I am gobsmacked with HAC

Wow and wow again, I am almost speechless. I watched Hackney Aquatics training in the LAC on Tuesday mornings last year and the coach Richard Hall (Rick) always came across as a confidence booster. He radiates positivity and seems very in tune with his swimmers.

Many people invited us over the last year to join Hackney Aquatics and I always preferred the mainly 50 meter training at the LAC but the more I thought about the successes of other clubs who mainly train in 25 meter pools, the more I tended to follow those who wanted Madison to join Hackney Aquatics.

We did it, we are firmly now members of Hackney Aquatics and have been included in the coaching processes and without giving any details of it away, I must say that this is the best ever experience we’ve had.

Apparently Rick is a First Class BA Hons Sports Coaching, Level 3 Swimming Coach.

The atmosphere in this club is so wholesome.

People work together well, everybody is positive, competitions are planned well, training is superb and the whole package is just sublime. I am saying this after 10 years of swimming club experience.

From this perspective, Hackney Aquatics is run better than the LACPP was. What was missing in the LACPP and the LAC ACS is the club atmosphere. I think being in a club is very important for swimmers and parents alike.

Madison already seems happier than she ever was in the last 12 months.

Madison’s times have however steadily improved whilst at the LACPP and also in her most recent swim, she had some significant PBs. But, those swimmers with significant swimming successes whilst in LACPP last year were already superb swimmers with regional and national times when they had joined the LACPP.

Madison says she could be faster, she does still not have any Regional Times after 1 year of LAC only training and I am hoping that the superb coaching package of HAC and the excellent club will bring performance where it is needed.

I avoided the rain but not the tears

This morning it was good-bye to training mates after the AM session and as swimmers are wet already and in the shower, the tears are hard to spot.

But the good-byes were heart wrenching and emotional.

Normally local swimming clubs hardly ever change but with the LACPP and its dissolving came a lot of dramas.

Coaches left, swimmers left and new club arrangements were made.

It was kind of sad to see the LACPP signs disappear both on the Web, Facebook and in the LAC. I never thought they would actually dissolve this scheme.

At least I now know that Lisa Bates can continue to enjoy her coaching career by moving to Chelsea & Westminster swimming club, Pixie, also a former LACPP swimmer went there too.

The older national swimmers went to Loughborough, Sterling, Angharad went to a residential school with swimming as main sport.

Madison is fast but not fast enough and too young to get into a national coaching scheme.

I predicted that most fast national swimmers would leave if they dissolve the LACPP and that is what happened.

Madison joins Hackney as this is the most improved club this year and also has some very good national swimmers and it is within our reach.

Swimmers of Madison’s age, need to concentrate on their education; we are just beginning the GCSE courses. I don’t think a competitive swimmer can succeed unless they are in an excellent local club or in a residential school like Millfield.

The LAC ACS is an excellent coaching scheme, yet it is geared more towards the younger swimmers who just begin their competitive careers. I am sure they will shine in competitions.

I think it is important for swimmers to get continuity with their sport and established local clubs deliver the best results.

It’s best to turn all that sadness into new energy and look forward to new endeavours. We have plenty to do in the future and look forward to seeing swimmers at competitions in the future.

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.

The Newham Partnership

There is a very nice letter from the chair of Newham & UEL Swimming club on their current website, explaining that they plan to launch a completely new website by 1st October 2017. Please read as it explains the situation better than all my attempts so far.

Officially the old LACPP is going to cease to exist on 31 December 2017. LAC ACS swimmers will have to compete for Newham. That just means, Madison will have to get another club kit. We bought the LACPP one for years to last. It will be great to be able to enter competitions online.

dedication is what you need

Madison is taking herself training during this summer holiday period because the LACPP club stopped training at the end of July, the club has been abandoned and the new club is not going to start till September.

Madison trained incredibly hard last season. The excellent quality training that LACPP provided led to an 800% increase in performance but now, a 6-week break would undo all of that hard work she put in last season.

Now there is no other choice but to train alone or with others if somebody else happen to be at the pool whilst Madison is there. Thanks to @gllsf funding, Madison met up with some Olympic swimmers the other day who happened to train in the same lane as her.

It is incredibly important to become self-sufficient in the training routines because whatever happens, it is the swimmer’s effort that leads to success. If a club does not provide training then a swimmer needs to decide whether they like swimming so much that they want to continue training or, if they are not that bothered, just let it go.

We all know, that swimming requires constant training, it is most important to keep the momentum going and not let all that great conditioning go to waste.

Just thinking that it would be an incredible waste to have gotten up twice a week at 4:30 for a year and then not to bother for 6 weeks in the summer break.

For us it is a matter of location. We left the Bethnal Green Sharks, as all serious competitive swimmers did, and joined a better club but as the LACPP was a new club with not as many swimmers as other established clubs, the training has been stopped during the month of August.

