Helping the sport

If only those parents whose swimmers make it to the top would help with swimming duties or organising galas, club functions etc, we would have very few helpers.

The better the sport is organised the more possibilities there are for more swimmers to prosper and benefit in the sport.

I actually quite enjoy helping when my own swimmer isn’t competing, as I look at the sport as a whole and not just onto how my own swimmer performs. I need to be as impartial as possible and keep my mind on the smooth running of the meet rather than just my own swimmer.

But of course having my swimmer get into a high level meet is a special bonus. Most parents start off helping with the club, officiating because their own child swims. That is how it has to be as only volunteers run the sport events.

I have seen people demand for the employment of professional judges and referees but the sheer volume of swimming competitions would make that a very expensive option and not sustainable at all.

It’s all about facilitating options for swimmers to compete. My own swimmer just loves competitions, they are the culmination of weeks of swimming practise day after day and often twice a day.

But often as swimmers get older and do no longer need constant close supervision, I can sneak off and help out at competitions at the weekends. It is great to be able to help those succeed who have the dedication, skill and time to compete to the highest levels.

parent helpers

As a licensed swimming official I decided to officiate at the London Region Swimming Champs at the LAC, even though my swimmer didn’t qualify to compete.

Normally, whenever my swimmer doesn’t qualify we just sit at home and let time go by, but by my involvement in the meet, Madison gotten an interest in this and wants to be involved as swimmer in the future.

Parents helping at meets always helps swimmers and the sport of swimming. All our swimmers need the sport to evolve and continue to be organised and meets to happen and parents helping will enable swimmers to take part in competitions.

Not all parents can help, many have to work but if at all possible I think parents should consider helping even if their children do not swim at an occasion. Swimming is a great hobby and even ‘just’ officiating a superb fitness exercise.

Swimming for parents

I just wanted to do some free advertisement for our Better Pools. I have just signed up for the Better Swim deal and wow how this has improved.

That is definitely a new BEST in Better swim provision.

I reside in Tower Hamlets and when I started out I could only sign up for swimming within Tower Hamlets. Having fascinated by the Hackney Lido, I went there to ask how much it costs to swim and was told because I am not from Hackney and have no membership, the cost is around £12.

No, no, no was what sprung to my mind.

Later I was able to sign up for Queen Elizabeth Olympic Pool membership but that was again different from my Tower Hamlets membership.

Now finally and very welcome indeed, I gotten a Better Swim membership that opens all the doors to all Better pools for me.

It is just great to be able to have a dip into the pool whilst my child has swim practise or then being able to swim at all other times. And because we change training and competition venues quite a lot, I am now able to swim where and when I want.

That is superbly wonderful. I think it is an absolute bargain to be able to swim at any time of day and in any Better pool of my choice for £31,– per month.

We need our pools, as our kids train in them and getting fitter through swimming should be any swimming parent’s natural choice too.

Of course my swimming skills are well below those of my swimming child. Well, once, at the very beginning, I was actually faster but now, the table has firmly turned against me. I now have a job getting half-way down the pool whilst my swimmer is already on the way back.

Though I have noticed that will better since I have made use of BETTER pools. Try it for yourselves.

 

sourdough sooooo much energy

I am just one of those somewhat overweight, not very fit swimming parents. The LAC currently runs a drive to get parents into fitness; very good effort, I must say. But for that, I just don’t have the confidence just yet.

I was getting ready for another day of dieting with cabbage soup, when one of my flat mates left a loaf of sourdough bread on the kitchen counter for sharing. I looked at it and tried to sustain the temptation; but then the appetite overcame me.

Thorpe-3I just left all my energy the day before at Thorpe Park trodding around that venue all day.

I just kept on eating that sourdough bread, and had slice after slice. At the end of the day, I wasn’t even able to eat my greek yoghurt with blueberries. I left that for today’s breakfast.

But today, I was so full of energy. I stomped around the roads, with a spring in my step.

I come to believe that dieting on salads and cabbage does not give me any energy at all. I just sit around all day and hope to lose weight. To get the energy to do exercise I need to eat energy giving foods. It’s always a careful balancing act, how much to eat, how much to exercise, especially if the body has some problems that result in muscle cramping or joint problems.

I think we need to do what we can but the young swimmers just seem to have endless energy anyhow.

Image source: Bewithing Kitchen

The three B’s

I am very happy to have passed my final assessment and qualified as J1 judge. I joined as swimming club volunteer with Madison’s increased participation in swimming competitions and wanting to make myself useful and also wanting to pick up some good tips on how to swim better.

Like myself, many swimming parents are not from a competitive swimming background and as such getting through all the rules can take longer than if one has been into competitive swimming previously.

Competition promoters really do rely on volunteers to staff the officials required to run such competitions and the FINA rules are quite strict on the officials requirements needed. Keeping those rules means an event can be licensed and the times achieved by the swimmers are official and get listed in the Personal Best Times charts kept online for all to see.

