Busselton Jetty Swim 2022

I had one job to do, just one job and I blew it

I made it through the crowds of fit men, women, children and others all in their various coloured caps going to their marshalling points. I found our group and as they sang the national anthem, I took a couple of photos of our group of swimmers Sue was in a silver hat, Steve in Green, Mark (aircon) in Siver, Mark (cycle mishap) in Green, Kendal and Kerry in yellow, Will, pretty in pink, Dom (not sure of cap colour) and the group, I was to help Andy, Max and Selwyn in white caps.

 Soon after we saw wave after wave of swimmers going out to do their bit and me doing my bit carrying their bags around the jetty. Andy was our starting swimmer and we followed him as he strode into the water as we strode the jetty following Andy’s progress. We cheered him giving him more encouragement as we knew that the easterly was going to play havoc with his breathing. Andy was doing well as we turned to watch the contest for the leading swimmer and we saw two swimmers going very fast and the race commentator announced that a race record was possible as Kyle Lee surged toward the line. Andy meanwhile having made it past the halfway stage was now in trouble and my last sighting of him was when he was doing backstroke at the back of the pack. We had had to avoid a lot of people on the jetty but we were soon at the first changeover point where we found Max very keen to get going. Max and Selwyn went back looking for Andy while I kept the bags safe watching the change over area hoping to see him.

Selwyn and Max arrived and with the news that Andy had withdrawn with the team disqualified. Max and Selwyn decided to press on receiving permission to continue and complete the race. With Max’s gear in my bags, he jumped in then promptly laid-back smiling. When Selwyn noticed this, he gave Max the charge “start swimming” but Max as only max can do simply said “I’m having a pee” before turning and racing for the end of the jetty and Selwyn and I swapped to the other side where the last swimmers will change and waited for Max to arrive.

 Part of my duties were taken off me when Andy came on to the jetty, we gave him hugs all round as he explained he could not get his breathing right so having to withdraw. Andy went off to the finishing line with the two bags I had been caring for Andy and Steve. Selwyn had his blue bag and I would take it to the finish line once he had swapped with Max.

We did enjoy the sights as by this time all the caps had mingled together and in the clear blue sea, we could see all the various types of strokes that had me thinking that a video of this would be an excellent tool for the coaches.

 Selwyn was getting edgy as the white four-person relay teams started to come into the change area. So, for whatever reason I thought it a good idea to walk up and see where Max was then going back and tell Selwyn to get ready as he was on his way. I did see some great sights where I think it was a non-sighted man going stroke for stroke with another man who seemed oblivious to the close contact he was receiving; another was where I thought a rescue was in progress but I believe it was an NDIS person in a face mask being helped along by two lady angels to achieve their goal. Not having seen Max, I hurried back and to my utter amazement neither Max or Selwyn was anywhere to be seen.

 I gave a quick look around but saw nothing so wrongly assumed that Max had the bag. Not so as after racing to the finishing line and seeing both Max and Selwyn coming out of the water I thought “Bugger” and another “Bugger” as Selwyn said “did you pick up my Blue Bag?” I said “No but I will go and get it” I did curse myself for quite a while but once on the jetty and still seeing swimmers having a go, some off course but still swimming having a go I thought its ok just get the bag back. I asked every official coming of the jetty and yes, they had seen it. It was close to the last change over when the official handed over the blue bag. I was happy again as I could hand over Selwyn’s bag to him. I relaxed on the way back hearing Selwyn’s phone going off in his bag. Soon I saw Sue, Selwyn’s wife coming toward me also looking for same blue bag. Sue had done well taking just fifty-five minutes to swim round the jetty. We met the crew at the end of the jetty so Sue returned the bag to Selwyn.

We met the others and Max was the star turn as he told the story of the changeover. While I was away heading to the end of the jetty Max had arrived at the landing and had asked in a very audible voice “Is this stage three relay point: “Yes “the officials said and max said “Where’s Selwyn” “Who is Selwyn” “He’s my swimmer” so then the crowd erupted “where’s Selwyn “and repeated it until Selwyn looked down saw Max and started to get ready. By the time Selwyn was ready Max had decided that he had waited long enough and continued on to the finish line. Selwyn now down on the landing looking the part six foot of rippling muscle said “Where’s Max” and the crowd erupts again “Where’s Max” the officials then say “he’s Gone” so Selwyn jumped in to catch Max and catch him he did at the finish line.

