I am destined to be awake in the early hours and film-buff myself by watching a film I’d always known about “All Quiet On the Western Front” (1930). It’s that or “Family Guy”. Because my sleep routine is down the pan. Read on, reader!

Yesterday at 5 a m I made my way to the pool under the college, Waltham Forest Community Pool under Waltham Forest College but nothing to do with it. Not many pools were taking part this year in the new Swimathon. I say “new” because these days it’s all to do with Sainsbury and so the medals are classier, and UK Sport Relief aka Davina’s ordeals. The Swimathon used to be to raise funds for Marie Curie Cancer Trust.

Every year I find myself with a small cluster of swimmers who are supported by sponsors. who put themselves out there as community movers and champions but hardly anyone knows.

Amelia at Waltham Forest Pool has my total respect. Evidently, one-handedly she organised the only slot available before the Sunday Tritons descended to be the Swimathon event which meant contacting the organisers, shuffling along the candidates, supervising the pool, gathering life-guards and supplying the jelly-babies. What a welcoming friendly inspiring community leader and much better than the po-faced attendants of yore in the Better centres. This was at 5.30 a.m on a Sunday.

All the five swimmers were fantastic. Children became length counters and cheer-leaders for their dads and the pool, being in a restricted space, allowed no room for spectators. The bunting served to make the occasion a celebration. Thank you Amelia.



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