Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Kelloggs Aquatic Champion

I am now classed as a Kelloggs Aquatic Champion having undertaken the training.

The training was 3 hours long and was very interesting. Having already set up a swimming group away from public pool sessions to help boost confidence of those concerned, I had an inkling into what was required.

This means a lot of research, working out reasons why people don't swim and see if anything can be done to solve the problems.

It may just be one small thing or it could be lots of different ones.

This means getting out and about and speaking to people or visiting support groups to gain knowledge of people's problems.

Once a list of problems or reasons is made then it is a matter of finding out what can be done to help solve them.

It may be a matter of funding, location, or simply a matter of not knowing what is available.

An example of this was myself in 2008. All it took for me to go swimming was knowing that there was a changing room with a shower and a lockable door so that I could change away from prying eyes.

Now my condition doesn't bother me but in the early stages of recovery it certainly did.

That is why I set up Swimming After Surgery (SAS). Initially this is aimed at women who have had breast surgery. The reason the name is generalised is so that I can try and help other groups gain access to swimming following surgery.

I love swimming and being in the water means I feel no pain as there is no gravity. I feel happier as swimming is a natural anti-depressant as any exercise produces endorphines.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Perseverance Pays Off

At long last I can see a way forward with my dreams to become a swimming coach. Having volunteered for sometime as a poolside helper the swimming club have put me forward for a level 1 aquatics coaching course in January.

I am thoroughly enjoying helping the swimming club. The other night the children even referred to me as "Miss". This made me smile and I felt accepted.

There is a lot to learn and get through every week. I am learning new skills every week and understanding various swimming techniques.

I love my swimming life.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Suspended in Mid Dive

I was hoping to be able to go back to the pool and in the water soon.

However, tonight has put everything back on hold and I now have to recover from the recent operation on my hip.

So for now I am housebound and forced to recuperate.

It won't stop me writing ideas down for ways to fundraise for the club and other plans I have in my head.

I just have to postpone things a little while.

Oh well onwards and upwards.

Best wishes


Thursday, 27 May 2010

Sunday 23rd May

I awoke with a cough and sore throat. Oh dear will I be able to make this evening's event?

We telephoned another participant in the sponsored swim to enquire if he was still up for the challenge. It was arranged we would meet him at the leisure centre at 4.45pm.

We then telephoned two other participants and arranged to collect them to take them to the leisure centre at 4.30pm.

I was anxious, worried and nervous as to how the event would go. I had got myself a bit worked up as I hate being late but I needn't have worried as I got there in plenty of time.

I was asked if we wanted lane ropes put in. Knowing how long these can take to put in to a swimming pool, I decided not to take this course of action.

As soon as we could enter the pool I went done the sloping steps and swam over the far side of the pool.

It was then the challenge began. 80 lengths of the pool = 1 mile and that was the challenge I had set myself.

My wonderful husband was assisting with the administration of the event as he preferred this course of action. He also looked after the sponsorship money I had already been able to collect prior to the event.

I was lucky as I had wonderful support during the swim from a swimming buddy that I attend the adult only sessions with on a Sunday night. We had planed that at 40 lengths we would have an energy drink. He had bought these for us both. As we headed towards the shallow end we shouted for the drinks to save some time. We had some sips and set off again.

My energy drink was in a silver can with a blue label a log in red and yellow and is described in two words written in red writing. This made the assessment team laugh.

I was so thrilled to be able to complete the full distance in a hour and 10 minutes.

I am proud of my achievement and hope I will be involved with future events.

Best wishes


Monday, 17 May 2010


Well I did a trial run last night ready for the sponsored swim. I hit the water at 5.05 pm and eventually got out of the pool at 6.55 pm.

Just over the hour I had completed 62 lengths. This was the time my mind had started to wander and I hadn't realised I was day dreaming. Not having anyone around me at the time to keep me going I spluttered when water went into my mouth and I realised I was meant to be swimming in the deep end. This shook me to reality and I continued my swim.

By the time I got out of the pool I had completed 102 lengths. A friend who was with me wondered if I would be able to stand up as when he had done his first mile his legs felt like jelly.

I took the initial steps out of the pool and was delighted I could walk in my normal manner back to the changing room.

I just hope next week goes smoothly and I achieve my goal.

I will keep you posted as to progress so far sponsorship raised is well over £100.

