The Olympic Trials (as they’re more commonly known) is the pinnacle of domestic swimming and the highlight of many swimming careers. However, the national showcase event this year will be completely alien, compared with ‘normal’ years. Over the last 13 months swimmers have had to contend with the global Coronavirus pandemic, resulting in unwanted breaks from the pool, interruptions in training and an obscure government decision to prevent over 18s to train with their clubs in controlled environments, but can train with complete strangers in public sessions.
The two representatives from Richmond Dales, Thomas Flower and Faye Rogers are a product of 10+ years of consistency, grit, hard work, application, and enjoyment. As well as being representatives of Richmond Dales, they are also representatives and products of the Northumberland & Durham County. Both swimmers are two of only a handful of swimmers from N&D that have decided to and been accepted to compete at this years’ Olympic Trials.
Back in February and March when I sat down (via Zoom, of course) with Thom and Faye, I had absolutely no idea what they would decide to do, what they wanted to and whether it was even feasible for them to compete (given at that point, we didn’t have a date to return to pool). We removed early-on potential fitness out of the conversations, and we focused purely on the opportunity the event presented them with. We talked about the unique situation of a covid impacted Olympic Trials and as much as performing best times and making finals was the absolute ideal, the conversation became more about accountability and challenge for these young adults.
In an ideal world, there would have been no covid, and the swimmers would have trained consistently in the 13 months that preceded Trials. However, we all know that nothing is ever ideal, and (in particular) high-performance sport, preparation is never, perfect!
Thom and Faye understand that best times are unlikely; but they go with their best intention to commit, learn and probably most importantly, enjoy the opportunity they have been given. Over the past two-and-a-bit weeks they have been training in open air pools in London, with only this week, being allowed back into an indoor facility!
Competing in this adapted and rigid format will better shape them as maturing athletes and adults, and it gives them the opportunity to always be able to say they raced at the Covid Olympic Trials, and gave everything they could.
From everyone at Richmond Dales, we wish Thomas and Faye the best of luck!
Friday 16th April (from 10am) – Faye, 200m Butterfly and Thomas, 100m Freestyle
Sunday 18th April (from 10am) – Thomas, 200m Freestyle
The club would like to wish our ‘Elite’ swimmers Thom Flower and Faye Rogers the best of luck when they attend the British Swimming Selection Trails on the 14th-18th April at the iconic London Aquatic Centre at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
They have shown great determination, strength and dedication with their training to get this far. It really goes to show, especially our younger swimmers, how far you can go as a member of RDASC.
What a tremendous achievement in achieving our Crowdfunding target. £23,725 is a truly amazing amount to raise, especially in these times of financial uncertainty. Whether you have donated, pledged, sponsored or been involved with working on the Crowdfunding campaign I thank you. Reaching the target epitomises everything that is special with our club, how we all work and come together when the need arises. It is through your pure determination and willingness to fight for the cause that we can now look forward to the club having a future.
The reach of the club goes further than just its membership and I would like to give special thanks to others that have played their part in helping us to achieve our goal. The many family members of swimmers, the local businesses, local media, former swimmers and Olympians and friends of the club who have given time and contributed in some way to making our target become a reality.
As we move towards coming out of lockdown and hopefully return to some sort of normality, let us look forward to a bright future and build on the success of the Crowdfunding campaign.
I cannot sign-off without giving my thanks to Keith and Zoe. If proof was ever needed as to how much the club means to someone, what better way to show it than by jumping out of an aeroplane! I am sure if anyone would like to sponsor them who hasn’t already done so, they would be delighted to hear from you.
I am immensely proud of what we have achieved, thank you all again for everything you have done to make this happen.
The club would like to give its congratulations to our Olympic and Paralympic Trials qualifiers Thomas Flower, Faye Rogers and Joe Field.
These major championships only happen every four years and are the pinnacle of the domestic swimming calendar in Great Britain; to have three swimmers representing Richmond Dales is a testament to the work, effort and commitment these swimmers have put in over years of development.
At present, the Championships may or may not happen; however, as a club we want to celebrate the outstanding achievements of these swimmers and wish them the best of luck.
To see what swimming, Richmond Dales, qualifying for Olympic/Paralympic Trials means to them, and how their lockdown training is going – use the links below: