On Sunday, Madison will swim for her first and last meet with Newham & UEL club.
Preparations centre around
- how to get the home work done over that weekend
- how many hours are needed for the meet
- which foods are needed and how to nourish
- travel time and arrangements
- packing the bag for the meet
- mental preparation
- which races are swam
- promoter’s conditions
- study the accepted entries list
Luckily the BWF early county qualifier level 3 meet is in the London Aquatic Centre, which is one of our local pools. We can just take a local bus there and arrive within 20 minutes, we do not need to worry about parking either.
We see that entry in the LAC is now security screened, visitors are not allowed to bring drink or food in but swimmers are.
Swimmers always have their favourite snacks to use as pick-me-ups and preps before or between races. Most of the time in swimming meets, there is also not enough time between sessions to have a proper lunch. There are delays and if a meet goes on from 8AM till 5pm, swimmers need to find time to get useful nourishment.
This Sunday we’ll only have half a day, usually we stay the whole day. But if Madison swims longer distances we do less races altogether.
This Sunday it’s going to be 100 fly and 200 back.
The social aspect is also important beyond the just racing. Swimmers get to know each other over time and meet up at race meets. Swimmers who change clubs still see their friends at meets too. That is very enjoyable for the swimmers.
With the arrival of the LAC, local swimmers’ lives were quite affected. Before we had our local pool and suddenly that opportunity with the LAC arose.
New swimming arrangements were introduced and swimmers often commuted between their old club and the LAC Beacon schemes.
Luckily most local clubs are very sympathetic to swimmers and often allow seemless transitions between clubs, so that swimmers do not lose out on training times. Rules were changed that swimmers could be members in more than one club and have dual registrations, which is all very helpful.
From next week Madison will become a member at Hackney Aquatics. We already preparing for the week after this Sunday’s meet to train fully with the new club.
Swim England have this brilliant online system whereby swimmers best times get recorded on the data regardless of which club they swim for and that is very good. These days people move more often because of job or housing needs and also because the swimming club scene can change and have an impact on training needs too.