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After having a cochlear implant fitted, Matthew Johnston found out what swimming sounded like, for the first time in his life. I have always swum in silence. Hearing aids are not waterproof and I have been profoundly deaf since birth. My swims are usually solitary. In the water, conversations with my fellow swimmers are limited to just a few words and without sound to guide me, I need to look up frequently to monitor my surroundings. Last week, all that changed. For the first time in more than 49 years, I swam with sound. I have always worn hearing aids but last year I was fitted with a cochlear implant. 

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Over fifty Winchester City Penguins swimmers competed at Hampshire County ASA Swimming Championships, in Portsmouth and Waterlooville, over three weekends in March. 

In the Age Group Championships, Martyn Humprhys had a bumper weekend of medals and finished as runner-up in the BAGCat awards for the top 12 year old boy. Humphrys smashed his personal best times, became County Champion in the 200m backstroke, and took four silvers and a bronze at Waterlooville Leisure Centre. Also in this age group, James Baxter was third and collected two bronze medals in 50m freestyle and 200m backstroke. Oliver Bulpett and Tom Menlove received awards for their 6th and 7th places respectively. Both boys were medal winners in individual events and gained regional qualification times with successive PBs.

Eva Munden was awarded a trophy for third place overall in the 12 year-old girls age group and became County Champion in both 50m and 100m breaststroke. Munden took silver in 200m breaststroke and competed again in the Youth Championships the following weekend, winning both the 50m and 100m breaststroke.

Read more: Penguins Make a Splash at Counties

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Rory Fitzgerald has recently returned from a swimming competition in China, with a winner's trophy, for the second year running. The tour also included opportunities to join a Chinese Ice Swimming club for a swim in a hole cut into the frozen Songhua River, and a visit to the Water Cube in Beijing for a swim in the iconic Olympic pool.

Here is his report:

Read more: Rory's Snow Swim


Well done to all those who have been competing over the last three weekends in the County Championships. We have had some outstanding swims resulting in some great PB's. Results can be found over in the results page - here.

Check out what's next on the Upcoming Events page.

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