 It was a great tale told by Max yet we did have other stories. Mark (cycle mishap) disappointed with a 1.05 when he wanted 1.01 and now needed a coach to cure his stroke, Will coming in in 1.31 having to give bragging rights to granddaughter Julia, a fine Trigg Island swimmer who swam it in 1.24. Steve the banquet king was happy with his 1.07 and his radar arms that kept him on course all the way. Kendal and Kerry happy with their Jetty to shore swims. Sue our star turn with 55 minutes as well as Mark (aircon) in 55 mins. Dom, a smidge over the hour. Max happy doing three legs and proud of it, Andy pleased to have taken part but will be happy with the Saturday sessions and Selwyn great performance on the last leg showing great trust in the back up crew to bring his bag back to shore.

And to this volunteer who is in awe of everyone who took part in the swim a great thank you for allowing me on board even after I failed at the one job I had been given


Kyle Lee winner in 39.24.2 beating Kaiden Richings 40.27 – new record

Laura Shryock first female 43.21

85 plus male Ron Edwards 1.17.54

80-84   male Leslie Worth 1.25.28

Ian doing his 27th swim in 1hr 15m – legend in our midst !!

Newman Churchlands Carnival Write Up – March ’22

As a coach it’s always great when 10 swimmers enter a meet and all turn up. It’s even better when all 10 swimmers have a great time at the meet. And when they all swim brilliantly too.

As I mentioned on WhatsApp, we came third out of 21 clubs which was doubly great as we had fewer entered than a number of those clubs including one that Trevor and I have swum for.

There were a lot of highlights. Tim Quintal’s 50m Freestyle time of 27.19 was probably the fastest time someone has swum for the club for some time. Everyone swam something memorable, meaning this write up could go on for some length. Results are up on the Masters Portal and there are plenty of videos of our swims. And thanks to all the family members who turned up to watch and cheer, and those who got roped into time keeping!

But a mention must go to our women’s relay team. Trevor reckons it’s the best club relay at an interclub that he’s seen. The team of Tessa, Kendal, Sarah and Gabriella beat two teams home to take first place in great style.

There are 2 meets coming up. On 27 March, you can swim 3 out of the four 50m swims plus a relay at Fremantle Pool, and the State Championships are the weekend after that. The program for the States should be out later this week. See me with any questions about either of these meets.

Graham  21 Feb 2022

President’s Ponderings – March ’22

A warm welcome to everyone, to our latest newsletter of the Club.

As we near the end of the summer season and head towards some cooler weather (hopefully !), we can reflect on what has been a busy and fruitful last few months.

Our Tuesday and Thursday evening sessions have seen record numbers of members and trialists, swimming the programmes. Upwards of 24 swimmers on most sessions, and it is heartening to see the increased interest and participation. At times, it has been a bit too busy in the lanes, with us only having access to 3 lanes. We have pushed, applied, cajoled, etc. for us to get a 4th lane to use in our sessions, but this has not been approved, due to lack of pool space for other patrons. So, we continue to make do with the allotted 3 lanes that we have. This situation should improve in future when we move back into a new pool at TTAC. (more on that later.)

We had a good contingent of swimmers that headed down to Busselton to tackle the jetty swim, and there is an amusing article on this event further on, penned by John, who volunteered to help out some of our swimmers, on the day. Mostly good results on the day, apart from yours truly who has copped a bit of flack from a younger member of the family – well deserved flack !!

We are seeing some more of our swimmers having a go at the carnival events, which is very pleasing to see. Thanks to Graham and Trevor for organising our swimmers for these events. And special congratulations to our team of 10 swimmers who competed at the Newman Churchlands carnival. Some great results, and there is a small write up on this later in the newsletter.

Of course, we must mention our members, who tackled the Rotto Channel swim this year. What an amazing effort, and all those hours and laps of training that you all put in, is awe inspiring and somewhat mind boggling. Congrats to those that made it, and you all continue to inspire us.

Over the last few months, Covid has certainly made its presence felt around our community. Fortunately, the restrictions, etc have not really adversely affected our swimming community at the pool that much. But it is in the broader community now, and we must all get used to taking whatever sensible precautions we can, based on the ongoing advice.

