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BSC September Bulletin

Jolyon Roberts

“The price of excellence is discipline. The cost of mediocrity is disappointment.”

Welcome back everyone.  

A big thank you to Jo Wilson & Sharon McSpadden (BSC Covid Leads) and to all the Covid Liaison Officers who are assisting in working with us regarding the Government guidelines.  These are very difficult times ahead of us and it is important that we follow the rules.  Swim England are working with the DCMS for the clubs to continue with their training.

Beckenham Swimming Club President  - Donna Notaro 

I always find September a challenging month, the long lazy days of summer are over, the nights draw in earlier and all the family grapple to deal with adjusting to the routine of school and fitting in the new timetable of pre / post school activities. This year has the added complexity of dealing with all the rules of COVID and with the threat of more localised lockdowns. 

Here is a short video on how humans have a propensity to see the glass half empty (and how to stop).  I’m also sharing a post seen on LinkedIn recently, which helps to provide a little perspective on life today. Whilst in no way trying to minimise the challenges faced by all of us today, it does provide an interesting viewpoint on how those challenges evolve over time. 

Getting stuck in the negatives (and how to get unstuck)


Imagine you were born in 1900:

  • When you're 14, World War I begins and ends when you're 18 with 22 million dead;
  • Soon after a global pandemic, the Spanish Flu, appears, killing 50 million people. And you're alive and 20 years old;
  • When you're 29 you survive the global economic crisis that started with the collapse of the New York Stock Exchange, causing inflation, unemployment and famine;
  • When you're 33 years old the Nazis come to power;
  • When you're 39, World War II begins and ends when you're 45 years old with a 60 million dead. In the Holocaust 6 million Jews die;
  • When you're 52, the Korean War begins;
  • When you're 64, the Vietnam War begins and ends when you're 75.

A child born in 1985 thinks his grandparents have no idea how difficult life is, but they have survived several wars and catastrophes.

Today we have all the comforts in a new world, amid a new pandemic. But we complain because we need to wear masks. We complain because we must stay confined to our homes where we have food, electricity, running water, wifi, even Netflix! None of that existed back in the day. But humanity survived those circumstances and never lost their joy of living.

A small change in our perspective can generate miracles.  We should be thankful that we are alive.

Beckenham Swimming Club Chief Coach  - Tony Beckley

We have now completed our first two weeks back to training and it certainly feels good to be back.

The biggest challenge so far has been marshalling all our squads in and out of the pool, which has seen swimmers of all ages and squads interchanging while socially distancing.  A big thank you to all our volunteer Covid reps from all squads who have helped with this and have made things run smoothly.  Thank you also to the parents who have had to stay outside in their cars while we abide by each centres rules to have no club spectators in.  I know it’s hard but it’s helping us to keep training and help the centres with their procedures.

The swimmers have been fantastic in adapting and have taken things in their stride which has made it a lot easier to teach and coach them.

Let’s keep working together as a club and we will come out of this stronger.

Beckenham Swimming Club Treasurer  - Sharon McSpadden

Let me start with a big thank you to all those of you who have paid your annual membership fee, set up new direct debits, asked for your existing direct debits to be amended, set up new standing orders, paid October’s fees already or paid for the year’s fees upfront!   THANK YOU! Your prompt response is greatly appreciated!

There are still a few of you yet to respond to the request for payment of the annual membership fee and a number of you yet to set up direct debits or confirm you will be paying by standing order or bank transfer. As a reminder, fees are due on 1st of each month, the first instalment due on 1st October. Please do not hesitate to contact me for any further details- [email protected]

With all your cooperation, the monthly squad fee payments should work like clockwork which will reduce the amount of emails from me! Please remember, we are volunteers, and constantly having to chase for payment is firstly, very uncomfortable and secondly, very time consuming! 

On a lighter note, I hope you are all enjoying being back in the water and it has been lovely to meet some of you over the past few days.

Beckenham Swimming Club Training Secretary  -  Jo Wilson

After almost six months we are 2 weeks back into training and compared with many other swimming clubs we are most fortunate to have a substantial amount of our pool time back. 

We are still waiting for Biggin Hill pool to open. Dulwich Prep London should be available over the next couple of weeks and repairs have begun on Crystal Palace pools.

We are now able to use the changing rooms and showers at The Spa. We still need to operate the one-way system, where we enter through the glass door by the outdoor eating area and up the stairs to our allocated seating areas. All swimmers should still arrive at all venues ‘beach ready’ with their swim suits under their clothes.

During these unprecedented times we face certain restrictions that have changed what we have all been used to while training. Most of our pools do not allow parents in the spectator areas. The passing or handling of each other’s training equipment is prohibited and swimmers must put on their own swimming hats. Social distancing of two meters must be adhered to and if this is not possible a face covering should be worn.

Over the past two weeks all of our swimmers, parents/carers, and coaches have been fantastic in making sure we are adhering to the new Covid-19 measures and getting our swimmers safely back into the pool. Thank you all.

Beckenham Swimming Club Membership Secretary – Natasha Traynier

Our current swim membership stands at 248 swimmers which represents only a small drop-off from our usual baseline.  This is really positive given the current times and given the fact that we are unfortunately having to defer trials and new memberships at present (due to Covid-19 regulations and challenges).  Most of the resignations have been due to swimmers moving on to university and/or other commitments and wish them the best of luck. 

