Summer’s coming

What a wonderful club; to be part of Hackney Aquatics feels like being part of the action, the community and an exciting club concept that does not only make people jump into a pool but has a big palette of social events to offer as well.

I am looking forward to the summer fete and barbecue and cake stalls in June. Date to be confirmed.

Till then we have a host of exciting competitions to look forward to.

Life’s good

On, what is going to be the hottest day of the year so far, we are settling back into the normal routine.

  • Back to school
  • Early morning before school
  • Early evening after school training.

 

stoke newingtonThere is no such thing as a morning or an evening person. It all depends on the up-bringing and routines we are getting used to from child hood.

I wasn’t raised as a morning person and getting used to AM training on a regular basis was a bit of a chore. But now, early mornings are getting better and better.

 

ClaptonEven the journey back after the training sessions help me  prepare for a busy school day.

The hazy sunshine on a hot morning is very calming and relaxing and I learned to appreciate the sensations I get when looking into the morning sky and I appreciate the changing nature of the trees and shrubs that make a significant part of the skyline.

 

Cambridge HeathThe more trees, the more bird song and the chirping and singing makes a great backdrop on the views. Well really, I just have my earphones in and listen to my favourite songs. Perhaps some birds manage to enhance the tunes I am listening to.

The bus chuckles along and I ponder whether I missed the Newham National qualifier at the LAC last week or whether looking back to the under-water sensation and the fantastic week of Spanish training was stimulating enough for me to smash those national times during the Regional competitions in May.

My year has been set up and I look forward to reaping the better times I am going to achieve this year.

 

On the paper trail

Whilst waiting for the first train, to get to Stoke Newington for AM training at 6:45, we start to see some light in the sky night. It is a clear and crisp morning, just good to wake us up enough to want to get to our destination, the Clissold Pool.

Whilst I joined the BBC weatherwatch, I am tempted to take more weather photos to capture the moment of the day. I realise phone cameras don’t seem to be good enough to get a brilliant picture.

AM-church
Church Street in Stoke Newington at 6:25 AM

Apparently today, Hackney Aquatics has an article in the Hackney Gazette. I know the e-edition for 22. March is not online until the next day, after publication and so I trotted down Church Street, on the way to Stoke Newington Station to get a paper copy.

But there was not one shop open that sold papers at that time in the morning e.g. 6:15-6:30 AM. It is the same here in Tower Hamlets, paper shops just don’t seem to open early any longer.

Perhaps we are developing into a coffee-house culture, getting up late, going to bed late, which is entirely contrary to the life-style of a performance swimmer.

Whilst we were members at Bethnal Green Sharks we featured in many newspaper articles in the East London Advertiser as that club always submitted articles to the paper. After leaving Sharks to join London Aquatics Performance Program at the LAC, all newspaper reporting ceased because that program didn’t publish in the newspapers.

But now Hackney Aquatics will publish articles about the spoils of competition wins in the Hackney Gazette regularly. I shall make sure of it.

It’s just great to pose for a team-photo after a competition, especially if you won lots of medals. If you didn’t win any, you just think, well next time, I’ll have one as well.

At least I can add more newspaper cuttings to my personal development box in which I keep all the articles published about Madison.

 

 

Oh, we’re going to Torremolinos

I forgot to mention in my last post, Yes, we are really going to Swimcamp in Malaga this Easter break with Hackney Aquatics, a camp run by Sports Abroad.

It’s like all birthdays and Christmases have come together here. We are counting down the days till this exciting swim camp.

Flights are booked, and now we are thinking about not much else. What a wonderful sweetener to complement all our competition chores and school exams.

Incredibly exciting times ahead

My move to Hackney has proven to be the most important and best decision I have made in my young life, in sporting terms.

There are the best prospects ahead and I can work with swimmers on all performance levels.

From next weekend the club attends no less than 4 different competitions. There is lots of fun at:

There is something for everyone. Of course all competition swimmers (well most) want to be selected or the Premium selection meets like the Golden Tour but it is a very good feeling to be part of a great mix.

Madison will swim at the Regional Qualifier in Basildon.

Seeing that our head coach Rick Hall has gotten all these important letters after his name like Rick Hall (First Class BA HONS Sports Coaching, Level 3 Swimming Coach), and having experienced the club environment, I now think that the continuation of the former LACPP should have been transferred to Hackney Aquatics or a committee consisting of various clubs.

Hackney Aquatics has an amazing bunch of parent volunteers who run the club in great harmony and effectively and Hackney, out of all clubs we have had the pleasure to experience, has the most robust and effective financial system.

Hackney, like most local top clubs have now also signed up for Team Unify, a move that has not been made by Newham UEL, who promised exciting changes to their website last year but nothing has happened.

Rick Hall from Hackney Aquatics is also the most qualified coach to handle top swimmers as he is actually employed by Middlesex County as County Coach.

img_1181The competitive swimming club development within the LAC is still a precarious situation, which needs to be looked at further. Geographically located within the borders of Essex, LAC no less hosts all clubs within the area, who can be located within Essex County, Middlesex County or other counties.

Having trained there for over a year, whilst LACPP was a primary British swimming development, there is a certain flair attached for us and vivid memories connected with the LAC training environment.

I think all regional swimmers who trained with LACPP still miss the Saturday Beacon program and I think Swim England should again look at the situation and discuss this further.

 

County press reporting

Since the government changed the rules on Council newspaper reporting, sports clubs increasingly rely on the FREE press to report about their achievements.

Apparently ARCHANT owns almost all big local papers in the region.

