Pool games – April 2017

Let the hunger games begin…

Ok, so the annual Putney SAC pool games didn’t herald the fall of a despotic regime and the transformation of society, but the stakes were still pretty high. Pride and all that… and some Quality Street for the winners which I totally forgot to buy. Woops. If I were a gamemaker I’m pretty sure I’d be shot. Luckily, our club members are a little more forgiving (I think…).

We had two teams of three competing in this year’s games – longstanding members (Team A) vs. less longstanding members (Team B). I don’t think I’m allowed to say oldies vs. youngsters but oh look, I just did. The games consist of four challenges which are both demanding (for the participants) and hilarious (for the bystanders).

The underwater sprint started off the proceedings. That’s right, a sprint – no fins allowed. Team A raced into pole position well ahead of Team B. It’s like they were born to run through the water, manically flailing their hands to increase speed. I was very entertained.

To follow we had the three (four?) legged race. Usually this would be done in pairs, with one leg tied together. But remember, our teams were teams of three. So the lucky diver in the middle was tied by the leg to both of their teammates, to make an entirely new type of marine mammal I like to call ‘weird’. Team B were obviously distraught at their earlier loss, because they ramped up the speed dial to 11 for this challenge. They came in a clear winner, despite the group nearly disintegrating when they had to turn at the end of the pool for the return leg (two divers going one way and the other not quite following…).

The third challenge was passing the plank. ‘A challenge?’ I hear you cry. Yes! Because you have to swim a length and pass the plank using only your knees. It’s beautiful to watch a diver jerk through the water like a crazed dolphin while carrying that plank. Unfortunately there was a little misunderstanding of the rules for this race, so as head honcho I decided to discount the result, making it a tie (no arguments people!).

We finished with everyone’s favourite challenge. Balloon cocoon. This involves each team attempting to capture as many balloons from the surface as possible, bringing them down to a crate on the bottom of the pool, and keeping them there. I’ve gotta say, this year’s games were pretty chivalrous compared to those in the past – there was only one instance of a rival team member upsetting a crate and sending the balloons to the surface. and if you know who participated in the games, I think you can all figure out who it was!

At the end of the 5 minute timer, the scores were counted; 1 balloon for Team A and 3 balloons for Team B, making them the winner and this year’s games champions! The youngsters snatched the crown at the very last (although to be honest, they aren’t all that young themselves…). Well done all.