For the future

Session 2 1905041525 – ASA London Region London Regional Summer Championships 2019 2019 on May 04, 2019 at London Aquatics Centre, Olympic Park, London, E20 2ZQ, London. Photo: Ben Davidson,

The shoulder injury is not healing up any time soon. The shoulder operation takes much longer to work the wonders we expected than thought. Yet swimming is an important part of Madison’s life. The best solution, whilst Madison wants to stay with swimming, is to allow Madison to pass on her enormous knowledge to the younger swimmers.

Madison’s style has always been very clean, I think she didn’t get disqualified more than twice in 5 years of competitions. It is more than important that all swimmers learn to swim according to the rules and learn to get fast with all the rules in play.

It can become a drag on a swimmer’s career when you suddenly realise that you had been doing something wrong all these years and it only becomes apparent at a top level meet.

Madison will be coaching next season and train as much as possible for herself.

I’ll be going to Glasgow and Sheffield for both the summer meets. Our club sends a fair amount of swimmers to both the British Swimming champs and the English summer champs, so its only fair that we should send at least one official, which happens to be me.

It will all be visible on the life-streams.


Move towards coaching

So far the shoulder operation had little impact on Madison’s ability to return to performance swimming.

We are currently awaiting further x-ray and doctor’s appointments for more up-dates on the progress.

Madison will step down from the main competition squads as swimmer and become a Junior Masters swimmer instead. That also leaves the option of becoming a swim teacher and or coach in the future.

Madison loves coaching and helps out at the club at least twice per week. That is good for swimmers because Madison knows everything about preparing for and competing at events.

Club swimmers are doing very well. The club has swimmers at both British Summer Nationals in Glasgow and English Summer Nationals in Sheffield this year.

I will be helping out as Judge at both competitions, so we are involved in the competitions.

But, formally to be able to train as coach or teacher, Madison must have reached 16 years of age, until then all helping is purely voluntary. It should make an interesting addition to the GCSE schedule next year to also fit in coaching or swimming teacher training.

But, should Madison’s shoulder recover next season there would be nothing holding her back from getting back into performance swimming.

There is this very good ethos at Hackney Aquatics, who have a club for life ethos, that allows swimmers to switch squads and stay with the sport in whatever capacity.

Watching #BSC19

Just started watching the British Swimming Champs, I am really pleased to hear the names of some London swimmers whose parents I often work along with at local meets. It’s brilliant when the swimmers of those parents then compete at the nationals.

It’s also very inspiring when I see local officials at the nationals.

I’m also able to pick up some good tips how the officials behave at the meet as I am signed up to help at two national meets this July/August.

Just as our family has another member entering performance swimming, Madison’s younger cousin, whom she trains privately to get ready to enter performance swimming later this year.

It is very inspiring to see the nationals with its brilliant organisation.



starterThe motivation to do well, in fact do better than previously is what drives us all on. I really enjoy my starter’s course and it is fascinating to help swimmer to get a good start. Starts and turns make or break a swim as anything in between is just a gap filler.

Finding that extra bit of momentum to get the first 15 metres is more than important. If you think that a 50 metre pool allows you to spend 30 metres of it on starts and/or turns*, if you swim over 100 metres, then – ver a 50 metre sprint race – you swim over water a mere 35 metres of the journey, which is just a bit more than half of the pool. With an efficient tumble turn in backstroke, you can further reduce swimming distance by another 2 metres.

In a 25-metre pool, a good start leaves 10 metres to swim, taking away another 2 metres or a good tumble turn.

Getting up on the starting block, on the referees long whistle and posing on the ‘take your marks’ prompt, drives all the energy into that jump that every swimmer eagerly awaits.

The new national British Championships season starts next week. Watch it live from this web page.

* the 15m rule doesn’t apply to breaststroke, if you have a strong underwater phase you can go further than 15 metres under water.


The Long Game

The feeling of missing out is hard to resist. Our club takes part in no less than 3 competitions this weekend at the ESSA school games, Ipswich (website doesn’t seem to be working at the moment) and the Middlesex Development meet, whilst Madison has bed rest to overcome the shoulder and hip operation from last week.

It’s the buzz you get, being part of the performance scene that makes up a lot of the swimmer’s psyche and if that is missing, the only way forward is the outlook for the long distance goals.

The outlook is most important as no swimmer can suddenly throw away 10 years of intense swimming and friendships formed around the pool.

We are very happy that the NHS has provided a great treatment plan, and Madison will get Physio support from next week. Another operation may be necessary to shape the shoulder bones, so that the joint gets optimum flexibility.

As bone from the hip was inserted into the shoulder, there may be awkard formation of the shoulder bones, which will need to be corrected.

It is all about determination and outlook.

In the meantime we can do our best to support the sport. Madison can return to coaching from next week and I am very happy to have been selected as official for the British Summer Swimming Champisonships in Glasgow in July.

Don’t forget all sports need volunteers to provide a good environment for our athletes to suceed to the top of their sports.


British qualifying window shorter in 2020

We are now  in 2018 and British Swimming just announced that the Qualifying window for 2020 will be shorter to help lessen the cross-over with school examination periods. Great to know that as many parents plan their children’s lives well ahead of their GCSE periods.

2020 qualifying window is going to be:

Friday 13th March – Sunday 10th May 2020 inclusive.

In Madison’s case we need to think further ahead as the fitness situation is probably not going to get her fit by the 2019 Summer champs where the qualifying window will be

Friday 22nd March – Sunday 27th May 2019 inclusive.

The difference amounts to 59 days in 2020 – 67 days in 2019 = 8 days less to qualify. Of course the qualifying period also starts earlier in 2020.


Dunno Groupie

As Madison didn’t make it to the British Summer Champs this year, we tried our hardest to get tickets for spectating.


Didn’t know when our swimmers had their heats and today, on the 24th. apparently there are no longer tickets on sale online with the ticket factory.

It is not quite clear to us whether there are still tickets for sale on the door in Ponds Forge, Sheffield.

Only solution qualify next year and then its much easier to take part.

There are also the London Winter champs 3. and 4. November to look forward to and Madison looks like she qualifies this year. Gotto start somewhere.