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.

The MCASA Open Water medal

As the medal service for Middlesex County is more than excellent, a representative of Open Water Swimming delivered my silver medal won in July to me yesterday.  I competed in the 3km distance.

I missed the medal ceremony at the time because I had to rush off for the Sponsored Swim taking place at the Hackney Lido for the purpose of collecting funds for the Hackney Aquatics Charity fund.

 

Are they really?

The first words Madison uttered when I came to collect her from MMSwiminspirations swim camp, under supervision from Mel Marshall were: “I swear they are trying to kill us with that land training!”

What does that tell you? What should it tell me?

Madison has had land-training regularly. Yoga, Pilates, and exercise. That has been going on since a year.  All soft training and still an injury of the shoulder. Perhaps the soft training is too soft to strengthen the muscles enough.

1 week at Mel Marshall’s swim camp and Madison’s feels totally overstretched.

But, who is winning the medals at top competitions? Those who work with Mel or those who work with Madison’s regular club?

I am just glad that Madison is going to train with the top squad in Hackney Aquatics from September with 2 gym sessions per week. It seems that all the soft options like Yoga and Pilates do not do too much for high performance athletes.

Our local Hackney Aquatics club is the only one we can attend, from where we live and school.

 

Massive

Just read this great post from @massivemel on Twitter and she is listing all the medals the Loughborough swimmers achieve at the 2018 European Championships, 5 Gold , 3 Silver, 2 Bronze.

Then yesterday, on Friday, 10th August 2018, the very day after Adam Peaty won his last Gold, she came to our MMSwiminspiration swim camp and oversaw our finale gala and gave a motivational talk at the end of it.

Keep calm and carry on
Keep calm and carry on

It was very up-lifting to hear her attitude to swimming and everything that comes with it. For Mel, everything is positive that is to do with swimming, the pain and the glory. That is very important because normally we only like what feels good but to learn and improve we need to accept that it does hurt a bit sometimes, that is muscle aches.

Madison’s shoulder sprain is still not gone away but as we’ve heard even Max Lichfield suffered from a sprained shoulder for about a year and now is back on full form. It takes a lot of persistence to deal with all sorts of sporting hurts over time.

The Holy Shrine of Swimming

It feels immensely empowering to be in the vicinity of Repton School swimming pool. Why? I don’t know, it’s just some kind of magic.

Perhaps is has to do with the extremely sturdy buildings in the area. I was going to take some pics of the buildings and walls that look like fortresses and castles rather than village houses but then the rain came down so hard that not even the best bus shelter ever made me take my camera from my bag.

 

Willington is between Derby and Loughborough and Mel Marshall holds her swim camps there. It doesn’t surprise me at all that such a vicinity produces such excellent coaches and swimmers like Adam Peaty.

You soak up the atmosphere and just feel good, almost invincible, wonderful, like everything is going to be alright and nothing can happen to you.

It just feel good and right to be there.