Things are happening

Today is the pen-ultimate day of the Para-champs #London2019 and I just cannot help admiring the many teams that came from far and wide to take part. The dedication of the swimmers, coaches and supporters are #ExperiencetheExtraordinary.

Being in the middle of such a big competition is very worthwhile experiencing. Just to be able to help with the achievement of so many new world and other regional records is worth every second spending there. History is being made.

I can’t show any pics as volunteers are not allowed to take any inside the venue but please watch on Channel 4 or view the British Swimming website and Facebook pages as well as Twitter.

It’s a superb start of the new season. And best of all my local pool, the London Aquatics Centre is hosting this fantastic swim competition.

Swimming truly brings swimmers and nations together.


Para champs in good order

The Aquatics Centre ready for the opening ceremony and finals.

Having had the pleasure of helping during the first day of competition and the opening ceremony of the world para champs at the London Aquatics Centre, I was really enjoying the day.

Seeing a town cryer and real brass band playing tunes before speeches and every medal ceremony brought the typical British Glory to the event.

Watch it all live on Channel 4 for the best views.

Whilst I am waiting for my afternoon shift to start, I watch all the mayhem that happened in parliament yesterday and I am just grateful that we managed to run that event without disruption. Everyone was happy.

I am sure the world looks on.

Enjoying athlete services

It’s the first time I helped around the pool in preparation of a competition and it’s an eye opener how much work and effort goes into hosting an international event.

lac-duskI arrived on Thursday evening for my induction.

For many, helping at the Aquatic Centre was a first time experience, but since I am there at least twice a week and we used to train there almost daily, I felt relaxed about the vicinity. Some people were amazed to learn that I am not officiating but I do not have the para swimming specific qualification yet.

para-prepThe place looked like a building site. But it must be emphasized how genius the preparations for the event are. Many Better members were quite annoyed for the pool being closed for so long and I can confirm that my local pool is over-filled with swimmers who are normally at the LAC. You can see the 50 and 150 m start end and medal presentation area being prepared.


para-prep-2Our team leader Nicole held an inducation talk on the spectator seats.

All prep and competition volunteers at and listened and were amazed by the atmosphere.

The Para World Championships will be an extraordinary event.


para-kitYesterday was my first shift, I got the kit. This is me after the shift. I supplied various athlete preparation areas with bottled water, which is really necessary. I carried numerous packs of 12 bottles around the vicinity. Great, exercise that definitely has superb fitness potential.

I cleaned up around the pool and helped athletes who were new to the pool find their way around. I saw athletes from Russia, Sweden Myammar, Spain, Japan, China, Great Britain, just to name a few.

It is extremely useful, for me as official also to experience the preparation of an event. Just having the knowledge of the official and sporting side of things helped immensely to be able to comprehend situation.

madison-coachesWhilst we are a sporting family Madison is off to the London Region Aquatic conference today, held in Hammersmith.

Madison just loves swimming and helping her fellow swimmers excel in the sport.

She’ll take part in workshops and talks held by fantastic coaches from the sport of swimming.


Press ups at the Physio

After some negative pains during the summer break today at least we saw some positivity at the Physio. The exercises seem to work and Madison has been given the next stronger red stretch band.

It’s amazing how different settings and different people can change a person’s aspects and positivity.

Something amazing has happened because Madison complained a lot about pains and aches and also had some sort of coughing problem but all over sudden things look rosie again.

We went for a lot of walks during the summer holidays, that went on once I had returned from Glasgow and Sheffield and walks do have amazingly positive effects on people, especially

Looking over a fence on a walk through Epping Forest

nature and forest walks. They are very relaxing and strengthen the body a lot.

As it happens Madison has been out of swimming training since over a year now and it is becoming difficult to fit in with any performance training group. The physio today has suggested that we get hydro therapy to get back into swimming and rotating the left arm around the shoulder.

We hope to get a referral from the consultant for this when we see them in the middle of September.




The fourth dimension

After my morning swim at the event entrance

Whilst I have now three experienes with swimming

  1. I love swimming myself
  2. parent of a performance swimmer
  3. technical official

4. I will now be able to experience the other side of the competition pool and act as Athlete Service person during the #London2019#ParaSwimming#ExperienceExtraordinary event in the first week of September. British Swimming as always put together a great organisation to make to work for all of us helpers, swimmers, spectators, not to forget the excellent London Aquatics Centre where it will all be happening from 9. – 15. September 2019.

I am keeping up to the fitness level required to even help out at this Para event and have increased my usual swimming routine by 50%.

I just wish they would open a pool for helpers to use before or after their shift.

Towards the new season

Whilst we get ready for the GCSE year, the new swimming season also coincides starting in September.

Madison is awaiting a Physio appointment just prior to going back to school and then later in September with the consultant.

I am now inclined to ask to have the screws removed from her shoulder because it is very debilitating. We can’t plan anything, we can’t plan a holiday for next year or feel comfortable to do outings because of the unpredicable reaction to the treatment.

Normal activities are fine but anything special may lead to cramps around the body.

Obviously if all the muscles in the body are capable of working normally and were training at full potential very intensely for a long time and then suddenly lay dormant then the body reacts to this.

Just exercising part of the body will also affect the shoulder. I will express myself totally in lay-person’s terms and it seems that if a joint in the body is unable to be used due to the bones in that area not working normally then that can cause a real problem. Especially if the muscles are capable of working fully.

Whilst with a broken leg for example it is feasable to train just using arms for about 3 months at a time but Madison’s condition has been going on like this now since over a year. Those screws in the shoulder do not have any good effect and it is time to re-consider. Madison cannot compete as healthy and cannot be considered as Para because nothing is certain at the moment.

I am going to be helping with the World Para Swimming Championships at the London Aquatics Centre in September, which has competitiors who are fully assessed as Para swimmers. I do have a lot of admiration for any athlete who competes to their best ability.

I hope to see you there.

Dashed hopes

It appears that this shoulder operation didn’t work. In fact we are glad we didn’t book a holiday this year because at the moment, Madison can’t even stand up without being in pain.

Lee Valley Wildlife Centre

Yesterday we only went for a relaxing walk, so I thought, but then in the evening just standing up was extremely painful for Madison. It is of course the screws in her shoulder are causing pain.

A lake in Walthamstow Wetlands

Of course whilst Madison can’t do the swimming training because she still can’t rotate her arm around we – at least – want to keep the legs moving and doing 10.000 steps per day is a minimum requirement for fitness.

We went to the Lee Valley Wildlife centre and then onto Walthamstow Wetlands. A mere walk, which didn’t involve any strain onto the shoulders but in the evening and still today the shoulder hurts when just standing up.

Screws were inserted into the shoulder to fuse the joint together

Those screws in the shoulder are causing a lot of debilitating pain and we are going to ask the doctors to take those screws out.