“We want a disco” said the older swimmers.
“Come up with a plan and we’ll think about it” replied those of us who could see yet another thing to organise looming. “A proper business plan” said our very sensible coach.
So huddles formed in the cafe for the next week or so – is there a word for a gaggle of teenagers? An MP3ggle perhaps? Or maybe a grunting if it’s boys, a squealing if it’s girls – and occasionally one member would peel off with a question for their elders. The criteria for membership of the organising committee seemed to be age-related: 12 and over if you were a girl, 14 and over for boys, with the two oldest and noisiest girls as ringleaders. We weren’t presented with a plan so much as a fait accompli. They would organise a sponsored swim to raise the money, book the hall, book the disco and there we’d be.
They acquired a list of members, designed and printed sponsor forms, gave every swimmer a form (not as easy as it sounds) and then all showed up on Monday to organise the swims. The plan was for swimmers to swim continuously for a certain length of time based on their ability. Chaos. It’s very difficult to stand by and watch when you’re as bossy as I am but the only input really needed from the coaches was to make sure no one drowned. I did ask the organisers to count the lengths everyone swam and give me a list at the end so that we can give out distance certificates. There was a certain amount of creative accounting involving olympic speed swims but nothing that couldn’t be resolved. Mostly a little matter of pointing out that our pool is in fact 25m end to end, not 50m.
Chaotic maybe, and parents watching may well have wondered what on earth was going on, but I thought it was great that the kids rose to the challenge. They organised everything with minimal adult input and just went and did it. It has involved almost all the children in the club, giving the younger and newer members a chance to mix with the older, more world weary ones.
Well done to them all – they will deserve their disco! As long as I don’t have to go as I loathe discos. No doubt I’ll be there regardless.