The B-tech sport

Whilst with the swimming things go just steadily from training to training session and whilst the shoulder is kind of debilitating, and whilst the legs still work and Madison has to do two sports through the B-tech exam, it stands to reason that Madison uses those body parts that still work.

The legs are ideal for football and Madison has been selected for the school’s girls football team. What a great surprise.

Over the years Madison cut back on all other activities to concentrate on swimming but now another activity has opened up.

Obviously coaches want swimmers to just swim and spend every free minute either at the pool or in land-training or to go gym session to do with the swimming development but the education system has other ideas.

I suppose, when I read that younger people should do as many varied things as possible, the reality is, that all sports want their athletes to concentrate on a particular sport as soon as because an athlete’s peak comes usually about 20 or even younger. The international athletes field is hugely competitive and the most developed nations do their utmost to produce the fastest, strongest, best in whatever discipline possible.

It takes a lot of resilience to stay in any sport and I am questioning that it is possible for any average person to make it in any sport without specialist medical support, which usually costs a lot of money and is not available on the state, at least not in the western world.

Madison currently does get support with her shoulder and sticks to the training but also now has to do some football for a while, whilst the sport b-tech program is being dealt with.

I think that any sport is exercise and does good. And if you look how few athletes actually make it to the very top out of all that are in the clubs and on the competition scene, it just makes you wonder whether you are the one that will be it.

In the end, every sporting person counts towards supporting the ones that make it big because the more competitions we take part in, the more training sessions we do, the more we help each other and somebody somewhere is going to be the top.

 

Cambridge Grand Prix

With Madison’s competition career on hold, we had to take her out of this competition. Everybody says, hurting shoulders need to rest Waiting for Godot, on a hospital appointment, will test our patience, in the truest sense of the word. Ahem patients.

Swimming is a sport for swimmers and swimmers usually are children and it is the children’s parents that keep the sport going, organise the meets, officiate at meets and keep the clubs running. All parents can train as

  • Time keepers
  • J1 or J2 judges
  • J2S starters
  • Referees

It is the biggest volunteering effort and the Big Society of Sport that parents do the work and the swimmers do the swimming. Yet the sport volunteering existed long before the term Big Society was invented very recently.

Even though Madison is not competing, I, as parent, can go and help  with the meet. Cambridge, the City of Cambridge Swimming Club have been marvellous in engaging people to help. Even the most placid of parents, suddenly jump up and want to help in this great occasion.

As it says Cambridge Grand Prix, an event easily associated with the City of Cambridge. Obviously another club that is run in conjunction with the City it is located in.

City_of_London_skyline_from_London_City_Hall_-_Sept_2015_-_Crop_Aligned
By © User:Colin and Kim Hansen / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=48935921

Yes, we do have London Swimming events, but not as in a club run by the City of London, no, it is a loose conglomerate of independent swimming clubs strewn around the big town. London Swimming is more of a geographical marker and overhead organisation such as Swim England, London branch.

Look at the difference, the rural City of Cambridge at the top and the City of London just above, yet only the rural town can manage to support a Swimming club. London Swimming has no City of London sponsor message on their website.

I think if the City of London would throw their weight behind a swimming club and actively sponsor it, like obviously other towns or cities do, then perhaps the London Aquatic Centre could host a successful London club.

But as it is, the London Aquatic Centre, is again, organised to cater for host-boroughs that are geographically located around the venue. Nothing that says, yes it is our city, our pool, our swimming club, City of London Swimming Club.

City of London SC ???

Building on my last post, it makes only sense and is logical – how I love logic – to think hey, why is there not a City of London Swimming Club?

Looking at the National Selection page of British Swimming, the team base of most selected swimmers have a City name or University / School swim team attached.

We have gotten: 

  • Loughborough
  • Sterling
  • Sheffield 
  • Derby
  • Bath 
  • Swansea
  • Stockport
  • Millfield

amongst others

Yep, you ask, where is London? 

I get constantly requests from the Mayor of London to take part in surveys, none of which has anything to do with swimming.

Incidentally the London Secondary School Swim Team performance is non existent as well. The English School Swimming Association events, have few performers from London Schools. 

Yes, the London Youth Games bring in many swimmers, who are all related to local swimming clubs, yet, London has not managed to produce a London Swimming Club, despite London being the richest City in the country. 

Wonder, how do those other towns / cities manage to fund nationally successful swim teams?

Perhaps London should divide into Quadrants and have several London swimming clubs e.g. North, South, West and East. 

The national team for 2019

It’s a whole new fresh approach. Some of the very trusted names like Aimee Wilmott and Hannah Miley are not among the chosen ones.

