Oxford university swimming club (OUSC) is the competitive university swimming club, representing the university in inter-university swimming events. Swimming is one of the few full blue sports, so has a prestigious status in the university sports scene. OUSC is an ASA registered club (since 2006), allowing us to compete in local open meets, county, regional and national championships, as well as inter-university events. We are a high quality swimming team, winning the last varsity match against Cambridge by 22 points.
Oxford University Swimming Club has existed since 1892, and has become much more professional in recent years training 6-8 times a week. Training now takes place for the whole squad at the Rosenblatt Pool, Iffley Road, Oxford. This is an eight lane 25m pool with a moveable floor, and is part of the main complex of university sports facilities.
OUSC trains throughout the academic year although the majority of our training for the year is done in Michaelmas and Hilary terms building up to the Varsity match and the BUCS Team Championships. We hold three training camps during the year, two of which are held in our own pool, before and after Michaelmas term. The main training camp last year was held in Torremolinos, Spain in early January just before the start of Hilary term. The camp involves an intensive training schedule, and is a crucial aspect of our training as it ensure the team is in optimal conditions in preparation for the varsity match and BUCS team championships. However it also offers the squad a good opportunity to relax and spend time checking out the local area. The squad is also invited to take part in land training. This includes weights, abdominal work, circuits and flexibility training in a programme designed by 2012 Olympic champion and OUSC alumnus Davis Tarwater.
In Michaelmas term we compete against other universities in a friendly gala, which will take place in mid-October at Oxford, followed by the BUCS short course championships in November at Ponds Forge pool, Sheffield. The term ends with the Southern qualification round of the BUCS team championships in late November and possibly a local open meet.
The historic Varsity Match against Cambridge is one of the main highlights of the year and is held February. It is hosted by Oxford on even years and Cambridge on odd years. Training is geared towards this unique event, which always has a fantastic atmosphere. If the qualification round finishes successfully in Michaelmas, the year in the pool then ends with the national finals of the BUCS team championships in Sheffield.
OUSC also offers a number of open water opportunities. This includes the annual open water varsity against Cambridge that takes place in Henley along the Royal Regatta course. The team also race Cambridge in the biannual channel relay swim. Oxford won the most recent event in 2016, finishing in 8hrs 54mins. The next race will be held in the summer of 2018, and we shall be looking to put together a strong team to defend our title.
OUSC arranges a number of social events throughout the year, giving members the chance to see each other with their clothes on. The post varsity match party provides an opportunity to unwind after the rigors and stresses of the competition. Some of these events are organised in conjunction with the Water Polo Club, including the post Varsity dinner. OUSC has an extensive Old Members society, which organises an Annual Dinner and Garden Party.
For the less serious swimmers at the university, there is a second team who currently train 3 times a week alongside pentathletes and triathletes. We also organise an annual Cuppers swimming competition. This is an inter-college competition, and a great time is usually had by all, although don’t underestimate cuppers events – they do become very competitive!
Joining OUSC costs around £50, which includes ASA membership, entry to all swimming and land training sessions, lactate testing, plus invitations to our social events. OUSC members must also be members of the swimming pool, which costs approx £88 per year; and there are also discounted 3 year packages. However some colleges give free membership to the sports centre. If you are a visiting student, we are still happy for you to train with us, even if it’s only for one term.
If you are currently an Oxford student or you will be a fresher come October and you have any questions or would like to join don’t hesitate to contact one of the committee.