Swimming: More Than Just Michael Phelps & Skin-Tight Swimsuits

Michael-PhelpsSwimming is one of the most underappreciated and overlooked sports. To make it worse, it is even underappreciated at our own University. I mean, we don’t have a pool on campus and as far as funding goes, it’s pretty much non-existent.

I understand that society’s view of the swimming world is limited to Michael Phelps and gold medals. But that is probably because the general public only get to experience swimming through television screens once every four years, when the Olympics take place. This is simply because competitions are hardly ever publicised, and that, compared to other sports, swimming doesn’t receive a lot of press.

Don’t get me wrong, I am an avid fan of a wide range of sports, and I am not going to rant on about how swimming is simply better. Because let’s be fair: other than parents, who actually wants to sit on the side of a hot, sticky pool for hours on end, with nothing but whistles blowing and coaches screaming?

But to the people who brand swimming as ‘boring’ – you are clearly mistaken. I have not spent the past fifteen years of my life swimming laps in sheer boredom. The hysterical sessions at 5.30 am, the overload of Percy pigs at swimming competitions and the deep changing room chatter that goes on behind the scenes, are all a part of swimming.

Although many may see it as an individual sport with individual glory, I always end up losing my voice at swim meets from cheering on my fellow team members. When others succeed, we succeed. The loud yelling and the high-pitched whistling may seem annoying and even incomprehensible to some, but it is all a part of the fun. Swimming is the definition of camaraderie.

What sets it apart from other sports is the amount of determination, hard work and commitment needed to actually excel and succeed. The amount of effort, teamwork and passion that goes into swimming is often hidden beneath the surface. Beneath the branding, kick boards and fins. Beneath the chlorinated water, the endless empty bottles of conditioner and the mouldy swim caps.

So, if you want to see what all the fuss is about, Varsity is fast approaching and on Tuesday 3 March Kent will battle it out in the Kingsmead Leisure Centre pool against CCCU. Come and show your support!

Published on 7th February 2015. InQuire Live Online Newspaper: http://www.inquirelive.co.uk/sport/article-9965/swimming-more-than-just-michael-phelps-skin-tight-swimsuits/

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