My daughter was very pleased to be picked to represent the school in a swimming gala against other schools and I was very pleased for her. She is a good swimmer with an excellent technique. She can swim faster than me these days (I don’t have excellent technique!). She doesn’t do lessons any more, having passed the course and decided not to take it any further, or go swimming regularly, so I hoped she was up for the challenge.
She insisted we go swimming after school to practise. I’m not keen on swimming (too cold, too wet), but I admire her determination. If she says she’s going to go swimming to practise, she goes swimming to practise. No messing around. Just swimming, length after length. Butterfly, front crawl, breaststroke, backstroke…
We knew nothing about the swimming gala, other than that she was one of four year 4s chosen. We didn’t know if it was just for year 4 and 5, if she would be in a year 4 race, if she would be swimming against year 6s. We just knew she was doing the backstroke race and a relay.
Unfortunately I was unable to go to the gala, as I had too much work on and it was all morning. Having little faith in school sport and in my daughter’s swimming ability (I know she’s pretty good, but can she hold her own against people who swim several times a week?), I didn’t think I would be missing much.
When she came out of school, I had to guess where she’d come. My head was screaming ‘last’, but kind Mummy said ‘third?’.
‘I came second in my heat and got through to the final.’
Second in her heat? That’s impressive. Apparently not everyone who came second got through to the final, it was the only the person who came second and had the fastest time. That’s even more impressive.
She came last in the final, out of four. But she wasn’t remotely disappointed, and rightly so. She’d done very well and most of her friends hadn’t even made it to the final. Oh, and you know we weren’t sure if it was a year 4 race? It wasn’t. It was right up to year 6. She was swimming against year 6s.
As my daughter put it: ‘Out of those six schools (that took part in the gala), I’m fourth fastest at backstroke in Key Stage 2.’
What a positive way to look at it! I couldn’t have put it better myself.