When I was younger - around 8 to 14 years of age - I swam for my local swimming club - Connah's Quay - in the Merseyside and District swimming league. And we were fairly good. We would constantly hover between the bottom of the top division and the top of the second division. Constantly being relegated and then promoted and then related again etc etc.
But none of that is particularly important and/or interesting? What's more important, to me at least, is that I really loved being apart of my local swimming team. I enjoyed the training - mostly - and I adored the competitions.
I was and I still am quite competitive. I was never the fastest swimmer. I have a lot of silver medals and 4th place rosettes at home. So I definitely had a love hate relationship with competing. I loved racing, I loved winning and doing well, I wasn't quite so keen on losing. I remember one occasion where I came last in a race and they gave me a free cap, but that's a story for another blog.
But even more than competing, I loved going to swimming galas for the camaraderie. The best bit of going to galas and competitions for me, was the bus journey. I loved the time on the coach, sitting with my friends, laughing and joking, flirting with the girl I liked etc. It was a lot of fun! The whole day was fun (and it often would take a whole day, or at least that's how it felt).
Being part of a team is great. I certainly feel that it is a crucial part of a child's development to learn how to be apart of a team. I also played a lot of football when I was young and as much as I loved that too, somehow it wasn't quite the same. If and when I have children one day, although I would never push them to do anything that they don't want to, I would certainly encourage them to join the local swimming club. If they have half the fun that I did, it would be well worth their effort.
But why am I talking about this now? Well that's probably because on Sunday I am going to my first swimming gala in around 18 years. Unfortunately, this time around it's not as a swimmer myself but as a coach. However, either way I'm still pretty excited! I can't wait to cheer on some of the children I have being teaching over the past two years. I can't wait to see them race and hopefully watch them winning themselves some medals.