We have over 50 potential swimmers on our trial waiting list and hope to be able to offer them trials as soon as we can safely do so and look forward to seeing our membership rising. It’s great to hear from so many parents and young children interested to take their swimming to club level. 

We are always keen to hear from our current membership - if you have any news you would like to share or achievements that we can celebrate with you then please do get in touch. 

Beckenham Swimming Club Volunteers Co-ordinator – David Ziwa

On the volunteers side, I am constantly asking parents to engage with the sport via volunteer training. There are plenty of areas that the club needs help and the more volunteers we register, the easier it gets for everybody. The last five years have seen the same 10-15 parents volunteering all the time.  As we all know the nature of the sport is about progression and this results in some swimmers changing squads which inevitably impacts on the availability of parents that sign up and thus some gala’s especially the elementary Gala’s struggle to attract any volunteers.

This is the time, when lots of us are working from home that we can register to take the J1 online course so that come next year when we start racing, we have enough officials.  In the last six months we only had 1 parent that volunteered to take the course and passed the initial stage. Ideally, in the past we have had a minimum of 10 parents each year take on the course. Please may I ask that parents take time and register their names with me via email ([email protected]) so that I can guide them on how to navigate through this course.

As for the parents that had completed the 3 classroom sessions in the old officials course system please get in touch so we can arrange your qualification certification process. 

Beckenham Swimming Club Masters – John Paddington

The Masters section has made a grateful and enthusiastic return to the pool with high numbers attending both Monday and Wednesday evenings. 

Beckenham Swimming Club Water Polo – Nick Jackson

Brief update on the water polo section:

•      Impact of government restrictions announced yesterday are not as bad as first feared. U18s can continue to play proper water polo and the seniors can still train but need to keep to groups of 6.

•      We had a total of 64 players across four training sessions at Alleyns on Sunday and have received positive feedback from the school regarding the professionalism of the club and our players.

•      West Wickham is open and we should be back there on Tuesday.

•      We are charging players £8 per session at the moment, not our preferred option but necessary as we need to limit numbers and not all players will be allowed to attend all the sessions.

•      We will be presented with invoices for Alleyns and West Wickham in the coming weeks for the sessions we have back up and running.

•      We owe our members some money for prepaid fees last year and will net this off where possible but likely a number of refunds will be required.

Kent 2021 Championship Update

The 'Normal" County Championship window (weeks 2-9) will be removed from the Swimming calendar by Swim England for 2021. That means the Kent Championships for 2021, will NOT take place, at the normal time (Jan/Feb 2021).   That doesn't mean there won’t be a County Championship in 2021. They are hoping that Swim England/British Swimming, will re-locate the county championships to later in the year, potentially after regionals. As current circumstances are changing from day to day, we know 'normal competition' will not return until the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS)  sign off that it can go ahead. Swim England will fully brief the counties by way of a Zoom meeting soon and as soon as they know more they will let clubs in Kent know.  Swim England/British Swimming are trying to put in place various racing initiatives and more news of that will follow in the next few weeks.  KCASA appreciate that this is disappointing but they are entirely in the hands of not only Swim England/British Swimming, but also DCMS.

October is “Eat Better, Eat together” Month

National Eat Better, Eat Together Month during October encourages families to gather for mealtimes. When families enjoy their main meals together they tend to be more balanced food choices. Also, what better way to spend time together and share each other’s daily adventures? It’s exactly what National Eat Better, Eat Together Month suggests from October 1 to October 31!

British Swimming Recipe

Thai Massaman Curry –  Phoebe Banks (Two-time European Synchro medallist)

This is a favourite Thai curry to make at home, and it's an easy dish to add whatever vegetables you want to while keeping it tasting amazing. You could switch out the cod for chicken, or have neither and keep it vegetarian. 


•      2 cod fillets, sliced 

•      1/2 onion, diced

•      1 chilli, diced

•      100g baby corn

•      1 or 2 potatoes, cut into small chunks

•      1 red pepper, diced 

•      1 tomato, sliced

•      300ml coconut milk 

•      1 stalk lemongrass

•      1 piece of ginger

•      3 cloves of garlic, mashed

•      1 tsp turmeric

•      1 tsp coriander

•      1 tsp cumin

•      2 tbsp fish sauce

•      1/2 cup vegetable stock

•      1 tbsp brown sugar

•      Chopped cashew nuts, handful 

•      Olive oil


1.     Prepare the fish, potatoes and vegetables.

2.     Drizzle oil into a pan and then add the onion, garlic, chilli and ginger to stir fry for one minute.

3.     To the same pan, add the chicken stock and then the lemongrass, coriander, cumin, turmeric, fish sauce and sugar. Stir regularly and bring to the boil.

4.     Add the cod and potatoes, covering them in the sauce, before pouring in the coconut milk and bringing to a simmer for 25 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.

5.     Add the red pepper, baby corn and tomato and continue simmering the mixture for another 10 minutes. 

6.     Serve with fresh coriander and rice of your choice. 

#Returning to the pools  #Onwards and upwards #Beckenham Family


BSC Chair  

(BSC Bulletin September 2020)