However, we have seen some event cancellations recently due to the Covid situation, most notably the Coogee Jetty to Jetty swim and the Port to Pub channel crossing. Commiserations to those of our swimmers affected by those cancellations. Hopefully a reset of the goals is possible, and hopefully, future events will not be affected – glass half full !!

Everybody will be aware of the pool refurbishment process that is presently underway at TTAC. The latest information that we have (not guaranteed at this stage) is that the indoor pool will be finished in the first week of April. This then will take a few weeks of pool filling, and linking through the filtration system etc. So, it may be functional near the end of April.

The start of refurbishment of the outdoor pool is slated for the 1st or 2nd week of June, and that process should take approx 12 months.

Some time ago, and in anticipation of the above, the Club has organised for lane hire (3 lanes) at Bayswater Waves pool. This is due to start from Tuesday 3rd May, and at this stage, subject to any major changes of the above refurb timelines at TTAC, we will be taking up these lane bookings. Same days and time slots as we currently have, with our normal programme of coaching, etc.

Once the refurb at TTAC is complete, then we will look at a return to TTAC, and hopefully with a 4th lane available to us. – glass half full !!

I would like to end off by wishing all our members, good health and everything of the best during these uncertain times. What is certain is that we will be at the pool continuing with our sessions for everyone, for as long as we are able to, and we encourage you all to keep active, keep mentally charged, and do it with a great group of people such as we have within our club.

And also, I extend mine and everybody’s thanks to our coaches who continue to front up and do a wonderful job for all our swimmers.

Keep well and keep filling that half a glass !


Coaches Corner – July 21

Winter swimming – why we do it

At this time every year, most of the coaches I know issue statements encouraging their swimmers to keep swimming during what we in Perth hilariously call “the cold months”. Let me tell you about cold.

Anyway, why should we keep turning up at night to training sessions? I believe the following interactions which I understand have taken place should explain:

Work colleague: Did you watch Master Older Sibling House Removal last night?

You: No, I was swimming in an outdoor pool at that time to maintain my fitness.

Work colleague: I am impressed. Can you please give me the details so that I too can involve myself in this rational act?


Spouse: It’s less than 10 degrees outside. Can you please assist me with the ironing / cleaning /homework supervision?

You: I appreciate our sharing of chores but I have to get to the pool to swim in order to maintain my fitness and good looks.

Spouse: I understand. I will do all these things while you are there and then shower you with rewards when you return.

You: So long as it’s a hot shower.

And then we tell you about the health benefits of swimming through winter, keeping active all year round. It’s great that numbers are staying reasonably high. But there’s always room for more. The coaches are targeting certain technical issues this winter, particularly core strength, full stroke extension and efficient kick. We are also talking about competitions, both within the club and in the broader Masters state program. If you have interest in this, please ask or start a conversation.


President’s Ponderings – July 21

Welcome to this Autumn / Winterish edition of the club newsletter.

Since our last edition, we have come through the end of the summer swim season, into the cooler months, and after a successful swim season for many of our members, we now enter into more of a maintenance period with the club sessions.

As Graham has emphasised, this is a good time to keep the sessions ticking along and keep active, whilst there is a bit more concentration on technique, and less emphasis on endurance fitness, etc.

Nonetheless, there are some swim events still occurring during this time for those that may be interested in competing. Some details of these appear in this newsletter.

And whilst it is easy to settle back in Winter time to a less strenuous routine (i.e. blobbing about!), the benefits of keeping active on a regular basis during the colder months, are multiple. Also the social interaction does wonders for keeping the Winter blues at bay – lots of motivation is around us, within the group. So, we would encourage as many of you as possible, to keep up the exercise routine in the coming months. A bit of colder environment is good for your conditioning and can make you more resilient to Winter sniffles and colds.

We held the club’s AGM on 13th April, which was well attended, helped in part by also having a club night on the same night. There are links included in this newsletter to provide more information from this meeting, which you are welcome to explore.

The club’s committee has remained the same as per the previous year, and I would like to thank all committee members for your work and assistance as provided to the club, as well as thanking all the coaches for their work for the club and the members.

That’s it from me – short and possibly sweet !


