One of the most important considerations for me as parent is the factor of stability. Swimming was always meant to be an enhancement to the growing up process, a sport that helps improve school results and learning rather than be an alternative to education.
Children’s lives these days are marked out till at least they are 18, Nursery, Primary School, Secondary School, A-levels. University, Job.
Whilst for school we get the time-table at least 1 year ahead, we know what is expected of a pupil at all times, we can normally fit our swimming routine in with the education and group our social life around this.
During Madison’s early swimming years, she was a member of Bethnal Green Sharks and I now start to appreciate how important the stable running of that club was to us. There were always the same teachers, the schedule would never change, for years and years, we could rely on it.
We then changed to LACPP and were given a totally different routine and we managed to adhere to this as well. We were given competition schedules, great, another thing to put into the diary and something we could plan ahead for.
What is happening now is that suddenly we got an e-mail saying that the future of the club is uncertain. I got e-mails saying, “We hope you can bear with us during this difficult time”.
Yet as a parent I kind of would like to know that our time-tables and swimming schedules and competition schedules are guaranteed for the coming year.
Unfortunately this is not yet the case. I am trying to explain why I now start to panic and ask for trials with another club that seems very stable and has great training routines and excellent swimmers, who also participate in regional and national competitions.
Considering that both our lead coaches are rumoured to be leaving the LACPP as well and we do not even know what coaches we are going to get and there are only rumours that there are going to be reduced training hours for the top squads without again providing for land training, it seems quite logical that I want to look for another club.
For smaller swimmers it might not be so impacting on their lives that some things are uncertain but for Madison who has to choose her GCSE subjects next year and start to learn for a tougher GCSE schedule than ever, we just cannot afford any more instability.