What is your swimming background?
Having grown up in a hot climate, I was in the water at an early age. My earlier memories of training were when I was 10, trying to do butterfly without a breaststroke kick. At the age of 15 I was coached briefly by Elaine Tanner (Canadian Olympic swimmer) and shortly after that swam for Zimbabwe (Rhodesia as it was then). Whilst at University of Cape Town, I swam for Western Province where I had one of my most memorable swims. It was the 4 x 100m Medley Relay – I did the backstroke, Peter Inglis did the breaststroke (South Africa No. 1), Kobus Scheepers did the fly (Ranked 10 in the world) and Jonty Skinner did the free (he had just broken the world record with a sub 50 sec for 100 meters) – needless to say, we didn’t come second.
How long have you been a member of Spencer?
I joined Spencer in 1991 and had 8 great years as a local member before I moved out of London to Bedford. My membership lapsed until 1 ½ years ago when I renewed as a country member as I am still in Bedford. Between 1998 and 2019, I did absolutely no training, put the pounds on and am now struggling to get fit. Amanda saw how I was huffing and puffing after a 50m race last year at the Swim England Masters in Sheffield
Do you have any Spencer memories to share?
My best memories of training with Spencer were at St Pauls on a Sunday morning with Dave Mace pacing up and down the poolside and going to the pub for anti-dehydration liquid after a Wednesday evening sessions at Putney pool. As far as the meets go, all the British Champs at Sheffield (especially the relays), the worlds in Montreal in 1994 (the 747 ran out of booze on the flight to Canada), the Europeans at Riccione, meets at Vichy and Guernsey and many more
Where are you based and what isolation approach are you following/have you followed during the Covid 19 pandemic?
I am based in Bedford and have been unsuccessfully trying to do dry land training – I don’t like training when not in water
How have you coped with the break from training?
The saying “flying is lovely, it is hitting the ground the hurts” holds true in my case with swimming – the break from training is fine, the getting back into it is going to hurt.
Have you managed to get back into the water yet? If so, how was it? Any recommendations?
Not yet – the day my gym pool opened, I travelled to France where I am at the moment – no chance of training here as you can imagine or whilst in quarantine on my return to the UK
Do you have a daily fitness routine?
………. I wish
Which competitions have you missed/will you miss and how will that affect you?
As I was just getting back into it, so any and/or all of them
How is your partner coping with you missing your regular training sessions?
She doesn’t miss the smell of chlorine on my skin or clothes
What are you most looking forward to when you can get back to training?
That day after the really heavy training session when you wake up slightly stiff but feeling like a million dollars
Any plans for Open Water swimming over the summer?
As I don’t like pools with a water temp below 27 degrees – not a chance – maybe as a spectator