The Swimming Carnival

My little guy has a love/hate relationship with swimming.  The ‘love’ part is that he’s a very natural swimmer with a beautiful swimming style and he has the potential to be a very good swimmer.  The ‘hate’ part is that he’d really rather not swim.

A big day out

A big day out

Up until yesterday, that is.

Students begin arriving

Students begin arriving

The problem for Alfie is that he has a mother who believes swimming is one of the best sports you can do.  It’s pretty difficult to injure yourself, it’s an excellent form of exercise, it’s an important life skill and if you have asthma, (like he does), it develops and strengthens your lungs.

Feeling a wee bit anxious

Feeling a wee bit anxious

So armed with all these listed benefits, and the fact that swimming was always the sport I loved and enjoyed the most, there was no way my little guy was going to be a spectator.  (Especially when I’ve done overnighters with him in local hospitals because of the asthma).

Coming in to finish the 100mtrs Freestyle

Coming in to finish the 100mtrs Freestyle

Alfie has always had one swimming lesson a week during term time and if I could talk him into attending the intensive program during the school holidays he would have been there as well.

Wondering how he did in the 100 Free

Wondering how he did in the 100 Free

Last year Alfie qualified for the Zone Swimming Carnival and was super-excited about that.  But at the Zone he suddenly found himself surrounded by a lot of swimmers who took their swimming very seriously and were super-competitive.  He was out of his depth.

Nearly race time

Nearly race time

Alfie did not do well and came home shattered.  I asked, ‘Do you want to do better next year?’

‘Yes’.

The carnival is about to begin

It was such a hot day

‘Then you’ll have to start doing two squads a week’.  And so he did.  And he started to progress very quickly and became competent in all four strokes.  Half way through the year, his coach, who is also my coach, said Alfie was doing so well and is such a natural swimmer he should be doing three squads a week.  I suggested this to Alfie but he said, ‘I don’t want to.  I’m not like you, mum, I don’t like swimming’.  So we stayed at two squads per week.

Backstroke

Backstroke

This week Alfie had his school’s swimming carnival.  A form came home where you had to tick the events your child would be entering.  We agreed he wouldn’t do the 200 medley but then he said, ‘And don’t put me down for backstroke because I’m no good at backstroke’.

The finish of the backstroke race

The finish of the backstroke race

On the morning of the carnival Alfie said, ‘At school yesterday they said I’m swimming the backstroke.  Did you sign me up for the backstroke deliberately?’

End of the backstroke race

End of the backstroke race

‘I might have, Alfie, because I think you’re pretty good at backstroke’.

Freestyle

50 mtrs Freestyle

Alfie’s first event was the 100mtrs freestyle.  He was super-nervous to the point of telling me, ‘I’m starting to get stressed’.  I told him it’s normal to be nervous and that as soon as he hit the water he would be fine.  He won his 100mtrs freestyle.  He started to feel better about all his upcoming events.

Breaststroke

A false start

His next race was the 50mtrs freestyle.  After a false start he came 2nd and we hoped his time would be fast enough to qualify for the final.

Diving in to swim breaststroke

Diving in to swim breaststroke

Then came his best stroke which is breaststroke.  Out of all the heats he had the fastest time.

Breaststroke

Breaststroke

Next was backstroke, the event he didn’t want to do.  He was the fastest qualifier in that event as well.

Backstroke

Backstroke

Then came butterfly and he won that race by quite a distance.

Nearing the wall for butterfly

Nearing the wall for butterfly

Alfie did qualify for the final of the 100mtrs freestyle.  I told him if he wanted to qualify for the Zone Carnival he needed to finish first or second and to do that he’d have to swim much faster than he did in the Heat.  Alfie said, ‘I will mum, I’m actually really enjoying myself’.  He took three seconds off his time and won the final.

The big finish for the butterfly race

The big finish for the butterfly race

Then he helped his House by swimming in the relay and that was the final event of the carnival.

If you volunteer they give you a free lunch.  I was a time-keeper

If you volunteer they give you a free lunch. I was a time-keeper

Now, while you can’t do better than winning all your events, it does need to be noted that at Alfie’s school a lot of students leave at the end of Year 4 so the competition wasn’t as tough as it might have been.  However, I certainly didn’t point that out to Alfie and we celebrated with him accordingly.

Waiting to swim butterfly

Waiting to swim butterfly

The best thing about all this is that in the car on the way home, Alfie said, ‘Mum, I want to do three squads a week; I really love swimming’.

Feeling a little more relaxed

Feeling a little more relaxed

It was only a matter of time.

Just won his breaststroke race

Just won his breaststroke race

Comments

  1. Well done! I used to hate swimming and swimming carnivals. Have only just come to enjoy swimming now, in my 50s!

  2. He’s a natural athlete! First the marathon running, now this! He’s going to be an Olympian – we just need to fatten him up a bit first.. 😉

  3. Well done Alfie! Roll on the zone carnival and who knows what next. Swimming is the best and your little guy is a star.

  4. He must have felt amazing. Congratulations to you both. There’s really nothing better than swimming, I just wish we had the weather to make a better job of it here. Most of our pools are indoors and only 20 metres long! That’s a lot of tumble turns and not many strokes. GG

  5. Gosh, it’s no wonder you find it hard to fatten him up when he’s using up all that energy! Good on Alfie – although I suspect when he looks back he’ll realise his mother is a force of nature and it was always going to be so…!

