Inside April 2017 Swimming Times
Swimming Times is the only magazine for British aquatics. Read about the latest issue below. Click on the buttons to reveal the story.
- Sport England has launched a new film as part of its ‘This Girl Can’ campaign. The film is about celebrating being an active woman, and enjoying taking part in all kinds of physical activity regardless of shape, size or ability. It features the voice of the late Maya Angelou reciting her poem from 1978, Phenomenal Women.
- Six Paralympic champions visited Buckingham Palace to collect their New Year honour from the Prince of Wales. Ellie Robinson, Hannah Russell, Susie Rodgers, Steph Millward, Alice Tai and Claire Cashmore received their MBEs after winning gold in front of packed crowds in Rio.
- New swimwear guidance for competitive swimming will allow more people to participate in events across England. The ASA has announced a relaxation of Regulation 411 which previously banned swimwear that covered the whole body. The new guidance means swimmers who wear full bodysuits for religious reasons or because of a pre-existing medical condition are now able to compete in all ASA licensed swimming meets and national events.
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He was once a champion swimmer with Olympic ambitions but 15 years later he’s one of the world’s strongest men – and now has a different title in his sights.
At 6ft 3in and 30 stone, with a fearsome scowl and ‘THE BEAST’ tattooed on his inner arms, Eddie Hall looks like not only the strongest man in Britain and arguably the world but one of the scariest.
But as he talks about his swimming past and his global ambitions on the strongman stage, you realise that this father-of-two is really a gentle giant. But a giant who will leave no stone unlifted to fulfil his aim of becoming the World’s Strongest Man.
It’s a target that requires supreme dedication and a competitive edge. They are attributes that Eddie hasin spades – and he credits his swimming background for much of that and also for some of his physical talents.
To read more about Eddie’s training, swimming and diet click here to subscribe to Swimming Times.
Breaststrokers be warned: Adam Peaty may still be swimming a decade from now. The world record holder’s monopoly on international titles over the last two or three years has done nothing to dampen his appetite for more success.
And the Olympic champion is already looking not only to the defence of his 100m title in Tokyo in 2020 but to the 2024 Games and beyond. He’s also targeting a 56-second 100m breaststroke in the foreseeable future – and has plans to add the 200m breaststroke to his repertoire.
It’s all happened very fast over a period of two years,’ the 22-year-old told Swimming Times. ‘But although I have won all the international titles and got most of the records I want, I still want to take more titles and break more records. It’s all about Tokyo now and how to get performance for those Games and keep British Swimming on the map in the meantime.’
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Britain has a vacancy for a world-class butterfly swimmer and Plymouth Leander’s Laura Stephens is among those preparing to apply.
If the rest of her sporting career goes as swimmingly as 2016, Laura Stephens will be a happy young lady – and there is every sign that it will.
It would not have been too hard to predict that the 100m and 200m butterfly specialist might win a few medals at last year’s European Junior Championships in Hungary but the senior European competition in London and the World Short Course Championships in Canada were a bonus.
‘The European Championships was a massive first for me.’ She says. ‘It was the first time I’ve been on a senior team. The whole atmosphere was incredible. I loved it so much especially the home crowd. I wasn’t expecting to progress any further than the heats so to make the semi-final in the 100 fly was great. That was definitely one of the highlights of my season.’
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Life after Rio
It’s all change for Jack Laugher and Chris Mears as their coach Ady Hinchliffe departs for pastures new and fellow coach Edwin Jongejans recovers from major surgery.
As they launch themselves into another four-year cycle, Jack Laugher and Chris Mears do so as Olympic 3m synchro champions – not to mention the first Britons ever to win Olympic gold in diving. It’s a situation that most athletes can only dream of.
‘After the success of last year there’s not much pressure,’ says Jack. ‘We’re going to really enjoy what we’re doing this year. We have World Series, Europeans and World Championships, and we are going to try and recreate some of the highs of last year.
‘It’s impossible to improve on being Olympic champions but we can try to improve our actual diving, the scores we can get. It’s about trying to make ourselves better as individuals so that when the synchro comes together we are stronger and more consistent and generally better athletes. It will be an exciting year to see all that in place.’
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Coaching tips for butterfly
Swimmers need to develop a ‘butterfly mentality’ says former GB head coach Ian Turner.
Butterfly is a tough but exciting stroke. For me, it’s a great stroke to be able to do well and developing quality technique can test both the swimmer and the coach. However, coaches/teachers must encourage swimmers to have a ‘butterfly mentality’.
The athlete must want to do the stroke effectively and with energy. It will take some swimmers longer than others to develop the technique but, without this positive attitude, there is little chance of the athlete establishing the rhythmic patterns that are required to do the stroke well.
Swimmers need to be patient when working on the technique – the stroke will develop, given time. Here are my 20 coaching tips that will make things clearer and help the swimmer to establish a good technique. Don’t be frightened to keep repeating the coaching tip.
Remember, if the tip is worth mentioning, it is worth mentioning regularly.
To read all of Ian's tips click here to buy Swimming Times magazine.
North Channel swim
Jellyfish ended Ed Williams’ first attempt to swim the North Channel but two years later he returned to the Irish Sea for another go
My heart was racing and the adrenalin was pumping already even though I had over two hours until I would need to enter the water. It was 2.30am on Thursday August 25, 2016. My hotel room in Donagadhee, Northern Ireland.
I had managed to get a few hours of broken sleep but knowing that today would be my most challenging swim to date was stopping me from getting any further rest. This was the day I had worked towards for the past three years – the day I would conquer one of the world’s hardest open water swims between Ireland and Scotland, all 35k of the notorious North Channel.
As I made my way through two large bowls of porridge while mentally preparing myself for what lay ahead, my ever-supportive wife Rebecca was carefully measuring my feeds into 20 small plastic bottles. Each one contained a precise amount of maltodextrin (carb powder), fruit squash and fruit sugar which I would be relying on at regular intervals through my swim to keep me hydrated and energised.
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Senior lecturer in PE and school sport at Sheffield Hallam University and former ASA regional development officer Pippa Jones reveals that she’s also a published poet– and a survivor of breast cancer
If I could bring about change, I would... see British Water Polo back in its rightful place on the European and world stage. The sport is valued so much more in the rest of Europe, where professional clubs draw sell-out crowds to big games and water polo players are national heroes.
The biggest lesson life has taught me is... just be yourself and make sure you never stop playing.
The meaning of life is... give what you can and take what you need. A lot of people get this philosophy the wrong way round.
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The Sunderland Beacon Programme’s unique qualities are already producing results.
In the middle of 2013, Sunderland were invited to submit an application for ASA Beacon Programme status until March 2017. A submission for a jointly delivered programme through Sunderland City Council and the Northumberland and Durham Swimming Association presented a model for the programme that was unique among other Beacon programme structures across the county.
The model has since been hailed for its forward-thinking approach to building a county-wide talent network and the results it has achieved.
The programme’s unique qualities start in its structure. Regardless of club, athletes have been selected on to the programme through an agreed selection criteria and consultation with their home coach. Since the start of the programme, in one season there have been as many as 75 athletes selected from 15 clubs across the Northumberland and Durham county attending regular sessions.
Sessions have run at the Sunderland Aquatics Centre on Saturday mornings (medley, distance, 200 metres, sprint-specific and age group squads) and Wednesday afternoons (senior, youth, para and national standard post-education swimmers) making engagement into the programme transparent, both to clubs sending their swimmers to the session and to athletes who aspire to attend the programme.
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