Congratulations Mac and Harry!
Swimmers of the year 2022
After a challenging 2022 we wanted to round the year off with some good news stories. We asked all of our Swimming Teachers to nominate those distinctive, very special swimmers who deserved a bit of recognition.
They were asked to identify swimmers on our lesson programmes (children and adults) who have displayed positive attitudes, unyielding determination or, have put in efforts over and above their peers. They may have overcome personal adversity or achieved something unexpected or challenging.
Harry Blackmore-Larner - Cranleigh Leisure Centre's junior swimmer of the year 2022!
In August 2021, Harry moved up from Duckling classes into Stage 1.
Harry was a very nervous swimmer and took a long time to adjust to not having a parent or teaching in the water. Every week Harry tries extremely hard to manage his fear and has been improving a little each week. A few months ago Harry managed to find the courage to submerge his face in the water and since then has gone from strength to strength.
This October half term Harry surprised everyone during a family holiday with his water confidence and even went down "the grown up slides". But most unbelievably of all, mid way through the holiday during an excursion to the zoo/water park Harry asked if he could swim with sea lions. He confidently got in the water with them, listened well to the trainer, played with the sealions, allowed them to kiss him, swim around and under him and even held onto Floyd (his favourite sea lion there) so he could take him for a swim.
Thinking back to how uncertain Harry was about swimming when I first started teaching him over a year ago this is an unbelievable achievement and a memory that will last forever.
My nomination for Harry is based on his determination to overcome his fear of the water and learning that hard work can bring amazing rewards.
Mac Harold - Cranleigh Leisure Centre's adult swimmer of the year 2022!
Mac first contacted the leisure centre this summer inquiring about swimming lessons. He is 26 years old and due to an incident when he was younger was very nervous of water and therefore hadn't learnt to swim.
Mac had his first lesson in the teaching pool and gave it everything even though he was extremely nervous. Incredibly after his first lesson Mac not only manged to submerge his face but started confidently floating and swimming! Although one of the floats was completely bent where he had been holding on so tightly fighting his fear.
Even though Mac works shifts as a NHS nurse he always tries hard to make his weekly private lessons and continues to improve. Last week, with the aid of flippers, Mac managed to complete his first length of the main pool and float confidentially over the 3 meter deep end, which is still extremely nerve wracking for Mac, but he still does it.
I have taught many adults through my 18 years of swim teaching but Mac truly stands out. His determination and drive to master his fear of water and become a swimmer is inspirational and I look forward to seeing what Mac will achieve each week.