The Swim For Your Life Art Series
We’re featuring a collection of artworks in our swim for your life art series, each piece represents a water-related happening in Ruth Smith’s life. Below is ‘The Art Of Water Polo’ story.
I was about 14 years old when my local swimming pool, in Wingham, decided to have a water polo competition on Sunday afternoons. Just a few people getting together who had played a bit before moving to the town and anyone else who wanted to give it a go. Of course, I turned up….anything in a body of water and I’m there.
By the end of the first summer, we had a full on competition with 10 teams. We had raised money for goals, hats, even a Wingham Water polo t-shirt. It was great!! Although not a sport for the fragile.
Not everyone could see what was happening under the water line. Least of all the referees. With all the splashing, on purpose or not, the underwater antics were vicious at times. Swimming attire would constantly be reefed up one’s body in such a manner that we often considered just wearing a G-string bottom. The knee length swimmers of today would have been appreciated back then.
The funny hats were an absolute God-send. I certainly would not like to be hit in the ear with a ball thrown at high speed. It was bad enough when it hit you on your forehead. We all had to take our turn at being the goalie. Now that’s a tough gig. Being able to raise your body so far out of the water to stop a speeding ball towards the goal, is not easy.
Swimming polo-stroke at speed for 10-15 meters is also a skill which we practiced. To help build the strength in us, my coach would make us swim across the 6 lane pool and climb out. Dive in, climb out, and repeat. However, the climb out was nothing like a climb. We had to put both hands on the edge of the pool and move in such a way that the next thing to hit the pool edge was our feet. It was more like a jump out onto our feet. No elbow or knee to help us.
While physically a demanding sport, I loved it. I went on to actually teach a young boy to swim in Wingham who also played water polo at a high level. He went on to become an Assistant Coach to the Olympic Water Polo men’s team.
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Swimming lessons lead to fun water activities
The one valuable lesson I can say I’ve taken away from all my years of swimming lessons and training is that it can lead to many fun water activities and help improve confidence, my water polo days leave me with priceless memories.
High-quality consistent lessons lead to confidence in the water and participation in water sports. If you’re interested in finding out more about our swimming lessons and programs you can call us on 6680 1614 or alternatively fill in our contact form for a prompt response.