Well it has been a while now since arriving back in the UK after my second visit to Perth, working with the coaches and squads, in Sunny Australia.
I had a fantastic welcome home, not only from friends and family, but also squad members and swimmers excited to tell me about their next challenge.
As I plan the year ahead, I can not help but look back over the last 12 months and celebrate what I have witnessed from the people around me. I am definitely humbled most days by the stories and achievements people have accomplished, and delighted to be part of their journey.
I am lucky enough to work on a day to day basis with Swimmers and Coaches alike. So I get to see their progression, development and passion they have for the sport we are involved in.
Often we over look our achievements, so I decided to reflect back on the year past and do it for you.
12 Months of Mind Blowing Achievements.
I met Sue Oldham - She is the oldest women to swim the English Channel and a beautiful person. She is modest and what she has achieved in a short time of swimming should be an inspiration to all. I coached Sue whilst out in Perth and keep in touch as she has big plans brewing....watch this space.
The Rottnest Channel Swim : An amazing achievement for so many of the squad members out in Perth. The the completion of the Rotto 20km channel Swim involves swimming from main land Perth out to an island 20km off shore, contending with an ocean of Sharks, jelly fish and any weather that may be thrown your way. This takes great dedication of at least 6 months of regular training. Well Done Team.
|The start line before the 20km Ocean Swim.|
This month is deicated to all the coaches that attending the Swim Smooth clinic in Ireland. These coaches showed amazing enthusiasuim to develop their personal swim coaching, as well as supporting the clubs and swimmers they work with.
|Coaches in Ireland.|
Video Analysis started back in the UK. As a coach, working with progression, this month was an outstanding. We all know how frustrating it as a swimmer or triathlete when we reach a plateau, or that we are not progressing. Helping swimmers see whats holding them back in the water, then giving them drills and training to progress, showed that the right changes = big improvements.
This month goes to an amazing man called Tom, who in his 80s decided for charity to swim the 1 mile event at the Great North Swim. He came to Active Blu for an Open Water Training sessions and although at times we had our uncertainties, he trained and trained and achieved his goal. Best hug ever was on the finish line after his mile. Well Done Tom.
|Tom and Lisa - Before his 1 Mile swim|
This month goes to Paul Newsome for winning the Manhattan swim. The commitment and dedication it took to achieve this dream is absolutely amazing. Congratulations Paul.
|Paul Celebrates his Win.|
This month goes to an Active Blu swimmer Sue C, who continues to show dedication to every training session we do in Windermere. Then sneakily entering events and telling me "Emma I just got a personal best". The most modest lady ever. Well done Sue.
|Active Blu - Training Nights - Well done Sue|
Swim Smooth and Triathlon England celebrated the end of a successful first year, running Open water training days across the UK for Coaches and Swimmers of all abilities. I manage the Open water days from the Swim Smooth side and was delighted with how the days went and the progress the swimmers made.
|Coaching some swimmers in Yorkshire.|
I was asked to do my British Triathlon Coaching Training to become a tutor for Triathlon England. During this process I met so many talented coaches, with such a wealth of experience and reasons for tutoring. It made me realise what great people we have coaching with in the sport. I am excited to share my knowledge.
|Class room - Pre session talk|
Headed back out to the Perth Squad to the overwhelming sense of just how much the swimmers in the squad had improved since last coaching there. It was remarkable to see the difference in peoples performance. Achieved by their constancy over the months. Mind blowing - Well done guys and keep going.
|Perth Squads Progression was Amazing|
The New Swim Smooth Coaches arrive in Perth, commiting to two weeks of long days and hard training on pool deck, followed by 6 or more months of coaching and collecting evidence of their work, before becoming certified. These coaches were inspirational, travelling from across the world to come and work and learn with the squads. I was supporting the coach education process and extremely lucky to have such an amazing job and meet such enthusiastic people.
|Video Analysis Training|
This is a personal and massive 'keep going' to 3 very special Ladies.
Megan, Jane and Sally. All three of these girls decided to take on the 20km Rottnest Channel Swim. Now as you imagine they all have a bit of a story, as we all do. From not being able to swim too far a few years ago, to finding the cold too hard to manage. These ladies decided to take on the challenge and swim the event, which is held at the end of this month. I wish them all the best of luck. They have shown such dedication and commitment through out the many months leading up to the event. Wish I was going to be there to watch you cross the finish line.