Club AGM news

President’s report

The 2020 year was an interesting and busy year for the club, to report on. In the interest of brevity, I will just highlight and briefly note how 2020 unfolded:

– The year started off with operations as normal.

– March / April saw Covid affecting everyone, and normal life was very much upended.

– We had closures of the pool during the months of April and May.

– During this time, we were able to keep the communications going fairly well with our members, and also provide some dryland routines for our members to try. These seem to have been well received by some of our membership, and thanks to Graham for providing this.

– A welcome return to pool time in June, but with numerous restrictions, etc. There was quite a bit of time required to navigate ever changing Covid plans, etc, but in the end, our club was able to maintain our ability to get back to swimming in our normal lanes at our normal session times.

– And our members came back to swimming in force, which was a relief, and very pleasing to see.

– During the year, we have bolstered our presence on social media, with Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, and an improved web page. And our newsletter offering has improved as well. I think this has contributed quite significantly to the increased interest in our club and it is thanks to Dom for helping with this aspect.

– In October, we participated in the Come and Try Day that was organised by MSWA, and we conducted a session at TTAC on a Saturday afternoon. A promising concept, but it did not prove to be a roaring success for our club.

– Lines of communication with the City of Stirling were improved during the year, but this is a work in progress – a few offers of assistance by COS are still in the pipeline!

– However, we were able to receive a 50% reduction to our lane hire charges for the first 3 months of 2021, and this has been of assistance to our club.

– We have also trialled the hiring of a 4th lane (due to increasing numbers of people swimming). This was for the months of March and April, 2021. However, due to only being able to use it from 7.00pm, this has been of limited use. We will be attempting to hire the lane for our full session times, starting again in November onwards.

– It is wonderful to see the renewed and increased interest in our club, with the resultant increase in our membership. There is a good vibe around our club, and it is great to see people enjoying their swimming and having some fun along the way. That is what it is all about.

– And during the year, and going into the 2021 year, we have had the pleasure of witnessing numerous great achievements by quite a few of our swimmers. These include Rottnest crossings solo and teams, Port to Pub crossings, solo and teams, many open water swim events being participated in, a good representation in the Busso Jetty swim (RIP The Goose).

And we have even seen club representation in a couple of club carnivals, with our swimmers achieving great results. It is great to see this participation, and congratulations to all involved.

– And I want to pass a special thanks on to our coaches, who give great service to our club, all in a voluntary capacity. Your efforts are greatly appreciated, and I think that having our coaches on deck during weekday sessions, with lots of swimmers in the lane, has greatly contributed to the renewed interest from the public. And thanks to Graham for his assistance to our coaches.

As we move through 2021, we see our club in a growth phase, with a great cohort of members. We have a committed committee to help keep things going well, and we are financially stable. I think all of this augurs well for a bright future for our club. Best wishes to everyone, and keep swimming.


– The audited financial report was tabled for member’s perusal

– The club’s bank balance at 31 st December 2020 was $6,687.65 an increase of $1,929.41 over previous years balance.

– Membership numbers as at 31 st December 2020 was 33 members which remained the same as previous year. Membership for the 2021 season has increased to 46, which is a pleasing note

– During 2020 lane hire charges remained at $14 per hour. Lane hire is, and will continue to be our biggest cost for the club.

– Total Memberships for year was $6,013 less payments totalling $3,007 (50%) to Masters Swimming WA and Masters Swimming Australia.

– The increase of $1,929.41 in our bank balance was helped by generous donation from some of our members as well as proceeds from Club Nights, Sale of Swimming Caps.

– Looking to the future the club is in a growth phase, with increasing membership and financially stable, with sufficient funding.


Committee Positions were filled as follows: –

President – Will Suffell

Vice President – Max Bennett 

Secretary – Steve Warren

Treasurer – Joanna Stoddart 

Coach – Graham Senders 

Recorder – Hanna Burbidge

Publicity Officer- Domenic Crouch

Committee Member – Trevor Wainstein


The club annual fees for 2021 have been set at $155.00 (for Sunday swim only) and $185.00 for weekday swims.

Moved that the ratification of fees be accepted – Steve Warren Seconded Jill Berinson

Coaches Corner – March 2021

Where are we in the training cycle?

For those not used to my coaching approach, I run various cycles throughout the season. You may choose not to notice any changes, and that is fine.