I want readers to compare the achievements reported in each paper to get a good idea about the quality of the club.

For Tower Hamlets we have the East London Advertiser, ELA reported very positively on 15. February 2018 about the relatively small achievements of Bethnal Green Sharks in a full press report. Yet Bethnal Green Sharks swimming club achieved the least medals out of the clubs mentioned here.

For Islington we have the Islington Gazette (Archant), they did not report at all about Camden Swiss Cottage swimming club. The club relied on the CamdenNewJournal to report about them online on 8. February 2018 and Ham&High on 7. February 2018.

Anaconda swimming club also from Islington mainly report on their own website about results.

Redbridge, an Essex County club, have the Ilford Recorder (Archant). I could not find any county report either on the Redbridge Swimming club website nor in the press.

Hackney Aquatics have the Hackney Gazette (Archant) where there is no press report in the paper but Hackney Aquatics have an excellent report about the County results on their website.

Even though newspapers are a bit old-fashioned in paper format, many read them online in E-editions. It helps clubs to get funding from sponsors if there is a good press coverage.

In this case the club with the least medals has been reported about the most by ARCHANT, perhaps a typical example of British behaviour to always support the Underdog.

 

strong bones = gravity = land training or can swimming prepare humans for life on Mars?

Exposing our bodies to the full force of gravity by using our bodies with the help of our limbs is what makes our bones stronger. As humans living on earth, with its gravity, we have evolved into boned upright beings that rely on strong bones to exist on this planet.

When I visited a New Scientist lecture event at the Excel last year, I was terribly disappointed that most of the speeches centred around outer space. I thought, so boring, there are no pools in space, I like swimming.

Then I didn’t know how swimming affects our bodies through gravity but now I do; it suddenly dawned on me that swimming takes place in less gravity than outside of a pool activities do. Our weight is reduced in the element of water.

When I watched a recent BBC documentary about the effect of sports on our bone density titled: ‘Which type of exercise gives you the strongest bones‘, I was amazed to learn that cycling is actually worst for bone health than other sports, that cyclists’ bone density is around 20% worst than that of Cricketers or Gymnasts.

That is due to the fact that cyclists do not use their whole body to propel within their activity but use a cycle and sit on it with part of their body. That reduces the physical effort the body uses.

Swimming does not strengthen our bones, it is good for soft tissue and organs, e.g. brain, heart and muscle-building. Because swimming reduces the gravity, I suppose constant swimming would severely reduce our bone density despite developing our muscles.

Most of us swim only for a few hours and most highly competitive swimmers couple swimming with severe land training, which compliments swimming and produces the land based activity that a strong  skeleton needs.

Adam Peaty is famous for his strong-man land training, which makes his the fastest breast swimmer on earth at present.

Whilst swimming helps to develop the muscles, land training ensures bone health and strength. Our swimming club, Hackney Aquatics

pilateshas a tremendously varied training routine, which is just about perfect and provides a lot of variety with Yoga, running, gym and Pilates.

 

I once worked on a cycle and cycled 10-12 hours per day, I completely collapsed with severe leg pain after nine months and still suffer from the consequences of an alteration of my leg muscle fibres and tendon damage due to a lot of cycling.

I now swim regularly to repair that damage.

But seriously if humanity would spend long periods of time in the water and had no exposure to gravitational pull and activities, I suppose we would evolve into humans with soft bones, probably what would be needed in an environment like the planet Mars or other outer space environments. mars

Humans with weak bones here on earth would start to suffer from brittle bones and constant breakages.

I like Earth though.

The Happy Club

HAC has got the very appropriate abbreviation, that could also stand for Happy Club. After this year’s County’s everybody is happy, singing praise to the coaches and the swimmers, whilst all parents congratulate each other on supporting their successful swimmers.

It is all down to a very happy combination of everything working together just fine,

  1. the professional coaching team, who are all very friendly, very approachable and always happy to have a chat in a nice way, superb communications,
  2. the extremely keen swimmers who work very hard and train to compete and if they do not compete, they are all very supportive members of a club that welcomes all swimmers,
  3. the excellent Advanced Coaching Scheme that provides superb transitional coaching and an unreal and good land and swim training program,
  4. all the kind and cordial parents who all support each other.

hackney tablesThe superb progression of achievement has been well shown by the recent graphs and tables Rick has posted for us to see and I shall recommend that everybody is proud but not complacent with the achievements but aims to work even harder to continue the success.

Madison made a relatively small contribution to this success by having contributed to the Top 8/final category. But MADISON is chuffed to bits that she can be part of such a successful and well-run club by head coach Rick Hall.

It makes it so much more worthwhile to invest time into training and not having the feeling that she wastes time in the pool. There is something to aim for and it seems achievable.

No more excuses

I was very impressed watching the @CityofDerbysc level 1 meet today. @HackneyAquatics has a small bunch of swimmers non older than 16 I believe and they did very well in this national atmosphere. Hackney came 16. at the end of day one – out of 44 clubs attending – with only a few swimmers with some very big and famous clubs attending.

At this level 15 year old swimmers had to compete in opens with no age-group to hide behind. Very tough and sobering.

Great thanks to Rick for providing the flair needed to make Hackney a club of the highest calibre with a lot of promise.

No more excuses that either the training or the facilities aren’t good enough to perform. The possibilities are endless with Hackney Aquatics and once Madison comes over her woes to do with changes in her life and we get stuck into this new routine, there is no reason to stop now.

In two weeks we have as a big milestone the MCASA Youth county swims at the LAC and to give some extra strength, will go to the gym tomorrow to fill the weekend with some muscle-workout.