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Being a swim parent:

My children learning how to swim was one of the first and most important skills I felt they needed. They could both swim and move around the pool before they could run.

We love our holidays family time together, they always involve the water – swimming pools, lakes or the beach so my children had to learn the basics early on.

The lessons for Sydney started when she was 12 weeks old and for Myles 4 weeks old he stopped at 11 when he was in the squad swimming, Sydney is still swimming at 14.

Once a week every week without fail for 14 years parent & baby, learn to swim then squad swimming, and I thought that was commitment.

Sydney spent more time under the water than on top of the water, so at 7 years old we decided to give synchro a try, Sunday afternoon how could I give up my Sunday afternoons!. So we were now Speed swimming and Synchronised swimming. That continued for a couple of years by now she was swimming 3 times a week and both disciplines were asking her to do more. Sydney had to decide which path she wanted synchro or speed, she decided that her passion was in synchro.

Before we knew it, and I know all of you swim parents would agree, swimming had taken over I mean taken over everything not only for Sydney but the whole family, we are now swimming 6/7 times a week training through school holidays going to camps, competitions, arranging holidays around Synchro. In fact we are no longer a taxi service we are more like a coach service travelling up and down the country.

The 5 am morning starts, the constant smell of chlorine in the house, the all day comps, the hauls on the motorways, the fact that even our friends arrange things round synchro, am I moaning no it is wonderful, having a passion for a sport that you love and you want to keep getting better at, learning how to cope with the upsets that come along and with sometimes dare I say failure, sport can not wrap children up in cotton wool like we do, sport is cruel, but so can real life be, we have to strive to be the best, we have to work hard to be the best you get out what you put in, words we hear all the time but in sport you really have to. But at the same time the highs are amazing and when she achieves her goals, when she is on the podium smiling I could burst. It has helped with her confidence, organisation and time management. I can not teach my daughter any of the above, but sport can it can take her to places I could only dream of.

I am a proud swim parent! I am proud of how hard she works, how committed she is and how determined she is.

Michelle Jackson.


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