07 October 2021
I will be settling into university in a couple of days, but before I leave, I really want to thank the Camden Swiss Cottage Swimming Club and everyone in the club who helped me grow as a person.
In September 2012, I failed the swim trial to the Bronze Squad (I was told my breaststroke was non-existent!) and joined Stage 8 for six months. I started to love swimming when I joined Bronze Squad coached by Michelle and Neil. Amir Castronovo and I are nostalgic about those sessions and the competitions during that time, as we shared so many great memories (and shared a room so many times!). I went to every camp out of the country that the club organised, with my first international competition in Liege. It was so much fun with Michelle driving a minibus (don't forget your passport!). I also have incredible memories of Arena League competitions that included the many bus trips with friends. Swim galas let us travel around the UK: Bath, Stockport, Portsmouth, Glasgow (10 hours by train in a crazy journey with the McEver’s and Donatas).
Joining Performance Gold was a huge step forward with immense pride. I was privileged to swim along inspiring swimmers such as Alex Borisov, Jackson Olin, and Anna Ntountounaki. I learnt so much from swimming including getting up early, dealing with disappointment, and always working hard. Our closest friends were initially met around the pool at Swiss Cottage (the McEver’s, the Pelling’s, the Driscoll’s, the Giovannoni’s, Faissola/Wright, He, Castronovo, O'Connell, Biss (the list is too long!). My childhood memories are embedded with swimming vacations in Mallorca, swim galas, camps, and Arena League competition.
I love swimming and I know I will continue to swim at university and beyond. I will probably swim with former Camden swimmers such as Clementine Butler-Brown and Gabriel Duval. I would have loved to swim again with Alex Lezard and Segev Gonen Cohen, two Camden role models in terms of balancing swimming and academics, but they have already graduated. I feel a bit sad to turn the page with Camden Swiss Cottage. This club means so much to my family and me. Thank you all so much for everything you did: pushing me, scolding me when needed, helping my mother when she was lost with competition entries or hotel bookings, and AJ's beautiful photos. Camden Swiss Cottage is more than a swimming club, it has been my family and friends for the past 9 years. I won’t forget you and I will do my best to visit and swim again with the club when I am back home.
Many many thanks,
PS: The first photo was taken during my first ever Arena League competition and the second when Camden won the M11 in 2015. Club events always had a special place in my heart. Along those, are 2 more recent photos that Adam will recognise from my time in Performance Gold.