Why holiday on the Costa del Sol ???

I found myself discussing the merits of all inclusive / organised holidays to Mombasa in the staff kitchen this week and eventually the conversation changed to:

-you planning a holiday?!

just had one.

-where to?


-where?, was it organised?

sort of, it was for the Winter Swimming World Championships…

-you what!?*[email protected]

There are always two things I find hard to explain. Firstly how I can swim in cold water to a colleague whose knowledge of Tooting Bec Lido is limited to it being a landmark on their Saturday afternoon run (they then claim they can’t even get into the water in the summer) and secondly why I’d prefer a long weekend in Latvia compared with two weeks in some resort in Mombasa or the Caribbean.

The vast majority of readers of the newsletter will understand the first problem - we can all swim in cold water - but words always escape me to adequately describe the feeling of meeting up with 50 friends and team mates in a hotel abroad to join in a WSWC event. The optimism, enthusiasm, hopes and expectations, the common purpose - the smiles. Being part of an event where dozens of people are cheering for each other is very special and an experience I can only recommend to anyone half thinking about it.

This was an amazing weekend, my fourth World Championships (including the one at Tooting Bec), and I still enthuse about them. Was it the best? Who knows. But they are all almost like a pinnacle in mixed ability swimming - we have some incredible swimmers in the Club - but to watch each heat where someone may take 16 seconds and the next lane 45 seconds underlines how inclusive, and somehow friendly, these events are.

Having experienced Oulu, Bled and Jurmala, and maybe bored a few people to death talking about them, it is especially pleasing to experience it over again and realise it still lives up to expectation.

To share it with those whose first WSWC it is - after all our almost evangelistic enthusiasm for the event, to hear that that there are now more converted to the experience, is just rewarding in itself.

If you haven’t tried one yet, don’t think about it - do it. You’ll enjoy it, thanks to our fantastic Club members who make these weekends so special. Thank you, each and every one of you.

By Chris Gore

Here is a taste of the WSWC2012