But the list published on British Swimming still shows some well-known, huge names like Adam Peaty, Tom Derbyshire, Luke Greenbank, both Lichfield brothers, James Guy, oops I am just quoting males here. Lets look at some females who are in: Freya Anderson and Imogen Clarke are well known from watching nationals and of course Freye Anderson made excellent performance in recent team medley events on an international level.

What impresses me most about the selection page is the part about the world-class sports science and medicine services attached to being selected.

No NHS queues for selected athletes then.

Most of the selected swimmers are already attached to a national training program like National Centre Bath or National Centre Loughborough. Very few local clubs have directly associated swimmers in the national program. That is a bit of a shame because it looses the local connection to big performance.

It’s either university/school run swim clubs or city run clubs apart from national centre swimmers, showing that independent clubs do not have a pool to perform in, rather than saying not a leg to stand on.

Local councils have to wake up to the fact that performance sport, swimming included, needs council or city funding. Here in London we have quite a few clubs but none of those have any swimmers in this national program. Why is it that London does not have a performance program? It may be due to the size of the city. London is a huge area, nothing compared to smaller cities, which have superb performance swimming clubs.

2018-common
Picture at the London Aquatics Centre of Jarvis Parkinson and Aimee Wilmott with Gold Cost Mascot for Team England

Yet all attempts to establish a performance program have been hampered perhaps by cost. The London Aquatics Performance Program was shelved after a couple of years. Both Aimee Wilmott and Jarvis Parkinson were part of it. Jarvis was a young newcomer at the beginning of it and now made it to Loughborough. Both former coaches of the LACPP now work for Chelsea and Westminster swimming club as coaches.

For example clubs like Barnet Copthall produced Olympic Swimmers but even they are not represented in the National team for 2019. The new club Natare, run by former Olympian Michal Jamieson, which produced many national swimmers, not in the game for 2019 either.

The London Beacon program has gone under.

Use your loaf

Just to mention that when Madison had the Better sponsorship, during her membership with LACPP, Madison hardly had any time to go to the gym to top up the water-based club training. Madison never needed to see the physio. One felt invincible.

better=copper
Better membership card for the GLL training support

Then, the following year, I did not apply for the Better GLL sponsorship, which brings with it, free physio treatment. I thought we do not need it, Madison was never injured to a significant degree. I thought better let other athletes have the sponsorship, those who do need to supplement their training with extra gym sessions.

Now the injury has finally arrived. No, I have not been waiting for it but it has happened.

My GP told me that coming to the NHS for advice is a waste of time because the NHS has no resources to treat sporting injuries quickly enough. Perhaps the NHS should reconsider their treatment options. NHS constantly peaches to us about healthy life-styles, yet that brings with it more sporting activities with sporting related injuries. If the NHS wants to specialise in deteriorating illnesses, which are not sport related only, they should re-name themselves.

Now I have been told that the physio in my own club charges at least £50 for a consultation. Obviously like most average people I am not made of money.

I have to find ways of solving problems without spending even more than I already do on the swimming.

We have enormous cost because we not only need to pay the club membership, we also constantly got extra costs like:

  • Travel costs – to and from training and going to competitions
  • Accommodation cost – most further away competitions require hotel stays
  • Performance costumes – can cost around £300,–
  • Training equipment – quite a lot of stuff
  • Competition entry – At the LAC can cost up to £12,– per event.

Now having even more cost, would just about break the camels back.

I do not understand, that Swim England, doesn’t make Physios available for free. Just perhaps a physio per region. Or perhaps advertise for physios who want to help the sport on a voluntary basis.

I need to turn to the Internet for advice. There is quite a lot about. There are some useful pages, which are seriously useful. Search the Internet for Swimmer’s shoulder and some good pages with advice come up for free. Obviously it only needs a terra bad and a wall to do a couple of exercised.

Our club coaches are also pretty good and allow the continuation of training, just not using the injured shoulder. Yet active Physio intervention is not available, especially in the holidays. I am hoping that the Mel Marshall camp, that also cost quite a lot of money has gotten some solutions available.

just training

Having no competition for 2 weeks feels just like a holiday. Currently just training, the usual 7 times per week and it gets easier, the longer its done.

Just remember the posts made when we started the regular AM training with constant moaning about having to get up.

Now its all routine and such a toddle.

Busy raising money for the annual fund-raiser “Swim the Thames”. We have generous neighbours and the fund-raising form fills. But there are some who pay immediately and there are some who pledge.

