PB Bonanza at Millfield

PB’s were falling left, right and centre at an amazing  swim meet at Millfield pool in Street over the weekend of 6-7 April.

With more than 50 children, 30 events, 6 sessions and two full days of competition, it was non-stop for everyone involved. But the team-spirit was exemplary and from Mama Totolici stepping in last moment to coach the girls in the early morning 400 free session to a “mystery” dad sending over much-appreciated ice pops, it felt like the swim section really pulled together to make this a meet to remember.

For some little ones, it was their first time at an Open Meet and at times eyes were as wide as saucers as they waited to go to marshalling. But every single child there found something inside them during the meet – whether it was diving in for their first every proper race, coming back after an injury, going up to race again after a disappointing result or DQ, taking part while really feeling under the weather or just deciding to go for it and pulling out that huge PB when they most needed it.

It was also noticable how supportive the children were of each other. I hope all parents get the chance to volunteer at some point to see how their sons and daughters cheer each other on, wait poolside to congratulate swimmers in the race after them, look after each other between races, or just give their team mates a hug when they most needed it. The older swimmers, including Freya Hartley, Sean Whitten-Brown, Ewan Smith, and Emily Durham also pitched in and helped out the younger children with their stretches and warm ups. I noticed a motivational speech or two going on there too…..

A special thank you to volunteer coaches Richard Marsden on Saturday and Ivan Rodriguez who really stepped up to the mark to help out over both days; to our parent officials and all the people behind the scenes who make these events happen;  and to my fellow team managers Vic and Laura who really do keep the whole show on the road.

The biggest thank you of all though to coach Josh who was there on day 2. His guidance, encourgement and calm direction really lifted the children and helped them get the results they did. I don’t think I have ever seen someone so calmly pivot between giving individual feedback after a race to a dripping, exhausted child to briefing five eager boys on their way to marshalling to noting the time of another swimmer as they come in. How his head hadn’t exploded by the end of the day, I don’t know!

In all it was an excellent two days of swiming at a great venue and for any parents wondering whether to go next year I would definitely recommend it, although I would also recommend finding a cheap place to stay close by. But for now though, for some it’s warm up to the Regionals, for others it’s PGL and Cotswold Leagues to look forward to – and for all of us it’s a few days off, with a few chocolate eggs to consume. Happy Easter swimmers!