The Black Line

You are probably more focused on fireworks than swimming this week but regardless, I wanted to update you on the next half-term of swimming activity – and more!

Firstly, let’s review the diary and set out the stall.

This Saturday is a fun gala at Wisbech called the Patterns Transport gala. it’s an introductory event for rookies and Gavin is taking a team of rookies, with the odd experienced swimmer thrown in. Why take some experienced swimmers to a rookie gala? Mainly to support and help those who are competing at the early stage of their careers so they know what to do, can steady their nerves and channel their energies.

16th/17th November are the County Developments for those who don’t yet qualify for full Counties. We have a really strong set of entries and it is a very well balanced event aimed at building experience and helping swimmers get times. It is possible to swim County Devs and Counties so swimmers should see this as a pathway and aim for full County Champs in the spring too. Gavin, John and Lou will be there all weekend and whilst I’d have loved to have been there I need to work the logistics of getting daughter number 1 to County Devs, number two to Crawley and number three to Luton. Deep joy!

23rd November is the first round of the Mini Meet up at Peterborough. This is a great event and there are some changes to the programme and schedule for younger swimmers which look pretty cool.

1st December is the Newmarket Sprint meet which I’m hoping will be a cloudy day so we don’t get dazzled by the low, winter sun shining through the side windows (like we did last year). Entries are closed and thanks to Sue Pearce and Lou Steel we are really getting a much better handle on open meeting entries.

10th December is the now, world famous, Piranha’s Christmas Cracker at which we will serve up a shorter (for the benefit of younger swimmers), full-on and fun packed evening of races. We are aiming to be finished by 8.30 so the youngsters can get to bed, so John can beast the older swimmers until ten and so we have time for picking up the biscuit crumbs! Entry will be £2.50 per swimmer, its open to all parents and swimmers and since I put up the sign sheet we have well over 60 swimmers already. Can we aim to get every member plus their parents wet?

You may well start hearing about the Italy training camp next May. This is an invitation only event at Lignano, Italy for swimmers chosen by John with the ability to train four hours per day short and long course. It is a character building experience for the young swimmers who learn many life lessons as well as improve fitness, technique and stamina. Some of the life lessons might well be best forgotten and as most have in some way involved my offspring (Sweetgate, Roomgate, ItalianSwimTeamgate, AirportBarriergate) I’d certainly rather forget them!

If you haven’t been invited to Italy or can’t take up your place we also have a UK camp in February half-term for a few days. This is a very different camp, with swim training and other activities based at Arethusa, near Chatham in Kent. Gavin is the organiser and leader, and he has put a sign up sheet on the board to gauge interest. Final acceptance is at the discretion of the coaching team but please log your interest on the board so we can see what sort of numbers we might get there.

Volunteers make this club tick and I would plea with any parents to start volunteering some of their time to help. We need officials in white (full training is provided), support and chaperoning and general helpers who can offer a bit of their time. At each event we need to take officials, chaperones, team managers and coaches and if we don’t have people who are willing to volunteer their time we are stuck. We need a broad base of helpers because it’s a huge ask to drag parents along when their kids aren’t swimming and especially so when other kids are swimming and their parents are on the balcony. Please speak to myself, John, Linda, Pete or Kathy L-C .

Finally we are grateful to Si Pauley and Peter Leslie for the latest website overhaul, with added functionality. The best bits (for me) are the news and events links, the swimming A-Z and the results downloads – awesome content and a great job, thanks Si and Pete for making this happen.

That’s it for now.

Dick