Rather than keeping all the cash collected we just pay it via the club’s GoFundMe page and leave the rest of the donations for later, until the pledgers paid up.

Feeling fresh and relaxed, it’s always good to help and be positive, our club is such a great place to be and the team is fabulous.

The up-coming competitions feel easy and not bothered about having 2 800 m freestyle competitions on 2 consecutive days.

Swimming is fun!!!

Invite to swim the Thames

Our readers are cordially invited to participate in the Community Day of Hackney Aquatics that will be held at the London Fields Lido.

From 3pm till late on Saturday 30. June 2018

Roll up, roll up and come along and swim if you want. Anyone can swim for a £5 donation. It would be great if we could altogether beat the 7.000 length required to equal the Thames.

EPSON MFP image
Hackney Community Day on 30 June 2018, at the Hackney Lido from 3pm

There will be

  • Barbeque
  • Ice cream
  • Food stalls
  • Pilates in the Park
  • Outdoor Yoga
  • Football
  • Extreme Frisbee

Hackney Aquatics want to split the proceeds of the day between the North London Hospice and the Club Access Fund. The Club Access Fund helps swimmers who are keen to swim but have problems finding the cost.

A huge thanks to all my neighbours who already generously donated for Madison to swim 5km at the Lido but she will also in the morning swim 3km at the London Open Swimming Championships* at the Surrey Quays. A mammoth undertaking for the good of the club.

All sponsors are most welcome to check with Hackney Aquatics whether their generous donations actually arrived at the club after the 30. June. If you do not meet me before and want to help but cannot come on the day please try to donate online.

*Your donation will not fund this competition but only the sponsored swim at the Lido.

London Youth Games 2018

This is the first year Madison has not been invited for the London Youth Games. She always was very keen to get points for her borough which is Tower Hamlets.

Apparently other parents from Tower Hamlets in the past were concerned their children didn’t get invited though they are proven to be very fast and performance swimmers.

This year it is Madison’s turn not to get invited. Madison was in the top 3 fastest female swimmers in Tower Hamlets.

Either a lot of national ranked swimmers have moved to Tower Hamlets this year or Madison has just been forgotten.

Apparently an athlete has no way of complaining if they have been left out, it is the sole discretion of the borough coordinator, who is usually a club coach.

It is in the best interest of the borough to get the fastest swimmers into the Youth Games, that will influence the performance tables and might generate funding.

So I just wonder why Tower Hamlets leaves a very fast swimmer such as Madison out of the selection. We have not been given any reason whatsoever. We contacted the Youth Sport Foundation months ago to say that Madison is keen to take part.

Added on 07/06/2018, I have heard that some athletes get invited by post, lets wait for the postal service then, with eager anticipation. We love the youth games. I now got invited after all

Swim the Thames at London Fields

How is it possible? It is, the length of the River Thames is 346km, equalling 7000 lengths of the Hackney Lido pool. To be on 30th June 2018 from 3pm till late.

With a combined effort, people are expected to swim those 7000 lengths within 4 hours. That is such a doddle. Inexperienced swimmers can swim as little as one length of the pool. Performance swimmers do much more.

This is couched within a splendid Hackney Aquatics Community Day at the park and the Lido with

  • Swim the Thames! Sponsored Swim at London Fields Lido from 4pm.
  • barbecue, ice cream and food stalls
  • Pilates in the Park
  • Outdoor Yoga
  • Various games and activities such as football and extreme frisbee!

Of course all activities will be expertly run and are supervised.

I understand anybody can take part in the sponsored swim. There is a fundraising page on GoFundMe but I am not sure whether paying into this will also enter people for the sponsored swim. I am awaiting further details. However contributing to the founds would not do any harm to anybody. I think the aim is to help low-income families to allow their kids to swim at the club.

Will the LAC be back on the menu??

Whilst former LACPP swimmers tearfully had to pack their bags and search for new clubs, I now read that Swim England now wishes to establish up to 4 new swim centres throughout England.

I remember the conversation well when I mentioned that the LACPP dissonance was in my mind a temporary thing and that not using the LAC as national swim centre is a sin.

I reckon somebody will apply for the LAC to be re-established as one of England’s swimming centres. Application forms have been made available on the Swim England website as we speak.

This program aims to link swimming clubs and universities to help talented swimmers with the transition to performance swimming whilst continuing their university education. My best guess is that UEL might be in with a shout on this one again.

See in the picture two former members of the LACPP training program, Aimee Willmott and Jarvis Parkinson, both now swimming for the Commonwealth games. Whilst Jarvis moved to Loughborough, Aimee went to Scotland.

Back to the future guys.