We have just finished an endurance block aimed at having swimmers fit to swim to Rottnest and we are starting on a technical block. Sessions will have longer rest times, do slightly shorter sessions, and coaches will be concentrating more on “getting your stroke right”.

We will also be working on translating your good style into better fast swimming. We are using the dates of the Masters State Championships as our aim. If you want to swim in the States, great, this will help you. For those who don’t want to enter, this will still be a chance to learn this new skill.

And during the next few months, I will be running a few dedicated clinics. Here is the first one:

Steps to Butterfly clinic

Our training session on Tuesday, 9 March will be my long promised Steps to Butterfly clinic. Don’t worry, there will be a training program for non-participants.

What is it?

I have an easy progression for swimmers of all abilities to learn to swim butterfly stroke the easy way. Seriously. Try it. It assumes no prior ability. I have run this clinic a number of times, most recently at Claremont Masters where the novices outperformed those who thought they knew how.

What’s in it for me?

Although the clinic concentrates on dolphin kick and butterfly arms (eventually) the skills will help you improve and strengthen your freestyle and backstroke.

Is it for me?

All you need to be able to do is swim 25m with fins on. So, yes it is for you.

Melville Masters Carnival on Sunday, March 14

If you are thinking of entering this carnival please tell me so I can tell you why you should enter. I will also tell you how to enter, and I’m happy to suggest entry times. When you race in Masters you are seeded against swimmers who have entered the same time as you, and the atmosphere is always positive. Entries close on March 7, so you have a week to talk yourself into swimming in it.

Indications are that we will have at least one relay team, and that is always fun. More swimmers means more relays!

The pool at Melville is an indoor 50m pool with plenty of space and a high roof. And they always have a great lunch feed afterwards which is included in the entry cost. So if you are thinking of it, have a look at the flyer.


President’s Ponderings – March 2021

Welcome everybody to this February, 2021 newsletter. We hope that we find everyone being fit and well, and enjoying getting stuck into the new year.

And it is a new year to look forward to, after what was a difficult and challenging 2020, all around.

But it is pleasing to report that we find our club progressing very well in the last 6 months or so – our membership is on the increase, there are record levels of interest being shown in the club, and we seem to have come through the difficulties very well. And this sort of sentiment seems to be present in many of the other Masters swimming clubs out there, as well as many other sporting and activity based organisations. This is pleasing to see, and can only be of benefit to the increasing numbers of people that are participating.

Thankfully, we managed to get through the most recent lockdown relatively unscathed. The pool was closed for a week, but hopefully it did not affect our swimmers training regimes too badly. However, having to wear masks during that time was somewhat a pain. But we are over that now, and we embrace the return to more normal times.

And our swimmers are keeping busy as well.

We had Sue, Karla and Mark all competing in the Rotto Channel swim on 20th February. And Dom was paddling for Sue. Also, James and Max entered the duo swim. Everybody completed the crossing, which I am advised was done in very tough conditions this year, so a big congratulations to you all. You are an inspiration to the rest of us and the Club is proud of you.

We still have some of our members training for the Port to Pub swim in March, so, good luck to you all, and keep swimming.

The Busso Jetty swim was held on 14 February. Our contingent was a bit reduced this year, due to difficulties with the registration process and the huge number of entrants to the event. But we still had good numbers competing, despite having to negotiate border closures, just prior to the event. The conditions on the day were very good, and from talking to most of our swimmers afterwards, they all posted very acceptable times and were pleased with their swims – with the possible exception of yours truly, who spent a long time out there and got good value for the money! Well done to all that managed to compete and swim.

And there is always a good contingent of our members doing most of the swim thru ocean swims that are on during this time of the year. Thanks to you all for your participation, and good luck with the remaining events.

We also have had a couple of our members, competing in the Newman Churchlands inter club carnival over the last weekend. It is good to see, and one of our members (Tessa) managed to give a rival club swimmer a bit of a run for her money. We would recommend that more of our members give future carnivals a go. They are fun events. There is competition involved, but you are essentially swimming against people who have similar swimming ability or speed as yourself. It is a good test, but without the stress of full on competition.

So, as you can see, there is quite a bit going on with our swimmers currently – keep up the great work, and enjoy the moment.

