to be at the game or join us for the social as we would like to use this evening to also thank and make a presentation to Jill in recognition of her service to the club.

polo ball.jpg

Can you please sign up for the event here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/parogon-winter-social-2018-tickets-40905368057 so that we can confirm numbers for the food. We will almost certainly ask for a contribution to the food costs that will be confirmed once we know numbers and the venue is confirmed. For now put it in your diary’s……

Updated Events Calendar

The latest Events Calendar is linked below by clicking on the logo, with the revised dates for the AGM & Polo amended, a number of the external events have now got fixed dates also.

Parogon logo jpg 72dpi


Events Calendar

The file linked below, under the club logo is version 1 of the events calendar for the rest of this year and up to July 2018. This will be regularly updated as dates are confirmed or added.

This contains, internal club events and external events that we will or are planning to have club representation at. Check it out to see:

  • Social events
  • Water Polo
  • Open Water Swims
  • Triathlon
  • Runs
  • Cycle Rides

Let us know what you are entering / attending and we can really build the club and promote what we are all doing.

Let’s make 2018 the year of Parogon!

Parogon logo jpg 72dpi

Autumn News

Christmas Curry & Social

Saturday 9th December in and around Newcastle. Can numbers please be confirmed ASAP so that I can get a table booked. Also if you have any suggestions as to a venue, good yet reasonable they would be much appreciated. This is a lovely evening, all are welcome and it’s a great way to finish off the year.

Christmas Opening

We will confirm our opening times as soon as possible once the lifeguards have had a conflab!

Bike Ride 2

Further to the success of bike ride 1, where we had 11 people out the second ride is planned for Sunday 19th November, 1pm starting at the Poachers Cottage on the A34.

Two routes to choose from, 35 mile with hills at around 15 – 16 mph average,


or 15 miles with two lumps at around 10 – 12 mph average speed.


I know we are a swimming club but this is all great PR, build the club brand and will hopefully lead to a member or two. It also helps with the event planned next year:…..


Parogon Take Over of UK Triathlon

On the weekend of 2nd & 3rd of June we are looking to get as many people from the club as possible either competing or supporting at the UK triathlon event in Whitchurch. Kids, beginners, wanabees & professionals (Ed). So far I know of 5 or 6 who have entered the half ironman, one interested in the Olympic and 2 or 3 for the Sprint. That is alongside 10 ish kids interested in the event on the Saturday. So already we are looking up to around 20 competitors.

It’s about having a go and it is completely non-intimidating, the only pressure is what you put on yourself. The sprint is 500m swim, 20km bike and  5km run – eminently attainable with distances increasing as you go up.

Plan is to race in club kit, put on a show, club gazebo at the event, pre event pasta party, a weekend for the whole family…….

Again let us know & click the logo below for more information…..


A Battling Performance

The 13 & under polo team played their first friendly match of the year on Sunday 2nd April against Warrington, and what an afternoon it turned out to be!!

It was a strong 10, only missing Jaz from the players who went to Lancaster before Christmas and we were hoping for a slightly less emotional afternoon!

Parogon started off defending the deep end of the pool and despite making some lovely openings were let down by poor shooting with the shots going straight at the keeper. Keeper Zac was late arriving due to a COSACCS gala so Nat stepped up and went in goals and pulled off a few saves, but despite that we trailed 5 – 2 at the end of the first.

We then went on to win the second quarter 6 – 2 (8 – 7 to us at half time) with the counter attack working well and Ethan in particular using his swimming well and slotting three of the goals. As always it was Spencer and Reece holding it together at the back and Zac was back on form with some great saves and feeds.

Emotions were again running high at the end of the quarter with some misunderstanding of the offside rule, but once all had calmed down we were ready for quarter 3.

A much more assured performance saw Parogon draw the 3 – 3 attacking the shallow leaving us one goal up going into the last, attacking the favored deep end of the pool. It was in this quarter that Reece put himself about in attack and popped up with a lovely backhand from the pit for one of his goals.

All we had to do was not concede in the last, we did but only one to our 5 scored as once again our counter attack saw some great goals scored. What was so pleasing was that they were shared, Reece, Elliot & Nat with one each and Spencer with 2. Jenny & Chrissie also got into great positions but the keeper pulled off some great saves.

So in all a 16-11 victory, very encouraging with some elements to work on, particularly all players getting back and defending and our tackling of a moving player. All players did very well with mentions for Reece & Spencer for their sterling unselfish defensive work for the team, Zac for his feeds & Nat for the best he has ever played.

Well done all, on-wards to the next……


Christmas is Coming…..

