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This past weekend we said goodbye to one of our coaches and ex chairman John O’Hara who has been with the club since 2009 and seen both kids Jacob and Bethan grow up within the club. John came in for one last session over the weekend doing what he’s done over the past 5 years with Seagulls coaching with a passion 💪John was also greeted with leaving gifts and a standing ovation from parents and swimmers 👏

John had this to say to all seagulls members:


“ Dear Seagulls Swimmers and Parents,

The decision to leave Seagulls Swimming Club was incredibly hard. It has been a huge part of our family life for over a decade and has provided my children with important lessons that they are now taking into their adult life and careers. I feel incredibly lucky to have met some amazing people along the way, many of which are now close friends.

My swimming adventure started in a small club in Wales in the late 70’s. That club provided me with some of my fondest childhood memories but also gave me two valuable lessons. The club was so small that when competing against other larger clubs we would all have to swim in events that we considered ourselves weak in and would often be up against older swimmers just to fill a lane. Despite our lack of numbers we consistently out performed. We beat clubs much larger than ourselves and swimmers would discover that they didn’t really have any weak strokes. The reason? We swam as a team. Swimmers understand that the sport is relentlessly tough. There is no hiding place. However, the moment that an individual swimmer watches the success of a team mate, and truly enjoys that moment without envy, then they have mastered the art of being a competitive swimmer.

So swimmers: train as a team, laugh as a team, cry as a team, enjoy success (individual and collective) as a TEAM. I promise that you will all enjoy swimming so much more if you rid yourselves of the energy required worrying about the performance of others compared to your own progression.

Parents. The second lesson I learned from my early club swimming experience was how much I enjoyed knowing that my Mum volunteered, officiated and helped in the running of the club. It was amazing knowing that she was there at every meet but, more importantly, it was amazing to know that she had a job to do and wasn’t constantly talking about MY swimming. In fact, most of the swimmers in that club had parents who volunteered to keep it running. I am convinced that this is the main reason why we over achieved given our small structure. It is a well known fact in sport that athletes who have parents that volunteer in some way are more likely to achieve success  in their chosen sport. I can guarantee that you will enjoy your child’s swimming more if you help out in whichever way you are able.

Lastly, I would like to thank the committee for all their hard work and support. Trying to balance the books whilst keeping the club as competitive as possible is a thankless task.

I would also like to thank Martin Littlefair for his support. The club has one of the finest coaches in the region – if not the country. Martin has chlorine in his blood and knows what it takes to achieve in the hardest sport in the world. I am pleased beyond words that I was able to leave the club knowing that the current group of coaches can move it up to the next level.


With much love and affection,




P.S. Thank you for the amazing present – I’m not sure how happy Janine is having to listen to Nirvana intros and riffs over and over.

In the words of the great Eric Morecambe “I’m playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order!”




We would like to once again say a massive thank you for all your hard work over the past 11 years at Seagulls and we wish you the best of luck onto your next chapter.