Open Meet Swimmers!
Sometimes, a month can seem like a very long time. While it is less than 30 days since I wrote the last swimming article, it feels like several years. Writing today feels like a challenge. Not because it is difficult, or even very important, but because it is hard to get the tone right. Like everyone else, I have huge uncertainty what things will be like in a few weeks time, when this magazine arrives through your door.
On that note, it makes sense to start with something that is clear. Amongst all the unknowns, one thing is constant: the amazing job the frontline key workers are doing, often at huge personal cost. I am in awe of the NHS staff facing indescribable challenges, hour after hour. But to keep our society working, there are a whole host of other essential people, working flat out. Social care providers, shop workers, delivery drivers, refuse collectors, teachers, warehouse workers. The list is too long to mention everyone but you know who you are. It is at times of crisis that we really understand the value of what people do. On behalf of everyone at Cranleigh Swimming Club, thank you. We are very grateful.
For the rest of us, in many ways, every day feels like groundhog day. Locked down, facing the same daily existence with little to differentiate the days. But not so long ago, it was different. As recently as early March, our swimming club was still training. And shortly before everything shut down, we managed to squeeze in our club’s Spring Open Meet.
As the situation escalated in early March, we knew that it would be touch and go whether we would be able to ahead. We planned carefully, making sure we adhered to official guidelines at that time. Our normal risk assessments put a special emphasis on health restrictions, cleaning and hygiene. Cranleigh Leisure Centre worked especially hard to help.
The Open Meets that we host are vital revenue generators for the club. And so we were very fortunate that this one went ahead. Having lost all income for the foreseeable future, the meet ensured that the swimming club has a buffer to survive this storm. The alternative would have had long and far-reaching health and wellbeing consequences for many of our children.
Equally importantly, going ahead meant that our swimmers went out on a high. A fun day with teammates, competing to take advantage of the hours of hard work in training. A real sense of community and achievement ahead of a challenging time. To lift the spirits, I’d like to celebrate some of our swimmers’ amazing successes from that day.
We’ll start with the medals, as my recaps often do. In this meet, we achieved a phenomenal 43 golds. These were won by Lucy Andrews, Alice Bruce, Alice Collins, Thomas Craig, Connie Emmett, Millie Hastie, Martha Horstead, Lana Howells-Davies, Chris King, Jake Lloyd-Davies, Marco Mariscotti-Ree, Sophie Moore, Siena Reilly, Ellen Shayler, Juliette Small, Vincent Small, Will Stanley, Callum Stevens, Jack Westerman and Harry Wood. While I would normally list silver and bronze medalists too, there were simply too many to note here. Instead, I want to congratulate all our medalists, but also all others who took part and didn’t win a medal this time. Your swims will have pushed your teammates on. Keep training hard and your time will come.
Amongst other achievements on the day, 4 new South-East Regional qualifying times were set by Lana (x2), Chris and Sophie. Sadly, the Regional Championships, which were set to take place in April and May have fallen victim to the lockdown. Nonetheless, this does not diminish the excellence of these achievements.
Amongst the great swims, 6 new club records were set: Thomas (14 year-olds) 50m Freestyle, Connie (10 year-olds) 200m Breaststroke, Lana (11 year-olds) 200m Backstroke, Chris (13 year-olds) 50m and 200m Backstroke, and Sophie (14 year-olds) 200m Breaststroke. These new records take the total number of club records broken in 3 years to 200. With training on hold, it may be some time before we break any more, so it is pleasing to have made so much progress so far.
And so here we are. With no swimming on the horizon, no events in the calendar, and everything in the past reported on, who knows what next month’s article will bring. The world will be different again by then, so we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. In the meantime, we hope you continue to keep well and find ways to keep the spirits up. We wish you the very best until next time.
If you are interested in joining Cranleigh ASC, do come down and see us on a Sunday evening at Cranleigh Leisure Centre from 4.30pm onwards or visit our website www.cranleighsc.org.
We offer two free taster trial sessions, for children to see if they’d enjoy it.