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

 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

 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.

President’s Ponderings – November 2020

To all our members and friends – welcome to this Summer edition newsletter.

As we move into the warmer months and shake off those Winter chills and wet weather, it is now a bit more pleasurable to get down to the pool, and do a session. However, it has been interesting and pleasing to see that during the winter months, attendance at our sessions has been at an all time high. Ever since the pool reopened after the initial shutdown, there seems to be renewed interest in getting out and doing some laps. And this seems to be the case with other sports and community sessions, as well.

And now, as we move towards summer and a warmer year end, this interest is picking up. There does not seem to be a week go by without some enquiries from the public about our club, and we have been really pleased to welcome quite a few new faces to try out with the club and hopefully move through to joining up as members.

At the end of October, we held an inaugural “Come and Try day” which was open to the public. There was some interest shown by the public in this event, and subsequently, there have been 3 or 4 people who have continued trying out with the club. So, the exercise was a worthwhile one to do, and I would like to thank our club members who contributed to the running of this event, on the day.

As this newsletter goes out,the open water swim series is well under way, and we have had numerous of our members participating already, especially the members who are training for the longer distance events, later in the year. Well done to you all, and especially those that had to cope with some very ordinary conditions at a recent event – may the calming forces be with you on future events.

And in that vein, we continue to support any of our members who are training for some goal with their swimming – that might range from our Rotto and Port to Pub swimmers (lots of work being put in there) through to our Busso Jetty swimmers, and all the way to those that might be aiming to just improve their fitness and string together more than a couple of laps of the pool, at a time. The club supports you in all your endeavours, and the best of luck with it all.

And also in that vein, I would like to extend a big thank you to all our coaches, who I think are providing great service to the club and fellow members. With 5 coaches on our roster, it is a healthy situation to have.

We are fast approaching the Christmas season, which looks like it will be a fairly typical, and busy one for us in WA. We have the Club’s Christmas dinner happening on the 9th of December, and I hope as many of you will be able to join with us at that event.

And I would like to pass on the committee’s and my best wishes to all of you and your families, for the festive season. We hope you stay safe, and have an enjoyable time. And don’t forget to swim – we have sessions all the way through the Christmas and New Year period, except for any that fall on a public holiday.

And my normal sign off – everything of the best to All. And remember to savour and enjoy these times – they are special.



Coaches Corner – September 2020

Endurance training plan – so, what are we doing?

You will notice some changes to our training sessions over the next few weeks. We are going into endurance mode. This is designed to help our Rottnest swimmers. However, it will be of benefit to the whole squad and will help all swimmers improve their swimming and reach new levels, especially those planning to enter any open water events this summer.

So what is changing?

Coaches will be cutting down rests during sets. If you can, please follow the rest breaks, as this will improve your endurance, breathing, etc. However if you need extra rest then please take it.

Sessions will be getting longer. With less rest time, we have time for more kms. Sessions may creep over the one hour booking, so enjoy that!

Drills will include “sighting” work. We will build on your polo swimming drills to help you to see where you are headed in the ocean.

Sighting is about being able to look ahead during an open water event to find the best route and get an idea where other swimmers are for that all important drafting. We will talk about drafting soon.

And now a challenge.

The club is targeting the Christmas 10K swim on Saturday, December 19 at Coogee Beach.

This is one of the best opportunities for swimmers to get their Channel 10K qualifying time. Plus it is the only 10K swim where you can swim with your paddler. You can even do this swim as a duo with a paddler. Entries open on October 26.

If you get your qualifying at this swim the coaches may let you relax a little over Christmas.

As this is a 3 lap course, there is also a 3.4Km option. So here we go. If more than 10 Inglewood Masters enter this event, I will be present to record lap times, pacing, etc., and to check on your technique. And if more than 15 Inglewood Masters enter, I hereby undertake to swim the 3.4Km event before recording times, technique, etc. So there go you…


President’s Ponderings – September 2020

To all our members and friends – welcome to this Spring edition newsletter.

There are a lot of things happening in and around the club, at this time, and with a lot of information to pass on, we hope that this newsletter will assist in that regard.

We are so fortunate to be living in this great State of WA, and whilst numerous other areas are still struggling to get through the Covid situation, we find ourselves in the enviable position of virtually living life as normal (with only a few exceptions.)

Our club has weathered the time of pool closures, and social distancing measures, etc very well, and we have bounced back, stronger and better than ever.

It is really pleasing to see the high numbers of our members participating in the training sessions, all the way through the Winter months, and it is a great motivation for us all. As we look forward to the warmer months ahead and with a variety of swim events on offer, there is anticipation of increased participation. Great positive vibe all around.

And we welcome those people trying out with us for the first time. We hope you find challenge and enjoyment during your time with us, and hopefully you decide to join us on our journey of “fun, fitness and friendship”.

And to those of our members who are training for some of the “big” events during the Summer, we are all behind you (because we are slower !!) and support you in your efforts to get over the ditch, or around all those buoys, or whatever your event may entail. Good luck with it all.

Everything of the best to All. And remember to savour and enjoy these times – they are special.