ISL roars in London

I am quite amazed that the ISL competition was advertised on British Swimming on Facebook and is under the wings of British Swimming. Some big relief went around my body as at the beginning I felt stressed what format the competition would take.

Even better is that I probably can officiate as I just love officiating for competitions at the London Aquatics Centre, which has become my second home.

Calling it the London roar is very appropriate as Adam Peaty swims there and he is a big lion fan. It wouldn’t surprise me if Adam asked the organisers to name the competition London Roar.

As I’ve learned British Swimming will also recruit the officials for this, something I didn’t think would be possible. Announcements will be short notice but people are alerted to stand by.  The big event will be 23. and 24. November 2019.

It’s just great that Melanie Marshall, Adam Peaty’s coach is head coach, so everything is just like normal.


Coaching unlocks potential

Passing on knowledge, passing on the feeling for the sport. Sir John Whitmore is a British racing driver, not a swimmer but the knowledge is the same for all the sports. Sir John thinks it is more imporant to set actionable goals rather than just to give advice.

Madison, the second swimmer visible on the left

Madison knows very well which goals can be managed and how swimmers feel at various stages of their career and is very popular with the younger swimmers. It is important that swimmers like their coach.

MedalsWhen Madison was still competing she was a trendsetter in the local clubs and won many medals at local meets.

As the more senior swimmers train with Rick, who is of course the bee’s knees of coaching, there are now some goals becoming apparent as the club in a first of its short history has achieved 3 relay and medley relay races entries.

Considering that not all members of the relay teams have achieved single entries for the British Summer champs 2019, it is quite remarkable that this young club – Hackney Aquatics – has now achieved entries into the British nationals for the first time in all three male team events.

Since Madison cannot train or compete at the moment it is very important that she can pass on her knowledge to younger swimmers and help them set goals as she has been through the stages of development.

The atmosphere in East London clubs is changing for the better and we give each other strength and encouragement.

Madison is now waiting for another appointment to see whether her shoulder gets better as the screws that were inserted do not seem to do the trick.

This is my best smile, I am very happy to help at the Glasgow Summer Champs. This event is superbly organised and the discipline is exemplary. A real pleasure.

But I might as well help with officiating of the British and English champs this year so we keep the good swimming competition feeling in the centre of our hearts.


Shoulder worries

Expectations have been destroyed by simply ‘it takes time to heal’.

When we started on the surgical procedures, we thought, that not long afterwards everything will be back to normal but that is not so.

I had to go today and ask for reassurance because it’s hard for an athlete to stay dormant.

Especially as the shoulder still cannot be used, that affects the training routine. Resignation starts to settle in.

But today we have been given new hope. The consultant told me that the shoulder will become functional again once the screws have been removed.

Screws were inserted into the shoulder to fuse the joint together

So far Madison still cannot lift her arm higher than 45 degrees and cannot turn the arm around fully. That means still no proper swim training.

But Madison is very keen to stay within swimming as a sport and as a profession. The club is very keen to retain Madison as future coach and whilst the athletic swim training is on hold the voluntary coaching can continue.

Emotional Dependencies

One of the biggest shocks a swimmer can experience is when the favourite swimming coach suddenly makes a career move and joins another club.

Unfortunately our very popular and loved coach Richard Beard will be joining Plymouth Leander. The seemingly acceptable consolation about this is that he changes to such a successful club, which makes everybody feel good for him. Yes, Richard is a pretty good coach and only deserves the best swimmers.

That makes a swimmer vulnerable when a permanent coach leaves because there is an emotional bond one forms and suddenly not having that trusted person around will test anybody’s resilience.

Everybody is wondering who’s’ going to replace Richard and it’s one of the biggest surprises we are going to get at the end of the season.

It is a good method to train to become more independent and concentrating on goals rather than people around the pool.

Summer swim camp with Adam Peaty

Just received this lovely invite from Melanie Marshall’s camp as Madison went there for a couple of times in previous years but unfortunately, due to the ongoing treatment on her shoulder won’t be able to make it this year. Yet, we have been encouraged to spread the word so here it is:

Summer 2019 Swim Camp dates:

Sunday 4th August – Friday 9th August 2019

 Olympian, Grant Turner, will be head coach throughout the week.

Our Residential Camp Cost – £549.99 per swimmer includes; Full board & accommodation at Repton School

all activities,

Motivational Talks – Four Stroke Development Focus – Starts and Turns Workshops – Land Training – 2 Special Activities – Team Building – Nutritional Lecture- Sports Psychology Lecture

Free Camp “I’ve Been Inspired” T-shirt!

Special Olympian Guest – Adam Peaty Confirmed!!


We are delighted to have Adam as our special Olympian Guest this camp.

Please note that we have received lots of interest  – book early to avoid disappointment!

Payment options can be arranged on booking. 

To discuss your individual requirements please email 

Your view counts – MM swim inspiration appreciates all comments to help keep our swim camps operating to the highest standards.

If you feel that we have achieved this, we would very much like to hear about your experiences on our previous camps.

And please don’t forget to tell all your family and friends.

Our camps are based on word of mouth,  your recommendations are very much appreciated!

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.


I am still around

Still going to training regularly with the performance squad but haven’t been competing since the end of last season, e.g. August 2018.

Have already obtained 8 County times for this season during last season.

Don’t be put off by injury. Even though swimming is a very active sport with constant competitions, having an injury is no reason at all to drop out of the sport.

You can continue training and keep fit, even if you can’t enter every competition for a while.

Don’t let your coach tell you otherwise because if you love swimming you will want to stick with it.

Just thought, that swimming is the ideal sport for hyper active kids. Stick anybody into a swimming club and even the most lively kid will be tired by the end of the day, with little time left for being hyper-active.

Think about it if your child attends morning training before school, by the time they get into the benches, they will already have spent all excess energy during the AM session and if they get active again the after-school training session will take care of that.

Doctors should prescribe more sport less pills.

I think the key is to get parents involved as much as the children to develop the healthy life-style for the whole family.