End of Summer & School Swimming Carnival

Yesterday – 1st of March – was the first day of Autumn in the Australian way of doing seasons. That is to say that summer is officially over down-under. Not that you would have noticed. The past two days have probably been the best two consecutive days since New Year’s Day. Less rain at least. It has been a particularly wet “summer”.

Swimming Carnival

Today as the school swimming carnival so just like last year the school went to Drummoyne Olympic size outdoor pool. Was that a year ago? Wow! You can read about that one here… Actually, that reminds me; I need to write a book review of Shane Gould’s autobiography. I read it last Easter (ugh!)- ages ago.

Anyway, here is a light-hearted look at this year’s swimming gala… Sorry, carnival.

Covid versus Swimming

This year was different. No parents (or grandparents, whatever) were allowed in to the viewing area. Covid for crying out loud. Agh!!!! Pathetic I know. There were hundreds of kids packed under the shaded area with teachers too. Social distancing (for what it’s worth) would have been easy (despite it being impossible with the kids) for any parents, as there was plenty of space elsewhere. Ah well…

Not to be put off I went over to Drummoyne and found that several parents were pitched up at a fence overlooking the pool, almost under the main road bridge. I got there too late for the freestyle events (front crawl in old money) but I did manage to see Dani swim the backstroke and breast stroke. In the end I got to watch from a decent vantage point and had a good natter with one of the parents who had recently moved to Sydney from Bathurst.

Had the swimming lessons paid off? Well yes. Not just for Dani but for all the kids actually. Certainly all the ones who struggled a little last year had also been having lessons. One-to-one in some cases. So things were not much different this year…


He came in last in the backstroke but only just. There was very little in it really for all of the racers. In fact due to the amount of zig-zagging he did I think we could claim a moral victory. He could even claim some sort of new record as he covered almost twice the distance of some of his fellow competitors. Well done Dani hahaa…

Next was the breast stroke. Again he finished last but there was stiff competition for that spot from two other kids, each determined to seize the ‘wooden spoon’. In reality Dani came third last – or fourth out of six, which sounds better eh? The reason was that the other two slower swimmers both cheated. The second last kid did so by pulling himself along the lane dividing floats for the final 20 metres or so. I say “cheated” but actually he was probably only saving his own life. Nothing wrong with that I suppose. Basic self preservation. The third last finisher  used the freestyle leg kick to get himself to the end. Under proper rules they would have both been disqualified. But only a grumpy old dad who has just seen his boy cheated into last place would be bitter enough to raise such minor infringements eh? Don’t look at me!

That said, Dani would have finished a lot stronger if he had not spent so much time watching those other two. Still, a proud old dad then left the scene. Dani had said that he didn’t want to do the butterfly this year. He confirmed later that he hadn’t splashed out a butterfly stroke. Almost a shame. That was by far the funniest race last year.

And the one I missed…

Just before I arrived he swam the freestyle (aka front crawl in old money). He says he finished third out of eight which is quite impressive. And I believe him. His freestyle swimming really seems to have come on this year. Bloody typical I should miss it.


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