Meet a member in Oman – Jamie

What is your swimming background?   

I don’t have a swimming background. I was a Football, Rugby, Running and Mixed Martial Arts person. I only started swimming 6 years ago because I had a very bad back injury which left me with long term back problems. A sports injury specialist suggested I take up swimming. It was the best advice I ever got. Swimming is the greatest sport and I only wish I had started when I was younger.  

How long have you been a member of Spencer?  

I joined 4 years ago when I lived in Abu Dhabi. Spencer were kind enough to let me join so I could compete in International Events. 

Where are you based and what isolation approach are you following/have you followed during the Covid 19 pandemic?  

I’m currently in Oman where the COVID approach has been very different from the UK. We closed everything very early. In the beginning we couldn’t do anything but go to the supermarket. All the pools have been closed since the start of March and the beaches only opened end of May. The numbers here have taken a sharp rise and we are on a lockdown / curfew again. However, I live next to the beach and can swim from 7am so things aren’t that bad. I have no idea what the future holds for Oman. We will most probably be back in the UK from September. 

How have you coped with the break from training?  

In the first 2 months we couldn’t swim anywhere as everything was closed. Luckily, my specialty is open water and in Oman there are plenty of beaches to swim. I also have a VASA (Indoor swimming trainer) so for the first two months I was using that. We have no idea when the pools will reopen!  

Have you managed to get back into the water yet? If so, how was it? Any recommendations?  

Yes, the water in Oman is amazing, one of the best places in the world to open water swim. You can swim all year round without a wetsuit. The water does get hot in the summer, but you can manage. I love open water; the sea life here is amazing so there is always something to see. I often see turtles, sea snakes, reef sharks and 1000s of varieties of fish.  

Do you have a daily fitness routine?  

Yip, I try and swim 4 – 5 times a week. I also do yoga and the VASA 2-3 times a week. I have also been a vegetarian for the last year and find this has improved many aspects of my training, 

Any recommendations for team mates?  

Just keep swimming, swim anywhere you can when you can. Stay safe when open water swimming, swim with others and use a swim buoy. 

Which competitions have you missed/will you miss and how will that affect you? 

I had a very busy year planned but unfortunately, it’s all been cancelled. I was going to the European champs. I was also going to swim Oceanman Italy, and I had registered for a 30km Ultra Marathon Swim in Greece. Let’s all hope next year will be better.  

How is your family coping with you missing your regular training sessions?  

My wife is amazing – she is a runner so understands the need for training. She always has great ideas and is super supportive with my current plans. Unfortunately, I was made redundant in May so I have all the time in the world to spend with my wife and son. Training any time isn’t a problem anymore ha ha. 

What are you most looking forward to when you can get back to training?  

I think the team aspect. I swim with the BSM Marlins in Muscat and we have a great setup with amazing team spirit. I hope if I come back to the UK I can eventually get to swim with Spencer ha ha. 

Any plans for Open Water training or racing over the summer?  

I have a plan to do a 22km Swim here in Oman in September. It will be a self-organized swim. I’m swimming the length of Muscat city. Most people think I’m crazy, but I call it horizontally challenged. 


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