Club Championships is the annual event held by the UWCSEA swim team, it’s an small early season meet meant to increase team moral and to give an indication of the upcoming meets. The meet is held over 3 days, Wednesday morning (19/09), Friday afternoon (21/09), and Saturday (22/09), this makes it unique as it’s built around the school day. Another large aspect of club championships is that all the senior swimmers have to swim all 15 olympic events (not including 1500 free): 400 freestyle, 200 & 400 IM, and all stroke 50s, 100s & 200s. All these races in quick succession with the addition of the school day make this meet one of the most physically demanding.
For me, this is my 7th club championships held at school. Admittedly, compared to previous years, I didn’t swim as fast as normal, especially considering last year I was third on the podium. If we look at my goals I was definitely not where I wanted to be, being well off my target times. This could come down to many factors, such as motivation or training fatigue. We didn’t slow down as a team for this meet and it was commonly regarded as “a training session”. In addition the meet is based around the school day (before or after school), this is a challenge as I needed to manage my energy throughout the day, making sure I also completed any school work and got enough sleep. This further enforces it was less about times and more about effort. Even here I struggled (to put in the effort). As the year progresses, I’ll have increased motivation to race as the pressure of the sport increases. Despite not trying as hard in the race in no means shows lack of effort or commitment to the sport overall.
As well as racing, I was cheering and being supportive to newer kids who may not of known what to do. But my largest contribution was my commitment towards taking, editing and uploading photos of the meet. Over the course of the 3 days I took a total of more than 1500 photos, I then individually shifted through and edited each one. Despite, having experience editing photos, the sheer amount of photos I edited in such a short amount of time was definitely one of the biggest challenges. Against the odds I managed to upload them all on Flickr the very next day. While editing I learned a lot of new things that will come in handy later on in the year when I have to edit photos in larger bulk, this includes both technical tips such as splitting the photos up before upload, as well as mental tips like taking breaks in between large groups of photos.
Overall, while the swimming may of not been what I was originally planned, I achieved many of the CAS learning outcomes in addition to having fun and practicing other skills, such as photography. Besides, the main objective of club champs is not necessarily to swim the best times, but to race fast for fun in a stress-free environment. It’s a chance for younger swimmers to look at the older swimmers as role models, and for the older swimmers to help the younger swimmers find motive in a very challenging sport.
Questions Answered in passage regarding CAS Learning Outcomes:
- Did I achieve my goals? Why/Why not?
- How valuable was this activity to me and to others?
- How am I progressing towards achieving my goals?
- What am I learning about myself by being involved in this activity?
- What previous experience have I had with an activity like this?
- What am I good at? What are my strengths?
- How has my involvement in this activity made me aware of my strengths and areas for growth?
- Have I improved and in what areas? How do I know?
- Why have I struggled in some areas?
- What was it about this activity that I found challenging/difficult?
- Were there challenges that I could not overcome? Why/why not?
- How will approach a challenge like this in the future?
- What new skills have I developed in this activity?
- How can I use the skills I developed in this activity in other areas of my life?
- How did I show perseverance/resilience/commitment in this activity?
- How did I maintain my motivation for this activity?
- How did I help others or how did others help me to stay committed to this activity?
- What impact did my commitment or lack thereof have on the success of the activity?
- What things affected my commitment levels, ability to persevere or my resolve?