  6. I think he’s a champion, kids that left or not! And besides which, isn’t he really keen on running and really great at it too?

  7. Congratulations to Alfie on his wins. I hope he keeps enjoying swimming and the excitement of competition since it has so many benefits health wise.

  8. Wow Congratulations Alfie!!! Great Job, I’m sure you are exhausted too Charlie, with all your timekeeping and cheering. When I was a teacher, Swimming and sports carnivals while fun, were very long exhausting days 🙂

  9. Good job Alfie! I know how that feels when I was young, well when in high school I was on the swim team and it was 2 a day practices. I had to swim from 6am to 7am every morning and from 330pm to 630pm every evening. With all of that training I was always hungry, wet and tired. Stay strong little man!

  10. Congrats to Alfie.

    I can’t swim. I had some really bad teachers who did not take the time to understand the fears I had of jumping in the deep end of the pool. Their solution was to order me in the deep end or they would push me.

    Besides that, swimming lessons were available only during the summer in a town 20 miles distant. My parents didn’t always have money to send us to lessons.

  11. Well done, Alfie. I love his determination and your loving and encouraging support.

  12. CONGRATS to Alfie!!!! Yay!!!! I was reading about all his wins and times and I could feel how proud you are of him Charlie!
    xxs

  13. Sounds like your little Alfie is quite the swimmer (and so adorable too)! Kudos to not forcing him to do more than he wanted. I know that’s hard for moms to accept sometimes 😉

  14. Wow! I am marveling and admiring your mother skills, Charlie…You do know how to raise winners. And as one who has a sister who used to swim with the Japanese Olympics training team, I do appreciate the rewards of swimming =)

  15. Congratulations to Alfie!! Great job!! Swimming is defnitely a great sport and a life saver. I’m glad he’s enjoying it now, hope to cheer for him in the Olympics in the future 🙂

  16. I bet he wins the 2024 Olympics Triathlon! Good for you Alfie, Go for Gold! 🙂 xo

  17. Go Alfie and congratulations!

  18. Wow Charlie he really is a little champion that boy. Lucky he has a good competitive Mother to support his talent. can’t wait to see how he does at the zone.

  19. Great work charlie – I find it hard to achieve the balance between how much to push kids and how much to let them find their own interests – I really value swimming too and when sylvia was one of the better swimmers at her school last year it seemed like a great thing but settling her into a new swimming class feels like two steps forward one step backwards – I never did squad swimming but I just love the photos of that blue blue pool is so evoactive for me because we spent so much time at the pool as a child

  20. Phew have just caught up with your 2015 posts, next weekend will attempt the December 2014 posts, then I am all caught up. Have loved reading about the holiday and everything else. Hope the weekend is going well 🙂

  21. Bless him – what a lovely turn around and excellent results! I remember his nerves and challenges with past swimming events so it’s nice to see that all his (and your!) had work has paid off and he’s starting to enjoy something he clearly is very good at. Between the swimming and his self-directed running, you may have a triathlete on your hands by the time he finishes high school!

  22. We had one community swimming pool that was outside and only open in June, July an August and one very small indoor pool at the Boys Club where the boys had to swim naked. I remember being invited to swim there once (not naked) and that was it. No carnivals, swim meets or anything. Alfie is really lucky he’s got a great place to swim and a very good timekeeper mother. 🙂

    Congratulations to the winner!

  23. Haha he has a competitive spirit in him, that’s for sure!! GOOD JOB, Alfie!!

  24. Great job, Alfie! How exciting for him to win all the events and find a passion for the sport. And, great job to you for seeing his potential and encouraging him.

  25. He’s such a sweet thing! Congratulations Alfie!! A little competition is good for the soul. 😉
    That was a lovely lunch they provided.

  26. I’m so glad for Alfie and you, you must be so proud of him. Congratulations on winning so many of the races, that kid is going places!

  27. How exciting to see him come to love something that is so good for him AND that he is so good at. 🙂

  28. Alfie…. You are a legend! Love the determination and Charlie, you are a wonderful woman indeed, you remind me of my Momma, always so loving, encouraging and supportive. Fist bumps, high fives and a cheeky happy dance for you. xox

  29. Wow what a stellar performance. If there’s one thing I’d love to do it’s improve my swimming. His breast stroke style looks impeccable!

  30. What a champ! and good for you, for encouraging him and not giving up. You are a champ mother.

  31. Sometimes mothers know best. Case in point. Swimming is a great sport and will hold him in good stead all his life like it has you.

  32. That last picture is just precious! What a sweet and happy smile. Alfie is learning some really valuable lessons about perseverance and dedication and the rewards of facing a challenge. He just looks like a natural swimmer! I am sure you are all quite proud of him, but best of all, he’s proud of himself. 🙂

  33. Congratulations Alfie and Mum. Great job Alfie. keep up the excellent work.

  34. That is such a lovely story. From little acorns do big oaks grow. He seems like a great kid.
    Carolyn

  35. Well done, Alfie! Way to go! xx
    A great day out swimming & winning! x

  36. Go Alfie! I’m glad he’s found a love for swimming.

Trackbacks

  1. […] all the excitement of the swimming carnival we felt it was only appropriate to take the little guy out for dinner to celebrate.  Another […]

  2. […] had the school swimming carnival and the amateur swim club carnival and this week we’ve had the inter-schools’ zone […]

Speak Your Mind

*