It’s been a long tough 15 months with the pools closed for much of the time. Our Zoom fitness sessions, the Joe Wicks workouts and Yoga with Adrien just aren’t the same as being in the water with other Penguins.
But now it feels like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.
Our Hillingdon Penguin and Latymer Penguin junior water polo players went back in the water a couple of weeks ago and it’s great to see them playing the sport they love.
This week Boris confirmed that the Roadmap is on track which means our over-18 water polo players and masters swimmers will be once again enjoying pool-based training from next Monday.
One of our masters swimmers Gill sums things up nicely. ‘I’ve missed the company of other friendly and dedicated club swimmers, and the feeling of satisfaction I get after a club training session.’
Women’s water polo player Pat has similar feelings. ‘I’ve not only missed the sport, the competition and British Water Polo League weekends, but I have missed my friends and the sense of community and belonging I get from Penguin Ladies.’
For masters swimmer Louis, the extended time out of the water has had more painful consequences. ‘I believe the lack of regular training during the lockdowns has resulted in suffering two two-month episodes of lower back and cervical compressed nerves.’
What is Louis most looking forward to from next week? ‘Some supervised training. And pub sessions!’
It’s a reply that probably reflects the mood of many of our over-18 Penguins.
Getting all of our Penguins back in the water has taken a lot of work. There have been negotiations over pool time with operators. There have been risk assessments to write. There have been booking systems to set up. There have been health declaration forms to send out to all members and collate responses.
We owe a very big thank you to our Welfare Officer and COVID Lead, Grimbo, and all of the section managers and coaches who have given so much time to make it happen. We must also be grateful to all those parents who have helped – and are still helping – with arrangements to keep everyone safe at our juniors’ sessions.
And we would be nowhere without all the Penguins who have stayed with us over the past year.
With things gradually getting back to normal in this, our centenary year, we can now look forward to a bright future for the next 100 years.