Everything to swim for

Suddenly, life’s become extremly exciting. Hackney Acquatics is a dream come true for us. There is a

  • great social life with Christmas parties and team meals
  • superb competitions
  • an even better varied training program
  • a swim camp in sunny Spain.

Madison is working hard to manifest her qualifying times for a level 1 meet in Derby in January, that is pre-County and will be held in the national pool in Sheffield.


Lots to look forward to

Soon Madison will enter her first Hackney Aquatics Club Championships, which are held with a fun and furiously fast concept but don’t forget that long-distance is the bread and butter of all good swimmers.

This is so exciting that there is an opportunity to swim in Ponds Forge pool for a level 1 meet in January and they only accept the fastest entrants, probably lots of scratches to slower applicants. Well, there are some competitions to get faster times to come before the closing date of the Derby meet. There is the

We’ll definitely have time to improve FINA points and best times prior to the closing date for the Middlesex County Championships, which is in November already. Next year, Madison will have to swim in Juniors for the first time as she’ll be 14 next year.

The Gators meet at the Aquatics Centre in January already gives a good opportunity to polish up on those regional times for next year too.



County qualifiers

Qualifying for County is the first serious step any competitive swimmer can take. The Counties are the first stage to competition.

We are practically having to work well ahead of age. The counties age-band works that you have to be swimming at the age that you would be at the end of the year that the competition is in. Plus you need to gain those qualifying times in the year prior to the competition.

If you are born in the first six month of any year, you are having to work way ahead of schedule. Madison is born in June and now 13 years old. But next years County competition she has to swim as if she was 14, the competition is held in January 2017 when Madison is still 13.

Madison by now in 2017 has gained 2 automatic and 7 consideration times for next year. There are still a few qualifiers coming up this autumn. The qualification times have to be set in the 12 months prior to the competition in January / February next year.

Madison go the consideration time for the 400 IM last year and now strives to up-date this.

Yesterday Madison swum 2 races and improved one county time in the 100 fly and is now within 1 second of the automatic time and gained the consideration time for the 200 back-stroke.

It’s great to be an all-round good swimmer and gain County times in as many strokes and distances as possible.

2018 selection policies

for a young swimmer the world is an oyster. All option and chances are available to be exploited and the release today of the 2018 British Swimming Selection policies for

  • 2018 Junior Champs in Helsinki 4. – 8. July
  • 2018 European Champs Glasgow 3. – 9. August

help us focus on the future of our sport, rather than dwell on sad spots in the past.

Though it is important to learn the skill of dealing with emotions, the focus on the season ahead always helps to take a deep breath and swim.

All sorted

changing club can sometimes be quite work intensive. The already planned competitions, the training schedules, the new club, the different competitions schedules there and all the coaches want the swimmers to do their best.

I must say Swim England or British Swimming is the best organisation I have ever had the pleasure to deal with. the vast majority of officials, coaches and swimmers are very friendly, polite, helpful and keen to get on and make things easy. There is even a friend service to help.

Swimming is a tough sport, training is very intense but Madison says she wants to work hard and toughen up. British swimming is always on the side of the hard-working swimmers who want to swim.

A lot of previous LACPP swimmers had to find other clubs. Whilst Madison was a junior performer, she still found that the LACPP was not a club as such and neither is the replacement LAC ACS. LAC ACS is now associated with Newham and that is well out of our geographical reach. LAC ACS offered to take over all previous LACPP swimmers but those who were national material went to other clubs.

Another swimmer not yet associated is the National, possible podium funded Jarvis Parkinson who is the only swimmer on the 2018 funding list without a club, Jarvis swam and trained with LACPP until the program had the plug pulled and swimmers dispersed in all directions. Jarvis is the proof that the LACPP delivered excellent results for swimmers. I just read that Jarvis joins the National Centre in Loughborough.

It shows that being part of a program has slight difficulties associated with getting into the club environment again. One has to live local to the club.

But all is well that ends well for Madison and she will compete in her last competition for Newham on Sunday 1st October at the LAC, early County qualifier and then storm into the Hackney training and competition environment; taking part in the ARENA league and a Middlesex development meet.

Hackney Aquatics, HAC for short, has a list of national classed swimmers who are up and coming.

Excellent, good and not so good

As with all new schemes there are teething problems and we’ve heard that this new coaching scheme has been set up with very little time to actually do this.

Lisa Bates has left, people are wondering where she is because Lisa did not say good-bye; some kids were upset not to know what happened to Lisa and Alexander takes up a coaching the coaches post and promised to see us pool-side at some point, that is very good to know.

What I think is important to point out that the LAC Advanced Coaching Scheme is not a club in the classic sense but it is a coaching scheme. A training scheme directly supervised by Swim England.

The Coaching Scheme is administered by the UEL affiliated Newham Swimming club but Newham club members remain mainly Newham club members whilst swimmers have the option to join the LAC ACS full-time. Madison has become full-time last year, so the transition will just be that she changes membership from LACPP to LACACS.

I very much like the new training hours. PM training starts most days at 17:00 – 19:00, whilst there are now 4 weekly AM sessions. This choice of sessions is very important to any swimmer who has GCSE courses going on. There is also more sleeping hours between PM and AM sessions; important for the younger swimmers.

Of course the pool itself is a very good facility, very well cleaned and equipped with the latest technology; also there are now 2 days (Tuesdays and Thursdays) where the 50m lanes will be divided into 25m lanes with the same equipment that is used by Loughborough NTS.

There will be talent lanes, to discover all those talented swimmers who take Better swimming lessons and monthly sprint sessions to measure progress of swimmers in a fun setting.

The only negative point for us is a lack of competition schedule. At this moment in time, we have not been given any competitions to enter for next season. Thinking that most competitions are planned months in advance and entries usually have to be in at least 2 months prior to a competition, the LAC ACS must take this into consideration.

Really this cannot happen every year. The current scheme runs for 11 month, till the end of July 2018, I sincerely hope that next year, we will not have the same problem of a missing competition schedule again.

Obviously most national competitions are easy to enter as swimmers can enter them directly but all level 2, 3, 4 competitions have to be organised through the clubs. Since LAC ACS is not a club in the classical sense it has the weakness of not preparing competitions schedules on a continuous basis.

Hopefully the affiliation with Newham & NUEL swimming club will solve this problem. I was a great supporter of the LAC swimming club being run by a local club, it is after all located in the London Borough of Newham and it is most practical to run a club from an established well working local system.

BSC 2018 qual times out now

Madison has been training all summer,to avoid loosing the speed over the summer holidays with a focus on getting into the BSC qualifying times, as they have been released here.

The d.o.b. standard range for youth is

  • female 2001 – 2004
  • male 2000 – 2003.

Essex County qual times

Middlesex County qual times.

Middlesex county quals 2018

14 years upwards longcourse   27+ 28 Feb 2018

10-13 short-course     20/21 Jan + 3/4 Feb 2018

Next year Madison, though only just turned 13 has to swim in the 14 year old category and she already has 8 qualifiying times, well done.