Brainstorming Plans

Posted on: 23 May 2019

Friday 17th May – Brainstorming Plans

As I was resigned to not being able to swim during the whole of May due to lack of facilities my mind preoccupied with the plan for June and onwards.

I took up a kind suggestion to write to the Bulgarian Swimming Federation asking them is there are facilities for swimming in my area. However, knowing Bulgaria pretty well now I know they either won’t answer or come up with an impractical suggestion such as a move to a bigger City. It is not that I am naturally pessimistic, just a realist knowing how Bulgarians think and act. So, in view of this, I don’t expect a result from my correspondence. The transcript is given here:

Dear Sir/ Madam,

Firstly, may I introduce myself as a retired English Expatriate with my home in Yambol living with my Bulgarian partner since 2006.


Earlier this year I decided to enter a charity two-mile open water swimming event that takes place in the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park, London in September, ( I started training for this event in March after being lucky enough finding a local swimming pool to train in. 

I currently use the swimming pool based in the Mathematical High School 'Atanas Radev'. The staff in the school have been very kind and accommodating since I started knowing that I was a beginner. As far as I am aware this is the only swimming pool in Yambol. My problem is that once the summer holiday break starts for schools the pool will be shut and I am faced not being able to train for a two-mile open water event taking place in September in London.

As you have the expertise and knowledge of the swimming fraternity and infrastructure in Bulgaria, I ask for help to find any swimming venues I can practice in locally whilst the school and pool are shut.  If there are no pools locally then open waters venues are a viable option. With the two-mile event in open waters, any areas of open waters that are suitable and available for training would be very helpful.

Also, as mentioned this event is for charity but I have yet to nominate a worthy cause. I would dearly like to have a Bulgarian charity in mind for this challenge. So, can you recommend any good causes for me to consider in this instance?

I sincerely hope that I can continue the training with your help finding local pools or open water area, as it would be a major disappointment not to be able to complete the event due to lack of swimming venues to train in. Not least I have already booked the flight to London and hotel for the September event. 

Many thanks in advance.

Yours Faithfully,

Martin Miller-Yianni  

As you can see I have tried to entice a reply with the offer of doing the event for a Bulgarian charity, which was my original plan anyway. But again, I fear this will fall on deaf ears. One day short of a week has gone since it was sent and no response as predicted.

Here in Bulgaria they just don’t have the financial clout to conjure up public swimming pools in all towns and cities. Yambol, where I live, is a City and has no public swimming pool, which might surprise those in Western Europe. A City without swimming baths? Unheard of. This idea was a little enterprise to open up a school facility to the public to helps maintain the pool with the funds. This ‘Open to the public school pool’ only started two years ago and to be quite honest it was so, so lucky that this happened. Without this local pool, the learning to swim and training would have been a non-starter as I only enter the event because of this facility.

With 4 months to go to the event, it has to be open water training from June onwards. Dangers aside, I will return from the UK on the 31st May with a wet suit and tow float and just dive into a local reservoir after a trial run in the local pool that should be open after repairs, albeit shut again for the summer break shortly afterward.

Having said I don’t enjoy swimming, it is rather strange that I can’t wait to get into the water again. Maybe this is from a fear of not being able to complete the event in September due to lack of practice.

Whilst in the UK for 9 days, I will take my swimming trunks with me and try and source a pool there although I know it is expensive. Who knows, might get a few session in there or even some open water dips if the wetsuit and tow float are in my hands.

Things to come!

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