A quick reminder of the Christmas program for the club this year…..

  • Thursday 22nd, open as normal
  • Saturday 24th, 8.30 to 9.30 training followed by a general swim until 10.30
  • Tuesday 27th, CLOSED
  • Thursday 29th, open from 6pm, Turkey Buster training session from 7.30 to 8.30
  • Saturday 31st, 8.30 to 9.30 training followed by a general swim until 10.30
  • Open again on Tuesday 3rd Jan as normal.

May we also remind you of the old boys polo match on Sunday 15th, please see the Facebook event for more details. 


Finally may we wish you all a very happy Christmas and a Peacful New Year. 

Dark Nights – Xmas Calling!

Christmas Social

The annual Christmas social is due to take place on Friday 9th December. Nothing major, a few drinks followed by a curry. Can you please email parogonasc@gmail.com to advise as to your attendance so that we can book the food.  Towards the end of the evening the prestigious swimmer of the year award will be given out – is it too late to make a late dash and move yourself up in the standings?


Our AGM takes place on Wednesday 7th December. All members are warmly invited to attend.

Movember Swim

Next Thursday, 24th, the juniors are doing a sponsored swim in aid of the Movember Charity. Steve one of our coaches is instrumental in this charity and they have raised a considerable amount over the past years. Please feel free to support, come down or even join in the swim.

Member Updates

I have lots of updates to bring you as regards events, individuals and successes and will get these out ASAP – so watch this space for news on junior polo, Ironman success and both adult and junior participation and one victor at the Trentham Traithlon.


We have received notification from the school as to a few issues that need to be addressed so can the following please be adhered to, as it always is…..

  • Shoes off before entering the main changing rooms
  • Ensure that the external door closes behind you when you enter. If it is propped open please close it.
  • Do not park on the school site – all parking is on Parkstone Avenue and then walk up to the pool.
  • No children are to play in the foyer without an adult being present. If children are staying whilst you train they must stay on poolside under yours and the lifeguards control.

Mid Summer Madness

Water Polo

The junior sessions are going from strength to strength and we are regularly getting number in the high 20s. Ages ranging from 7 upwards and it is great to see so many girls. We are working from a pool of 4 coaches and all of us are getting used to the noise!!!

We attended a match at Warrington the other weekend and played both U12 & U14 matches. The U12s did very well against a more experienced and at times physical opposition, and if it were not for us wanting to get all players a good length of time in the water would probably have won the game, as it was we lost the match by one. But that is not really the point, the aim is to develop the young players, give them all water time and ensure that they enjoy playing the sport.

We had 2 extra players for the U14s whereas Warrington had a complete new squad – we battled on bravely, scored a few goals, but the previous four quarters and added experience of the opposition showed. In the end Warrington ran out easy winners, but again our team showed great spirit, fight and attitude and learnt a lot.

Next up this coming Sunday we are hosting a tournament at the pool and this will be first time our fantastic new goals will be used in anger. We were fortunate enough to bid for and win funding from the Making a Difference Locally fund form Nisa foods. This has been administered via Lodeys on Paris Avenue, and we are extremely grateful to Brian and Michelle for the support. We will be getting a piece in the local paper after the tournament, with match reports and to also thank our sponsors.


Open Water

You will have seen the Derwent Water report earlier this month and next weekend we have a contingent heading off to Ullswater. This event is quite possibly our favourite event and all swimmers are this time taking part in the 3.8k. Look out for the event report the following week.


We cannot let two marriages go unnoticed either!!

You may well have noticed that Howard has looked rather stressed and a fair bit poorer this year and that is because Annie got married over the Spring Bank weekend to James. True to form H even managed to get polo and the club into his father of the bride speech – a true club man!!!

Also Harry has managed to slip away quietly in his own style and last weekend married Amy. Again many congratulations from all at the club.


True to form it is Ed who is taking the plaudits and congratulations for his efforts in triathlon. We all know that he works incredibly hard on his training and he is a true example of hard work paying off. In the last month he has won his age group in the Nantwich Sprint and came second in age group in the Gauntlet Half Ironman at Cholmondely Castle this last weekend. I can vouch for his speed as he went past me at the start of his half marathon like I was standing still. Spencer & I also entered this event and if you have not already seen my thesis on this click here to see it….


Third Place had gone home!!!

Margs Fundraising

Good old Marg is at it again and this time she is tackling the Manchester 10k Race for Life on 17th July. This will be her first ever 10k event and she is seeking sponsorship for this and rightfully so! See her at the pool or leave it with the lifeguard if you feel you can support her in this event.