Of course we could join another established club like the Chelsea and Westminster, Hackney or even Redbridge but that would mean incredibly long travel times to swimming practice each day during term time and that is what we do not want to do. So we just make up those 6 weeks summer break and patiently await the forming of the new LAC based swimming club in autumn.

We don’t even know what the new club is going to be called. But that is dedication, hang in there, keep training and hope for the best.

And I huff and I puff …..

and I blow your house down. The LACPP Facebook page has disappeared. I liked it, it was very well run and had many previous moments embedded in lovely pictures.

That is the nature of the Internet, it is a series of electronic commands that are placed on web servers and they can be turned off at any moment. It’s like a house of cards.

The LACPP website currently still exists. Tim Berners-Lee, the founder of the Internet once criticized it that websites get taken down at the spur of the moment, when they hold important markers and history. The first website was launched in 1990.  I started my first website in 1999; this also doesn’t exist anymore, it consisted of thousands of pages.

The best thing to do, when you are impressed by pics on the internet, save them straightaway or they might be gone the next time you look.

Running websites takes a lot of time and money. But Facebook actually allows content to stand as long as Facebook exists. Even though the LACPP ceases to exist, the Facebook page could remain with a note that the club no longer runs and that it is being replaced by a new one. But, as it goes, such Facebook groups, when they are commercial, somebody has to be responsible for maintaining them and that usually also is associated with cost.

The LACPP was written about in the Swimming Times and surely has impressed upon many people, not the least the swimmers and their families and of course the coaches that worked there.

Most images that were posted by LACPP can still be found online when using a search. I saved a few LACPP Facebook pictures but the other ones do not appear to have been kept at all by Facebook.

I think that the LAC itself is the most important historical marker of the club. People always remember history from the buildings.

For us swimmers, if we bought one, we still have the kit and that should have historical value rollapaluzaand a lot of sentimental value too.  All the swimmers that won medals at the one and only LACPP hosted age group on 13 October 2016 will have precious memories too.

Madison loves her LACPP kit and even wore it when entering a cycling competition.

I suppose when the new club is going to start, it will come with a new kit. The first meeting of the new club will be on 3rd September 2017. I almost forgot about that, I am such an Internet junkie, that unless it’s in e-mail or on the web, I don’t seem to realise.

The Internet is very important and good for sport, sports persons everywhere get inspiration from seeing others across the globe achieve and they want to do better.

 

 

 

All things new

I am a great supporter of local clubs and therefore trying to re-join Bethnal Green Sharks, where Madison was a member for 6 1/2 years and us being residents in Bethnal Green since 39 years, seemed logical. We still have many friends swimming there.

Yet we were not welcome with ‘open arms‘. Re-joining there has been made too difficult and unpleasant.

Just today, and by total accident, I found this invite from Swim England in my spam inbox, inviting Madison to join the new club, that is going to succeed the LACPP, which will not be run by the UEL but supposedly independent.

A meeting will be held at LAC in September.

I think that is very exciting, not only being member in the original LACPP but now in a newly configured club that shall train at the LAC.

I had a feeling that those medals that were given out at the first and only LACPP, Level 3, hosted meet at the LAC last year are going to have collector’s value.

London legacy works

The London Legacy program works very well compared to Rio where a recent article on MSN shown us pictures of a decaying Olympic swimming pool and other stadiums that are rotting away. Read the article with pictures here.

I and Madison are very happy using the LAC and the LACPP swimming club. The maintenance is superb, the facilities always clean and the atmosphere very good. Perhaps I could ask for the swimmers and their parents/carers in the club to get free parking.

Fantastic session

I like the early morning sessions, getting up at 4:30 am and then trotting to the bus stop to catch the first bus that takes us straight to the LAC for the 6am session.

Mornings have many extra bonuses, there is the sunrise to watch, the birds singing loudly from the trees at nearby Victoria Park and also the foxes sometimes meet and greet us on our way. But really they are more interested in the rich bins around the area.

I think it is healthy to get up early in the morning, even if it means getting to bed earlier to get enough sleep.

Alexander MacDonald’s training session are the best advanced sessions I have personally had the pleasure to experience from the watching parent point of view. He has many tricks up his sleeve and spends a lot of time on each swimmer. It is really worth the while to get training from him; Alexander trains the National Youth Squad and has some Legacy training too.

I also think that the Talent lane that Tony Ansell runs in the Sharks is great for swimmers who start out the Big Pool training and get 2 hours of special coaching to learn finesse in stroke technique and racing tricks. I think swimmers do not need to be in any swimming club to join Talent Lane run at York Hall and Mile End.

I just wanted to say something good about our local clubs and let you know about it too.