And we must also mention those of our members who might not be participating in any of the abovementioned events, but still attend the training sessions and get on with achieving their fitness and swimming goals – well done to you all. You are the backbone of the club, and without you, the club would be a much poorer place.

And a big thank you to our coaches, for your consistent help in running the programmes and helping our swimmers, where possible. You are doing an awesome job, and all on a voluntary basis as well. Thank you.

We welcome numerous new members in to our club (listed later in the newsletter) and we are very pleased to have you all on board, and hope you get lots of enjoyment, and are able to achieve your fitness / swimming goals with the club.

And our newest potential future member arrived in the world a few weeks ago – Nicole and Domenic announced the birth of April. Congratulations to you both, and best wishes for April – we have a spot picked out for you already !

That’s about it from me.

Keep well everybody.

Keep swimming.

See you poolside.


Club Subscriptions are open and due !!

Would all members, and would be members, please note that as of Tuesday 1st December, club membership subscriptions are open and ready for payment.

We would encourage everybody to get on to the site (as shown below) and either renew your membership for the 12 months ended 31st December, 2021, or else become paid up members, for the next year.

As a reminder, the annual fees are $185.00 for full membership, or for those people who only swim on a Sunday, it is $155.00. These fees are the same as the previous year.

And also as a reminder, the major portion of these fees (after deducting State and National fees from them) go towards covering the cost of lane hire for the club.

Membership subs are processed online and the link to follow for subscriptions is:


And if anybody needs help with how to subscribe, please see below.

Membership Renewal Instructions

If you are renewing your membership of your Masters Swimming Club, it is very easy! Membership/registration and fee payment (using your credit card) is completed online via the Masters Swimming WA website. Just follow the instructions below:

1. Go to https://memberdesq.sportstg.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=main&OrgID=3397

 2. Click on the front page icon labelled Portals – Membership

3. This will take you to a new page – click on the photo labelled Re-Registration

4. Enter your username and password

.User name : firstnamesurname  e.g. joebloggs

Password : surnamefirstname  e.g. bloggsjoe

(if you have forgotten them, you can click on the ‘Username & Password’ button on the left, to retrieve them – you will need to enter your email address).

5. Once you have logged in, click on the ‘Registration Renewal’ button at the top of the page.

6. You then choose the subscription that you are paying for. Then click NEXT

7. Read the Masters Swimming declaration, check the  two tick boxes to indicate you agree and then click on NEXT.

8. Check your personal information on this page. Details marked with a red diamond are required (mandatory) information. Note that for ‘First Name’, you should enter the name by which you are generally known (ie. your preferred given name). Eg. if your name is William John Smith and you are known as Bill Smith, you should enter Bill as ‘First Name’. Similarly, if you are known as John Smith, you should enter John as ‘First Name’. Ignore the ‘Initial’ box. Once finished, click on NEXT

9. The next page will show an offer to purchase an MSA swim cap. You can add this to your cart, or else just click NEXT

10. Click on Submit Application & Pay Online

11. Click NEXT after seeing Amount Payable and then click PAY NOW on next page.

12. You now need to enter your credit/debit card information (Visa or Mastercard) (or PayPal) so that payment of your membership fee can be made. The screen indicates how much will be charged to your card. After entering the information, click on SUBMIT PAYMENT

13. You will now receive a receipt for your payment  through your email.

14. You can Logoff from the site by clicking LOGOFF on the blue strip above

New Membership Instructions

If you have decided you would like to become a member of a Masters Swimming Club, it is very easy! There is no need to complete a paper membership application form. Membership/registration and fee payment (using your credit card) is completed online for your chosen Club via the Masters Swimming WA website. Just follow the instructions below:

1. Go to https://memberdesq.sportstg.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=main&OrgID=3397

 2. Click on the front page icon labelled Portals – Membership

3. This will take you to a new page – click on the photo labelled New Registration

4. Select the State (WA) from the pull down box and then select our club (Inglewood Masters Swimming Club) from the other drop-down list, then click on NEXT

5. Click on the dot next to the membership type you want, then click on NEXT

6. Read the Masters Swimming declaration, check the two boxes to indicate you agree then click on NEXT

7. Complete the personal information page. Details marked with a red diamond are required (mandatory) information. Note that for ‘First Name’, you should enter the name by which you are generally known (ie. your preferred given name). Eg. if your name is William John Smith and you are known as Bill Smith, you should enter Bill as ‘First Name’. Similarly, if you are known as John Smith, you should enter John as ‘First Name’. Ignore the ‘Initial’ box. Once you have filled out your information, click on NEXT

