4th Jul, 2020

Like a fish out of water - but the show must go on

Liam Moakes 30th Jun, 2020

BROMSGROVE Swimming Club (BSC) refuses to allow the coronavirus situation to cease its training or community to thrive.

Since lockdown began, the entirety of the global water sports community has been interrupted, preventing swimmers from continuing their usual activities.

Although this has harmed the physical and mental well-being of participants, members of Bromsgrove Swimming Club have refused to allow these unfortunate circumstances to deter them from their goals.

Since their last swim training session at Bromsgrove Leisure Centre on the morning of March 20, swimmers have been supported in their discipline from the beginning.

Most prominently, weekly Zoom meetings have sustained communication between coaches and swimmers and provided support where necessary – a real lifeline for the club.

One such Zoom meeting was a Q&A with the esteemed Jon Rudd (Performance Director of Swim Ireland).

Rudd has had great success in his coaching career on the international scene – coaching athletes collectively to more than 100 British and English records at Senior, Youth and Junior level.

Most notably, he coached Lithuanian Rūta Meilutytė to World Championship and Olympic gold medals, breaking European and World records in the process.

Therefore, it would come as little surprise that the swimmers found the session with him both invaluable and inspiring. It was an opportunity that was not to be missed!

Besides Zoom keeping members in touch, swimmers have undertaken a land training programme to improve their strength, flexibility and aerobic capacity.

The BSC coaches have supported athletes through this by uploading tutorials on YouTube and answering any queries.

Fortunately though, with the easing of restrictions, the club has been allowed to organise this land work to be achieved among small, socially-distanced groups in public spaces. This has been a tremendous success.

In terms of staff development, coaches have succeeded in obtaining various CPDs (Continuing Professional Development).

Among these were qualifications covering mental health awareness and coaching swimmers with hearing and visual impairments.

Similarly, the committee is also striving for progress by attending workshops and communicating with other clubs to provide a better understanding of how to better the club for the future.

The first couple of issues of the new BSC newspaper have also been published – establishing yet further communication between the committee and members.

Head coach Matthew Lowe said: “COVID-19 has not been a wholly negative experience, allowing us to take a step back and reflect on ourselves and find new opportunities to improve for when we get back in the pool.

“Altogether, the club admirably persists – despite the changes – to grow in favour of bettering itself.”

Whilst Swim England does not know when swimmers will be allowed to return to the water, Bromsgrove Bears can be sure they have done all possible to help prepare for the next season and hopefully will be able to continue improving year on year.

This will be a great relief to all those athletes left frustrated because their training did not come to fruition due to the many fixture cancellations.

Sports associations should take heed of BSC’s positive approach to the current situation by using it as an opportunity to press the reset button and return to the scene fierce and fighting.

If you are interested in joining BSC, email Liz Irons at bromsgrovescmembers@gmail.com or visit www.bromsgrovesc.co.uk.

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