I have been reading a number negative media posts this week about swimming, specifically the big kahuna of swimming administrators – FINA. Some serious and important questions are being asked about where their priorities lay http://www.swimvortex.com/specials/fina-future/ I care a lot about the outcome of such issues. Also I don’t care at all. Why? Because swimming is swimming. And even if one organisation is influenced more by money than the true spirit of the sport, the true spirit of the sport will continue to live on. What is that spirit? A genuine love of the water, a simple desire to swim and the genuine camaraderie and friendships that are built throughout our global swim fraternity.
Our swim family are global. For me it is my former club mates, my former competitors, college mates. Swimmers in New Zealand, USA, Australia, United Kingdom, Canada, Slovenia (the list goes on) whom I can count as friends. Whom I can turn up on their doorstep and be met with a friendly smile, a conversation like we last caught up last week not ten years ago. These people are my swim family and an important part of my life. One of the important things about any family is that you are there for each other in times of need. One of our swim family members is in need at this time. I refer to one very cool guy, Jon ‘Split’ Winter. His resume takes some reading ; former NZ Olympic and x3 Commonwealth games swimmer, former World Short Course Relay Champion, Olympic swim coach, and swim club coach for a long time. Jon has always been a positive influence on the kids he coaches and the other athletes of his generation (including myself). He represents to me what swimming is all about, enjoyment, positive, being active, friendships, loyalty, passion and a love for the water.
And right now Jon could do with our help. Like all true champions he is modest about asking for it. I had to inquire about these details. You see Jon’s youngest boy Joesf (4years) has ongoing heart issues. He is currently in Starship Hospital recovering from open heart surgery. Both Jon and his wife Rebekah have to take time off work to look after their family of four kids including their wee man Joesf. It’s a tough time for them. But these are the times I love. When the swim community comes together at its roots and directly supports one of their own. Created by Raumati Swim Club in Wellington is this givealittle page for Jon and his family http://givealittle.co.nz/cause/josefwinter this is how we show that actually the roots of swimming remain strong and true. Let’s show our love of swimming by supporting Jon and his lovely family, one of our important swim family members. Thank you.