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Articles by Dartes Swimmers Past and Present

Every now and again, someone pops up out of the deep end and writes an article for the website. Sometimes these are former Dartes swimmers with happy memories to share. Often they're current members with something special or interesting to shout about. Either way, if it's interesting and in some way connected to Dartes or Doncaster Swimming, we'll probably publish it.
Here's one of those articles.

Swimming Times Letter of the Month, January 2010


By now you'll surely know of our efforts to support our swimmers this season. A few of the Loud and Proud have already penned a Fake Interview, an Electric Atmosphere, and Loud and Proud. But after the superb atmosphere at Duel in the Pool before Christmas it was decided to take the next step in our campaign for better atmosphere and write to the highest power in the land.

That's right, we wrote to the Swimming Times!

So for all you who don't subscribe to ST, here's their Letter of the Month for February 2010.

Date: 21 Dec 2009
Author: Dave Cuthbert

A Complaint About The Noise

With the recent Duel in the Pool still fresh in everyone's mind, and the superb atmosphere and support from the (not too) partisan crowd I'd like to make a complaint about the noise!

You see, as a coach of a bunch of swimmers who train in line with the guidelines of LTAD (that's lots of hours, in English) I think that particular meet sets a very bad example. It was noisy! Enthusiastic swim fans turned up to watch their favourite swimmers and they shouted and cheered, bashed those noisy banger sticks together, and even set off a few air horns. It even looked like they were having fun while watching a swim meet. Honestly, how dare they!

Most meets I attend are dull and flat affairs and most people seem to prefer it that way. You're lucky if you hear more than a single parent cheering on each child in most heats. Often, I'm pretty sure I've heard an occasional pin drop. This is what swimming is supposed to be like. Quiet. Silent. Like you're in a library. I mean, after the hard working athlete has done 14+ hours training the previous week, and dived in the pool at 5am for the first of two 2 hour sessions, surely they deserve a bit of peace and quiet on race day. Give them a chance to think about what they're doing, don't bombard them with cheers and horns or the ringing of bells. Banger sticks? Please, leave them behind, you'll only distract the kids. Let the parents catch up on lost sleep.

Bah Humbug!!!

My club, thank goodness, feels differently. We believe that each and every one of our swimmers deserves the support enjoyed by Fran Halsall et al in Manchester. Whether they're in heat 1 of their first meet, or they're smashing County records makes little difference. They all get cheered through their race with as much passion and enthusiasm as we can muster - we think they deserve it.

We've organised our parents into a cheer leading troupe (they didn't take much persuading). They arrive dressed in team kit, they decorate the pool with our banners, and despite our low numbers they come fully equipped to create an atmosphere for our swimmers. They don't just wait for their own child to swim before bellowing into action, every single one of our kids gets the same support from every one of our loud and proud parents no matter where they finish. And yes, the swimmers can hear it while they race; and yes, they love the support and perform out of their skins as a result!

We often get complaints about the noise, which is usually followed by complete silence and the death of any kind of atmosphere (which is why we organised it in the first place). So please consider this letter to be a very serious complaint about the lack of noise. A call to arms for swim fans up and down the country. Get behind your teams. Cheer your swimmers. Generate an exciting atmosphere every weekend and discover how much fun it can be.

It's up to you. Mobilise your club's parents. It's great for team building - parents actually start talking to each other. It's awesome for morale - we always go home smiling after an exhausting weekend meet. And it brings the whole team much closer together as everyone quickly learns of the personal goals and battles for each athlete and shares in their success.

In short: become swimming fans and have a party in the stands. Don't sit around bored with a book in your hands.

Happy new year