As Swim England launches a new #YourMembershipCounts campaign, chief executive Jane Nickerson pens an open letter to members.
It is in times of adversity that we reflect on the moments that so often quickly pass us by during our hectic lives.
It is only when we are denied the opportunity to engage in something that we take for granted do we truly realise what it means to us – and how we ache to do it once again.
It might be that split second when you’re stood on the blocks and a hush descends around the vibrant pool as the starter declares take your marks.
It could be that blink of an eye when your pin-point shot arrows towards the top corner of the water polo goal before it crashes into the net.
It may the minuscule moment when you leap off the diving board and gracefully glide through the air to the crystal clear water before executing the perfect rip entry.
It is perhaps performing a flawless artistic swimming routine and seeing the hours upon hours of practice finally pay off.
It is only in times of adversity that we unite to become stronger to take on the challenges that have faced us all.
It’s fair to say that 2020 will be forever remembered for the wrong reasons – but there are also so many positives we can take into the new year.
We were there for each other, offering much-needed help and support.
When facilities were closed during the national lockdowns, we came together as one community – one family – to fight for our pools and sports.
I might have been the public face of that campaign but I was being driven on by all 150,000 of you – and that made me determined to gain a successful resolution for us all.
We realise that a number of pools are still closed and some clubs are yet to return to the water so the fight still goes on – and it’s important we maintain our focus and unity in the coming months.
It is your continued membership that will enable us to deliver what we have missed so much over these difficult months – a return to competitions in 2021 and the return of all of you to the water.
I am so proud of our members and our clubs who live and breathe our incredible sports.
As a life member of Coventry SC and someone who uses swimming as my escape, I’ve seen and felt first-hand the challenges that all our clubs and members have faced.
We know there will be trials and tribulations ahead – but we can overcome them as one team.
As the recognised national governing body, we will continue to support our members, our clubs, our swim schools, our coaches, our teachers, our volunteers. You’re our inspiration and we aim to make you proud.
Remember, your membership counts. Every single one of you.
Together we are stronger.
Jane M Nickerson