On the positive side

The benefits of performance swimming for youngsters are undeniable. Healthy bodies, healthy minds, is a well-known phrase.

Well, of course in Madison’s case, there is the shoulder injury but that is not life-changing or threatens any kind of academic career.

After now 9 years of permanent swimming and often performance training – and many of you can see from the blog, how many times I wrote about those early morning sunrises – the mind has benefitted from the swimming.

Getting into year 11 of schooling, Madison has been accepted into the High Attainment program. This program is for students expected to get grades 7-9 at GCSE. A very interesting package of support is provided by schools for academic achievers. Great to know she will be able to visit a top UK university as part of the support package.

They even go to the Emirates stadium or a workshop day in October, for pupils participating in the STEM program.

I really believe that keeping fit, staying active whilst in Secondary school is the best recipe for success.

We are still waiting for progress after the shoulder operation and Madison still can’t swim strokes at the moment but kicking is possible and coaching certainly is possible. So it’s all good.

Young people have restless minds and keeping the mind active at all times is certainly rewarding.




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.

Concrete factory planned near London Aquatics Centre

Currently school children in Tower Hamlets already suffer 10% less lung capacity due to air quality in the borough. Please sign a petition against a concrete factory.

This factory proposal will affect users of the Olympic Park and the London Aquatic Centre profoundly. That affects all swimmers and those coming for swimming competitions to London.

A recent application to built a concrete and asphalt factory in Bow Common had been refused after extensive protests but now there is a very similar application to try again.


Everybody commuting in the area will have suffered from severe traffic delays, due to concrete lorries coming out of the current concrete distributor in Wick Lane, they are near the Bow Flyover. A Conrete Factory will cause more delays and severely reduce air quality in the area.

Therefore please support a petition

Step the Concrete Factories next to the Olympic Park and rezone the site from being SIL has been launched by the Tower Hamlets Extinction Rebellion. Please sign.


Went to see the consultant yesterday, and unfortunately there is no improvement with the arm movements. That means no proper training still and just kicking and leg based training.

It’s a huge disappointment but the doctor assured us that it will get better. Madison’s swimmers, whom she coaches have made a huge improvement and we have more swimmers in summer nationals than ever before.

For Madison though it’s Mock Exam week, starting today with Biology. We’ll need to return to the hospital in 3 months time and get another scan done to see why the shoulder is still not doing what it is supposed to do.

History of doping in female swimmers

Found an interesting article to do with the manipulation of female athletes and particularly female swimmers in the former East Germany. It also has a lot to do with Chromosomes, in particular whether you are XX, XY, YY. Apparently XX is female, XY is female with male additions and YY is purely male. That is explained in relation to the Caster Semenya case, who apparently has XY chromosomes.

What I do not understand is that world records seem to be able to stand even after it has been revealed how athletes were manipulated and drugged to achieve those results. Like Andrea Pollock, who was severely manipulated with medication. There is no taking away from her being a victim of such actions and she did her best to be a great swimmer.

But it still seems questionable that athletes who are not medically manipulated should strive to achieve the same times and even beat them if they were achieved through testosterone manipulation.

Before and after

To show to you interested swimmers what treatment for Os Acromiale looks like these days, here it is. Os acromiale is a failure of fusion of the acromial process. It is usually asymptomatic and discovered by chance. When it is painful a differential diagnosis must be made in relation to the subacromial impingement syndrome.

  • This is the plain shoulder x-ray prior to the operation.
  • This is the shoulder after the screws have been inserted to close the gap between the shoulder blade and the arm bone
  • This is the side view of the screws and elastic keeping the tension to tighten the gap

Unfortuantely because two boys pushed each other in the dinner queue and Madison was pushed violently against the wall in the dinner hall the healing process has been disturbed. As Madison had bone fragment taken from her hip bone and inserted it into her shoulder to close the gap, that bone craft had been disturbed by those silly boys.

But Madison can return to some training, e.g. kicking but cannot rotate her arm but only do granny breaststroke. It will get back to normal eventually.

Madison will help out at Regionals.

spending time

following my last post, I cannot help mentioning the thought that crept up in my mind some time ago. It is about how we occupy large swathes of time by stuffing our children’s memory with facts that can easily be looked up.

So kids are forced to sit on desks and benches in classrooms simply learning how to memorise facts that can easily be stored and looked up by using modern technology.

Our education is so completely old-fashioned and out-of-date.

The lack of sport and physical exercise, which would not only increase our children’s mental health but also their physical health is manifested in forcing kids to spend years memorising dates, places, facts.

All data can easily be looked up and re-called using apps and reference literature, Google or other internet searches.

Even Einstein is firmly wedged into my memory for not being one of these people who spend most of their brain’s capacity with stuffing references into it but for not memorising facts that can easily be looked up and so freeing up space for being able to invent new concepts and enrich us with his findings.

When I watch quiz shows on television I think those people with photographic memory have the talent to remember all those dates and facts but for the average human being, it would be more practicable to learn to make good use of references libraries and apps that quickly supply knowledge needed.

Today there is almost an app for every query we may have. You can quickly look up

  • dates of historical events
  • country borders
  • kings and queens
  • names of flowers
  • mathematical equations

to name just a view.

There was a point memorising knowledge when there was no other way of looking it up easily. At the time when only few people could afford or reach books, which used to contain all knowledge, it made sense to make kids memorise every known fact.

But today with the steep increase of events, the constantly changing political and geographical landscape, the time spend memorising and learning facts in classrooms takes away from the time people can have actually keeping physically fit.

I think the lack of progress for humanity hinges on the simple inability to progress and take modern technology into account. Rather than remain old-fashioned gullible humans who will soon use robots to do the work for us, we should free our brain power and learn to be creative.

Much brain health is created by swimming as it increases the blood flow to the brain, which increases intellect and mental capacity.

So perhaps the wasted time our children have to spend learning how to memorise facts that can be looked up anyhow, is what makes it partly a reason for the deep dissatisfaction people get from schooling these days.

I notice that pupils who spend more time with sporting activities appear generally happier and content than those forced to spend all day indoors within the four walls of smaller classrooms.