I’ve been swimming competitively as part of a club for almost 12 years now. I’m the longest-running member of my club back home, and I decided to continue my involvement in the sport by joining the UEA team last year.
I’m a massive fan of the sport. Like athletics, swimming is more of an individual sport, which allows you to work by setting yourself goals and working towards them. As your personal best times come down, it helps motivate you to work even harder. Truly, it is a sport where your main adversary is yourself! As well as that, in my opinion there is no sport quite like swimming that combines strength and fitness with an emphasis on technique.
I’ve been involved with swimming as a sport, not just from the perspective of a competing swimmer, but also as a coach and a teacher. The insight it has given me into the importance of good technique is invaluable, and has broad applications in everything from playing a musical instrument to using good grammar. (You’ll probably check through my work to hold me to account on that now).
Starting back at university after a summer of training back home, I’m once again ready for what the team has in store this semester. Last year was the most successful year for UEA swimming on record. We had some amazing performances at BUCs, and it was the first time we made the finals at the BUCs teams meet. And if that wasn’t good enough, every single one of our relay teams made it into the finals. It truly was a special year for the UEA swim team.
Hopefully the new team (bolstered by a healthy intake of freshers) will be able to continue, and possibly even advance upon, the achievements we made last year. New year; new coach. This year we’re delighted to have Lewis Smith, who has previously worked with the City of Norwich Swimming Club, and is looking forward to working with the team to get the best out of all our swimmers. Swimming doesn’t have the same number of competitions every year as, say, football or hockey, but the ones we do have are biggies.
Coming up this semester we’ve got the first round of BUCS from the 15th-17th November. It’s a three-day weekend away to Ponds Forge in Sheffield, and often includes at least one official team meal together, as well as a quick trip to Spoons after the racing is all done. It’s only 45 days away now, so we’re getting the new swimmers settled into their squads and getting ready to start working hard and getting ourselves back in shape for the season ahead.