Trying to memorize the swim order in Medley swimming for example, I noticed there are three B’s and one F.

The B’s are in a different order depending whether it’s Individual Medley

  • Butterfly
  • Backstroke
  • Breaststroke
  • Freestyle

but in the Medley relay events, which allows groups of swimmers to race the order is

  • Backstroke
  • Breaststroke
  • Butterfly
  • Freestyle

The easy way to remember this is that IM starts with Butterfly and Medley relay starts with Backstroke. I know the Breaststroke always follows the Backstroke and the Freestyle is always last.

Personally I do not like to interfere too much into the training that Madison gets, it is up to her coach to teach her the important tactics and stroke techniques. I just like to understand the racing events and so can assist the swimmers and ensure, as far as I can that the best swimmer always wins. All swimmers need to get the same chances.

It is a lenghty process to become a swimming official and lots of practise is best.

 

new parking charges delayed till 4th. March

and all who raised points will be replied to by next Thursday of next week, that would be the 16th. February 2017 (that is the aim).  An internal review of proceedings will take place and I hope the managers realise that those parents who enrol their kids into the LACPP swimming club, deserve free or reduced parking at the venue as they already commit over the odds on a permanent basis to contribute to the success of the endeavour.

It is already very expensive to pay for all the costs of the club, the sport and the transport. All other sporting venues I know of in London allow people to find parking, free of charge nearby, the LAC is an exception because of the local situation.

Holocaust Memorial Day

synagogue-2017
East London Central Synagogue speakers (Rev Alan Green not on photo)

Madison and I attended the 2017 Holocaust Memorial Day at the East London Central Synagogue, London Nelson Street. The theme was ‘Trauma and coming to terms with the past’.

I think young people need to understand the feelings and sentiments of the people in their community and express sympathy with their grief. We attended yesterday with a contingent of German worshippers from the German Catholic Church in Adler Street, St. Boniface.

Distinguished speakers at the event included Reverend Alan Green, for whom I briefly acted as Parish Secretary, until the duty of a swimming parent tore me away from this post; and Father Christian Dieckmann who was described as a great friend by Leon Silver.

It was a very moving ceremony and as unfortunate the cause for it was, it hopefully grew Madison’s character and spiritual maturity.

Swimmers do not just exist in pools, they live with the community around them and travel to foreign lands for competition and I think it is very important to create social harmony around our sports people.

The speaker from Tower Hamlets Council, Cllr Sirajul Islam, reminded me why the poem by Pastor Niemoller “First They Came“, which was also read by Barry Davis, that we really all have to speak up for each other and give support.

Feeling secure and happy is very important to sports men and women and social cohesion plays a great part in this.

Madison’s school, Bishop Challoner Federation school is also a Holocaust Beacon School.

Happy and successfull 2017

  • stay positive
  • be punctual
  • attend as many sessions as possible.
  • don’t become a dictator. (1)
  • try for new Personal Best times. (2)
  • do not ignore your GCSE exams/school work (3)
  • use good nourishment routines.(4)
  • remember committment gets you further.
  • reduce empty times, keep busy. (5)
  • complete all tasks as set by your coach.

(1) I have heard that

  • some swimmers will only swim if their parents buy them certain costumes and/or goggles in certain colours. Make swimming your most important task not the colour of your costume.
  • some swimmers only want to swim if another specific person also swims. Remember you swim because it is your favourite sport.

(2) The older you get the harder is it to get new PBs. Perhaps extra land training and gym workouts or other types of muscle training will help.

(3) Use your time wisely and do homework between school and swimming and do not stay up too late to complete home work. Get at least 7 hours sleep per night.

(4) Eat at least 1 1/2 hours prior to swim practise with plenty of fluid. After practise have nourishing drinks and replenishing snacks/meals.

(5) if you sit and watch TV/films, try and exercise by using a hand weight.

ASA tips for support

How to support your child at swimming events is a page I just came across via my Facebook account. Have a look at their tips.  I shall also put a permanent link to this page in my links section.

Keeping clam is the main message. But also please do remember, your child won’t be able to hear you once they are in the pool. It is very loud in a swimming arena and because swimmers’ ears are under the water most of the time, they cannot hear you. They can hear the crowd in general.

In most level 3 age groups, where coaches are allowed pool side and team mates often support club swimmers, they are immersed in poolside support. The only time the child will see the parents is at the start when they line up and glance up into the gallery.

Another good tip is also become an official/volunteer, it keeps you busy and helps your child a lot.

Swimming is really important for me

If you feel that swimming is important for your child and has an overall positive effect, do whatever you can to keep your child in a swimming club. Madison thrives from swimming.

If your club’s not the best don’t let it put you off, complain, try to improve, it’s a win, win situation.

Try to become an official that will help improve your understanding of the sport.

When your child gets seriously competitive and your club isn’t the best try and change club, I would even move to be near a good club.

Luckily we live near the LACPP and they do some great competitions.