Tag Archives: swimming carnival

swim like you’ve never swum before …

School’s in for 2014 which means swimming carnivals are on the agenda across the district.

As per last year, I braved the pool to help Mac with his “Macstroke” races, so he could get some points for his sports house.  Together we swam the 11-year-boys breaststroke, backstroke & freestyle events…

then this happened!

Two of his mates decided they wanted to swim with him in the last race of the day and negotiated with me to resign my position on Team Mac.  With Mac now in 5th grade, I am guessing there’s a very good chance I won’t get a ‘look in’ next year, if today’s success is any indication.

There was also significant desire from Mac’s sports house Captain to include him in the relays, but with a few too many kids making themselves available we opted for the free swim at the end of the day. After all, he’d already competed in every other event possible.

What a wonderful day, what a wonderful sight to watch Mac and his two mates compete as a team.

Who’d want it any other way?



Filed under Access all Areas, friends, Inclusion... straight up!, things that make me go "glll"

school swimming carnival and the “mac-stroke”…

You’ll have to excuse the ‘gratuitous self-promotion’ here.

My husband is “numero uno” on the list of ‘amazing people we get to have in our life’ – and he is responsible for the video and the ‘very sweet words’.

Shawn is a phenomenal dad, husband and friend and he is the one who thinks me ‘slipstreaming’ Mac down the pool at a school carnival is awesome…

Me? well… since Mac’s in 4th Grade, I think it’s simply “about time”.

Results for the day saw Mac manage two 2nds and one 6th placing in his swimming carnival events… He did the “mac-stroke”.

The kids were awesome (as always) and cheered for Mac, regardless of house loyalties, revered his results and were busy telling him how ‘good a swimmer’ he is LOL.


Despite what we see on the video with our adult eyes, it seems I am completely invisible to the kids. My being there is of no concern or consequence. Although I did overhear a couple of kids, who obviously did see me, lamenting that their mum didn’t swim with them (cute).

Trying to go slow enough in the off-strokes was the hard bit – we were trying not to “podium” but it was a case of “swim or sink” – so 2nd place it was.  Mac was able to catch my slip-stream so most of the way I was able to kick along without having to touch him.  Obviously the faster the events the better the slipstream.

The neck-float is from Nancy at Waterway Babies – it is a larger size designed for bigger kids with disabilities.  It has proved a great option for us this summer, Mac loves the freedom it provides by being able to be in the pool ‘hands free’.

We did buy a cheap baby size version off Ebay from Hong Kong to test out while we were waiting for this one to arrive.  And, while it was OK, the WaterWay brand is noticeably better quality and a better size offering Mac much more stability and confidence to experiment with moving his body under the water.

What other tips, tricks and ideas do you have to give everyone the option to participate at swimming carnivals?


Filed under Inclusion... straight up!, the big picture, things that make me go "glll"

swimming carnival

This year was Mac’s first swimming carnival now he is in Second Class (Year 2).  I was greeted at assembly on the first day back by our newly appointed Sports Teacher asking can she catch up with me to work out how Mac could be included in the carnival.

Between us, our ‘cyber friends’ and ‘fleshy friends’ we all had some good ideas and plans for future carnivals but this year we decided that since there are still plenty of kids who don’t swim Mac could just go in to the pool for the free swim.  The Sports Teacher offered to take him in but I figured his Dad could swing a day off work for that job.  Mac enjoyed being in the water for his three swims and thankfully our heat wave had passed so it was a much more pleasant day with not too many sunburnt bodies.

As a competitive swimmer in my younger days and a swimming teacher since I was about 13yo I know I have high expectations of how well children should be able to swim.

It makes me laugh (and… yes, does my head in a little) that I can’t even get Mac to hold his breath under water.  I spend an awful lot of time explaining to him that his evolutionary loss of gills make his desire to continue breathing underwater a poor choice.

However, I do have to admit to being a little surprised at how many children are not very strong swimmers.  There is still the group who are great swimmers, strong, fast and impressive.  Then their is the next group who seemed to have ‘nice looking strokes’ but I would consider a large proportion wouldn’t have the stamina to ‘save themselves’ if they got into trouble.

Remarkably, there is also another group… those who think they can swim, who have parents who must also think they can swim (signing the permission slip indicating such) only to find when they dive in, actually… they can’t.   Thankfully the schools are ready for these few ‘sinkings’ so there is always someone on hand for each lane.

All in all it was a fun (and funny) day.

But how much fun would be to include some powered rides like this…  I am working on using this as motivation for Mac to learn how to hold his breath, when needed, in the water.

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