By: Elaine Cogdell – Swimming Administrator and Saturday ‘iCan’ Co-ordinator, Framlingham College Prep School
“Swimming makes me happy.”
“I love the silence when I’m under the water.”
“When I swim fast & hard, it helps me to relax and forget the day.”
These are just a few of the reasons our children give for loving the challenges of swim squad. For some it’s the exercise; for some it’s the camaraderie and for others it’s the challenge of being the best they can be.
As a team of coaches we endeavour to find what it is that will make each child really enjoy every session and help them to reach their potential. Only by focusing on technical improvement, fine tuning the starts, turns and finishes of a stroke and being put through ‘hell sets’ can a swimmer make those marginal gains that successful Olympians often refer to. A personal best (PB) is just that – a personal best: the best you have ever done, the fastest you have ever swum. Swimmers feel a crushing disappointment when they don’t achieve one and pure elation when they do. We have to help them celebrate the highs and learn the resilience to cope with the lows and use both outcomes as the motivation to get back in the pool.
Like every other aspect of life, you get out what you put in. All four of our individual national finalists this year have trained week in week out anywhere up to 4 – 6 hours a week and have worked hard on all areas of their event. This has been reflected in their times and their qualification for the IAPS National Swimming at the London Aquatic Centre on Saturday 8th June.
New for 2019 – the top 20 relay teams per event also qualify so it was fantastic to find out that our U10 girls’ 4 x 25m freestyle relay team had also qualified and were only 0.6 seconds out from qualifying for the medley relay. (they came 25th!)
So… the countdown is on to London. Alex H (6SR), Emily B (7SJT), Toby J (7JN) and Anna C (8SWM) go in the individual events with Jess L, Xanthe E, Pip S, Evie T and Grace G forming the U10 relay squad.
However, it’s really important that we also celebrate the circa 90 swimmers this year that have represented Framlingham College Prep School in inter school galas v Orwell Park, Finborough and OBH. Children from Years 3 – 8 have participated in these fun galas, as well as house swimming and the IAPS event at Culford School in the regional round in March. Let’s congratulate our Year 3 and 4 children for giving the medley relay a go for the first time – not easy when you are given the fly leg! This year has also seen boys’ teams entered for IAPS across all the age groups, something that would have been unheard of 7 years ago when squad started. School records tumbled at house swimming too. It is a testament to our dedicated coaching staff, our motivated swimmers and our whole school enthusiasm to encourage everyone to have a go, that our swimming has come such an incredibly long way in a relatively short space of time.
Thank you coaching team under the leadership of Audrey Tovey, thank you Mrs Norton, thank you mums and dads for the late finishes and early starts and thank you swimmers for your time, your hard work and your enthusiasm.
Here’s to the Nationals and more swimming opportunities for all next year.