Best wishes


Monday, 10 May 2010

Sponsored Swim

Well one thing leads to another and here goes the next challenge.

I came up with the idea of raising funds for the local swimming club I attend by doing a sponsored swim. My aim is to complete a mile which will be 80 lengths in total at the local pool I use.

The event is going to happen on the 23rd May and start at 5pm.

Why am I so determined to do this in May? I have yet another operation looming on the horizon on the 25th June and this will put me out of action for a while. So I struck while the iron was hot and decided to go for it.

Now like with my writing I have doubts of can I do? Will I be able to do it all? What will I do if I fail? I am being as positive as I can be and just going to follow the advice the coaches give the children taking part in galas. That is "if you know you have tried your best that is all we can ask of you".

So watch this space and I will let you know how I progress.

Best wishes


Saturday, 20 March 2010

I really feel part of the team

I attended the Swimming Club last night, the secretary of the club came to find me by poolside and gave me a t-shirt with the club logo on it. I know finally feel part of the team.

I was not as tired as I had been the week before and managed to stay for the whole two hours.

It was a pretty eventful night but one I thoroughly enjoyed. Unfortunately as I was undoing the lane bolts I managed to drop one in the water. Luckily another member of staff had children who had been swimming in the pool so he fetched one of them to help retrieve it from the water for me. While they were in the water fetching the one I had dropped I managed to make the same mistake again so they fetched it for me. This happened at the right time otherwise the child would have had to change into their swimming costume again to retrieve said bolts.

My colleague told me he had done the same thing a few times and made me feel better about it.

I am slowly beginning to retain names and faces of the club members. It is a slow process but I am getting there.

One thing we did last night was get the children to play water polo this is a fun way of getting them to put their heads underwater without realising they are doing so as they are concentrating so much on grabbing the ball. This activity also teaches them team spirit and we ensure everyone is included especially the little ones who tend to get ignored.

I went home tired but extremely happy.

Things are certainly improving and I am happy with what I am beginning to achieve. I love helping others and I am learning a lot thanks to the support of the club.

Best wishes to everyone.


Sunday, 21 February 2010

Swimming with your Chin!!

I have learnt quite a lot in the last few weeks just from being at the side of the pool and watching the coaches in action with the children.

One said to the children "Do you know how to swim with your chin?" I looked puzzled as did they.

It was soon explained that they were not to use their hands or legs but to swim just moving their chin down to their chest and up again. The further the chin goes down the better the body position. This enables butterfly to be far easier to learn and is a fun way for children to learn this stroke.

On watching the children do two lengths swimming with their chins it soon became apparent why the coach had used this method.

When doing the poolside helpers course I also discovered that children will do exactly what you tell them. For a coach to demonstrate a leg kick there are several ways of doing this. One is to stand on one leg and demonstrate the leg movement BEWARE children will take this literally of using one leg only when going up and down the pool.

Another way is to sit on a piece of apparatus and demonstrate with both legs so that the children understand exactly what they are meant to be doing.

Or as one coach demonstrates using both his arms as legs to show the stroke.

The main pieces of kit for the children in lane swimming are goggles, floats and pull buoys. Some of the coaches use fins which can be separate but for fly kick they use a set which are joined together like a mermaid. This is called a training fin.

With butterfly the kick comes from the hip not the knees and these fins help the pupil understand the technique.

If a game of water polo is to be played GOGGLES ARE NOT TO BE WORN. The reason for this is the ball could hit the goggles and cause some damage to the eyes.

For lane swimming goggles are useful as the swimmers are underwater and these protect the eyes from the chlorine.

The main thing I have learnt is that the lessons should be fun at all times so that the children enjoy the activity.

Lets hope I enjoy the rest of this journey.

Best wishes

Well here Goes

I have decided to create this blog about swimming as I am passionate about it.

I love being in the water and know what it means to have movement without pain caused by gravity. Not only that it is a wonderful social event and has opened more doors for me than I could possibly have imagined.

Now I am embarking on more challenges and hope to achieve these.
First of all I have volunteered at Madeley Court Amateur Swimming Club as a poolside helper. Having completed an eight hour course I thought I may as well put into practice what I have learnt and gain experience. My ultimate dream is to become a swimming coach.
I really hope to achieve this.
This blog is the start of that journey and I hope to share the ups and downs of it all with you.
So be prepared for a bumpy ride as my life seems to be like a roller coaster.
Best wishes.