8. The next page will show an offer to purchase an MSA swim cap. You can add this to your cart, or else just click NEXT

9. Click on Submit Application & Pay Online

10. Click NEXT after seeing Amount Payable and then click PAY NOW on next page.

11. You now need to enter your credit/debit card information (Visa or Mastercard) (or PayPal) so that payment of your membership fee can be made. The screen indicates how much will be charged to your card. After entering the information, click on SUBMIT PAYMENT

12. You will now receive a receipt for your payment  through your email.

13. You can Logoff from the site by clicking LOGOFF on the blue strip above

Elbow your way to a better stroke

Copy of an article from Elena at eSwim

Elbows have leapt into the spotlight of late, what the demise of the handshake and the rise of the elbow bump.  We’re encouraged to press the button for the pedestrian crossing with our elbow, and sneeze into the crook of our elbow, so while it might be de rigueur to champion the elbow, I’d like to suggest that swimmers have been well aware of this jolly joint for quite some time.

We talk about the high elbow catch, an elbow led recovery, about medial rotation of the elbow and catching the water with the inside of the elbow, but what exactly does this all mean and why is this funny (or not so funny if you hit it) joint so important to successful swimming?

The elbow plays a very significant role in all of the strokes and correct positioning will ensure good engagement of your lats, assist in keeping the shoulder neutral and deliver better streamline, hand entry position and power.  So, let’s talk elbows!

In simple terms, the elbow is a break in the arm lever and can greatly assist in reducing loading on the shoulder joint if we position it correctly.  The most important thing to remember is that your elbow should stay high pretty much at all times throughout the stroke and this is true for ALL strokes.  By keeping the elbow high you are maintaining space in the armpit which, in turn, allows you to maintain engagement of your lats and prevents shoulder hitching and overuse of your upper traps – the muscles along the tops of your shoulders. The upper traps are total bastards and once they get tight from overuse you’ll know about it……headaches, stiff neck, migraines etc etc.

If we maintain distance between the elbow and the side of the body rather than allowing the armpit to collapse and the elbow to squeeze into the rib cage, we maintain a greater catch on the water and therefore set up greater propulsive potential.  While the elbow will eventually finish up close to the rib cage in all four competitive strokes (free, fly, back and breast) , the longer we can maintain elbow height the more likely we are to work with the water rather than fight it.

In freestyle, the elbow should largely remain static in the initial part of the catch.  A small downward drop as the forearm catches the water is ok but we’re aiming for a high elbow and a rounded catch profile as this lovely swimmer below demonstrates. She is not only grabbing a big ball of water with her forearm and hand but she’s also managing the trajectory of her catch with the inside of her elbow. It is the pathway that the elbow takes through the stroke that will best determine your power and capacity for propulsion. 

If your elbow sits too low or too close to your body you will compromise the amount of power you can produce in each stroke by reducing the volume of water your are shifting.  Remember that you trying to grab a big ball of water and then use that to propel your body forward, a bit like climbing the rungs on a ladder. 

To this point we have dealt with the underwater phase but almost as important is the role of the elbow above the water.  Why almost?  Well, there are some very good swimmers who swim very fast who break the rules on this and recover with straight arms but in general, these swimmers are usually sprinters, end up needing shoulder surgery and are also working towards the Olympics.  For the rest of us mere mortals, a bent elbow recovery is the way to go.  Exiting the water at the commencement of the recovery phase should be initiated y the elbow and the progress of the recovery arm should continue to be controlled from the  elbow and upper arm until such point that the elbow can’t go any further forward.

The high elbow on recovery will assist with good hand entry angle (approximately 45 degrees), encourage extension in the right direction (forwards) and produce a less turbulent entry at that (fewer bubbles). It will set your stroke up for the next catch and ensure the least number of muscle groups are involved in the recovery process. It’s called recovery for a reason!!!

So next time you bump your funny bone and curse the existence of this joint, remember just how important it is for effective swimming and kiss it better ready for your next aquatic adventure.