There is no doubt that many of our Petersham swimmers were sad to hear that Tomas Polujanskas, our beloved coach of many years, had to head back home to Lithuania a few weeks ago. Safe to say that the current situation may have put a little more haste on this transition than anticipated!
Tomas was informed that he had 72 hours to get back to his home country of Lithuania before they closed the borders due to the outbreak of Covid-19. He and his wife packed up their car with all of their life in England squeezed inside.
It took Tomas and his wife (and cat!) 4 days to make it home to Lithuania, including an unfortunate car breakdown in Belgium. This proved to be quite difficult to overcome as Belgium was in lock down so there was no one to help them and come fix their car! They luckily found a Lithuanian truck driver who was able to help them and their car make their way home. Once they got home, they had to self-isolate in a flat for two weeks, but fortunately had friends and family bringing them food and leaving by the door.
It is clear from pupils and SG staff alike that Tomas will be deeply missed by all. His warm and supportive nature in his lessons alongside his passion for progress was clear throughout his time teaching with SG. We had many kind replies and comments upon the news of Tomas’ departure, and we made sure that these were all passed on to Tomas to read. Here are a few of the lovely comments and best wishes that we received, to be passed on to coach Tomas:
“Hi Tomas, both my husband and I would like to thank you so much for teaching our daughter how to start swimming. From day 1 she took to your kind warm nature when she was still very much afraid of water at the time. Thank you for teaching her with love and patience. She wouldn’t have progressed so well without your supportive care. She always loved your classes! We will definitely miss you and wish you all the best with returning home”
“He’s been wonderful and will be hugely missed. Our loss is Lithuania’s gain! “
“I’m sorry to hear that Tomas is leaving – he has taught 3 of our children and they’ve all progressed under his coaching and have enjoyed their lessons with him.”
Although it was a shame that we all did not get a proper goodbye, hopefully in the not so distant future we will be able to go see Tomas in Lithuania, and he will be able to travel back to the UK to visit! We thank Tomas for his dedication and his hard work, and hope he has a wonderful next chapter of his life back in Lithuania.
The Sports Generation Team