Sunday 19 August 2012
All the hype said it would be “a summer like no-other” and it certainly was. No, not the dreadful rain of July, the Olympics and how a bit of the 2012 magic came to Tooting.
First up, on Sunday 11 August, we had a surprise visit from Ian Thorpe. Apparently Thorpedo wanted to do some swimming coaching at an outdoor pool and club that was for ‘real swimmers’. So, it had to be SLSC.
When Giles told him the club swam in the pool all year round he said “and you wonder why we all think you Brits are weird”.
On the day we got Thorpedo to have his photo taken with Doreen as part of the project I was working on called Join In. Join In is a charity set up to get as many people as possible to go down to their local sports clubs on the weekend after the Olympics. It is linked to the Gamesmakers phenomenon and the aim is to celebrate and grow the spirit of volunteering in local clubs. It was all fronted by Eddie Izzard (what a lovely chap).
On the weekend itself (18 and 19 August) over 6,000 events were held at clubs all over the country (including Tooting Bec Lido). As part of it there was a Join In Battle Bus with John Inverdale, Daley Thompson, Sharron Davies, Jonathan Edwards, Dave Moorcroft and a host of gold medal winners (Mo Farrah, Greg Rutherford, The Brownlees, Jason Kenny). The final stop and grand finale for the bus was, of course, the mighty South London Swimming Club and Tooting Bec Lido.
So, early evening on a lovely sunny Sunday 19 August, Sharron gave some swimming lessons to the kids and Daley kissed any ladies within a yard and got more than he bargained for when Nancy got hold of him!
It was all great, all of it, the whole Olympic and Paralympic thing. It’s not often something lives up to the hype and we can all be proud that it did. It was also super to see our club get just a bit of the limelight it deserves.
Finally, a big thanks for all this has to go to Anthony and the lifeguards who had to put up with all sorts of requests from prancing PRs and management companies. They did us all proud.
by Will Watt