A message from the Chairman
The last 12 months have certainly been different!
It started very well with the County Championships and some really good performances – congratulations to everyone who qualified. Unfortunately, we were shortly caught in the grip of COVID-19 and that meant some of our swimmers lost their chance to compete at the Regional Championships. Hopefully, once we can return to full competition, these swimmers and others will have the chance to compete at the next Regional Champs.
Competition did finally return in the Autumn in the form of Level X timing sessions, resulting in some fantastic performances and PBs from almost all swimmers. Thank you Sarah for organising this.
The Level X results highlights two things to me:
1. How well you guys stayed fit and maintained a good level of exercise during the first lockdown and over the summer. Hopefully you enjoyed the weekly fitness guides we issued during this period…;
2. How great our coaching team is.
On behalf of the Committee I would like to say a huge thank you to the Coaching Team (David, Andy, Nicola, Robbie, John and Angie) and our poolside helpers (especially Isla) for their skill, passion and commitment to the swimmers at Seals. In particular the new “bubble lanes” have worked really well, which I know took a huge amount of time and effort from Nicola and Andy to put in place…and then update.
The winners of the Coaches Awards recently announced deserve big congratulations, being recognised by the coaches is a big deal! Well done to you, and thank you for organising this Angie.
It has also been a big year for my executive committee colleagues – when signing up as Secretary and Treasurer I don’t imagine Sarah and Rebecca expected quite the level of work they would have in performing risk assessments or maintaining the finances of the club in such challenging situations. I would like to say on behalf of the whole club – thank you.
In addition, there is always the amazing Jan Bright, quietly doing so much in the background to ensure everything works and happens as it should. Thank you Jan.
We should also share some of the thanks with 1Life and Lord Butler Fitness & Leisure Centre. These are incredibly challenging times for leisure operators and the 1Life team have been able to ensure that LBF&LC re-opened (20% of pools have not) and also opened relatively quickly after each lockdown.
Finally, I would like to give the biggest thank you to our parents and swimmers. You have supported the club through such a challenging year and I know for many this has hit you personally on both an emotional and financial level. Swimming is not the cheapest sport to keep financing and, with the club needing to increase its monthly fees, sticking with the sport and Seals will not have been an easy decision.
You have also played a huge role in enabling us to return to swimming, with parent help on temperature checks, the swimmers (mainly) keeping to the new rules which we have to follow once inside Lord Butler, and generally just being flexible in making the new swim bubbles and lanes work.
As we end 2020 the club’s finances are stable: we are roughly break-even on a monthly basis despite the limits on the number of swimmers per lane, the loss of a number of members, and the increased pool-time. Sadly though we are about to enter another period with the pool closed and no swimming permitted, and who knows how long this may last.
We will still need to collect annual registration forms and fees in January in order to maintain our Swim England insurance and association for 2021 and we will be in touch in the New Year with more details.
For now I hope you all have a safe, healthy and happy Christmas and we all (Coaching Team and Committee alike) wish you the very best for 2021.