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Latest features in this month’s Swimming Times

Swimming Times is the official magazine of the ASA and British Swimming. Read about the latest issue below. Click on the buttons to reveal the story.

News Round-up

  • A thrilling relay victory on the final day topped a successful campaign for Britain’s swimmers at the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles. The mixed 4x25m freestyle team of Matt Allen, Corinna Beckett, Michelle Moran and Jonathan Taylour were lying fifth at the third take-over but stormed home to victory.

  • Persistence paid off for seven Scottish swimmers, who became the first to swim from St Kilda to the Isle of Harris in Scotland’s Western Isles. It was their fifth attempt to make the 56-mile crossing but the previous four were called off due to bad weather. They also originally planned to swim from Harris to St Kilda but reversed the route after considering the prevailing weather.

  • Keri-anne Payne returned to winning ways with victory on the course that will next year host the Olympic 10k marathon swim. Britain’s Olympic silver medallist and two-time world champion won the test event off Rio’s Copacabana beach – and described it as the experience of a lifetime.

To read more news click here to buy the October 2015 issue of Swimming Times. 

English Summer 

It was medals galore for Guildford City girls as they clinched the title of top female club and overall top club in the ASA Summer Nationals at Ponds Forge, Sheffield.

Romford Town had 13-year-old James Cooper to thank for their top male club crown due to his contribution of six gold, three silver and one bronze medal.

The ASA National Summer Championships had over 1,400 young athletes: part of a new swimming structure in Great Britain in which the top-ranked swimmers in each event (18 for 800m / 1500m freestyle, 24 for all other individual events) were invited to compete at the British Swimming Summer Championships.

Age groups were 13-14, 15, 16, 17-18 and 19/o. The next ranked swimmers (15 for 800m / 1500m free, 20 for all other individual events) at ASA affiliated clubs – or who have chosen to be ranked as English swimmers – were invited to compete at these ASA nationals. Age groups were 12-13, 14, 15, 16-17 and 18/o.

Grant Robins, England Programmes team leader, said: ‘This has been a good end of season summer meet, with some strong swimming. One of the key aims of the new structure is to give more swimmers the opportunity to compete, and this meet has certainly done that. Across all the home nation meets (British, Scotland, Wales), there has been 10 per cent more swimmers competing than last year, which can only be positive for the future of competitive swimming in England.’

To read more from the summer nationals and meet some of the young competitors, click here to purchase a copy of the October 2015 issue of Swimming Times.  

Honesty Box 

Amanda Booth, City of Oxford head coach, reveals that she once went off the 10m board with Tom Daley and why she’d probably do well on ‘Strictly’

Nobody knows this but... the majority of people think of me as being involved in swimming but during my nine years in Plymouth, I also worked with Andy Banks and Plymouth Diving. They have this tradition that any staff are expected at some point to go off the high board. When I finished at Plymouth in 2010, Tonia Couch presented me with one of her costumes and told me to jump off the 10m board. They also invited a journalist from the Plymouth Herald to record the event. So I had no choice.

I often dream about... having my own 50m pool in Oxford. I would have accommodation on poolside so that the swimmers who have to travel long distances could stay over. I have so many swimmers that travel and have to get up at 4.15am. It would be so much easier if they could sleep at the pool. I would also have studio flats for the coaching staff. I have coaches who are single guys and they are having to find accommodation at extortionate rates.

To read more from Amanda you can click here to buy the October 2015 issue of Swimming Times.  

Learn to swim Down Under 

Julia Wood describes the setting up and structure of the learn- to-swim system at a major leisure centre in Australia – and compares it to the UK’s biggest swim teaching programme.

I read Geoff Wade’s article ‘Learn To Swim: The Third Way?’ in the February edition of Swimming Times with great interest – especially the part which stated ‘The aquatics programme now numbers 4,800 – the largest in the UK’.

I am now the aquatics manager at a large indoor facility in the bayside suburb of Frankston, approximately 50km from the centre of Melbourne – Peninsula Aquatic Recreation Centre (PARC). The centre opened in September 2014 and boasts an indoor 50m pool with a movable boom, learn-to-swim pool, an aquatic playground, two water slides, a fully equipped gym and two large exercise studios.

To read more about the Australian approach you can click here to buy a copy of the October 2015 issue of Swimming Times.  

From Russia with gold 

Five gold and four other medals made Kazan Britain’s best-ever long-course world championships.

Britain’s swimmers left Kazan with a record number of world championship medals in their swimbags, the sweet sounds of success still ringing in their ears and, perhaps most important, the scent of future glory implanted in their nostrils.

With more events in the programme these days and more nations in a position to contest them, comparisons are difficult but, by any definition, this was the finest British performance at a world championships.

Nine medals was a record, topping the tallies of eight in Colombia in 1975 and Barcelona in 2003. Both those competitions yielded only two golds for Britain; this time there were five, putting them fourth on the medals table behind the USA, Australia and China. 

For a closer look at the action from the world champs, click here to purchase the October 2015 issue of Swimming Times.

Springboard to Rio 

Britain’s divers are celebrating their best-ever world championships with four medals and five Olympic quota places.

Tom Daley and Becky Gallantree made history for Britain and for diving when they won the inaugural mixed team event in Kazan.

The result made Daley – the 2009 platform champion – the first Briton to win multiple world championship diving medals while Gallantree became the first British woman to stand on a world championship podium.

The gold also topped a best-ever medal haul for Britain with Daley and Jack Laugher both winning bronze in their individual events and a 3m synchro bronze for Laugher and Chris Mears.

The team also booked five quota places for the Rio Olympics including all four individual events.

The full article is featured in October’s Swimming Times, click here to buy a copy.

Confidence in coaching 

Most coaches have self-doubt but good coaching comes from knowing you are doing things correctly, says Lincoln Pentaqua and former Great Britain head coach Ian Turner.

I have long held the view that good coaching comes from the confidence gained from knowing that you are doing things correctly. Many of us have self-doubt.

We regularly struggle with ourselves over our level of knowledge. Many of us work in isolation with little support and even less opportunity to share our experiences with someone that understands.

Coach mentors, offering sound advice gained over years on deck, are few and far between. During my early years as a coach, I worked a great deal in isolation.

I was combining school teaching with swim coaching in a small market town in the East Midlands. Many workouts were a case of trial and error and it wasn’t until I placed a girl on the 1988 Olympic team that I became more confident in my own ability and realised that I must be doing something right.

Nevertheless, there was still that nagging doubt that I had been lucky and perhaps the girl would have made the team irrespective of who coached her. These demons drove me on to see if I could do it again with other swimmers.

To read Ian’s eight tips to improving your confidence as a coach , click here to buy a copy of the October 2015  Swimming Times.   

Unsung hero  

Jill Stidever is 78, still works many hours a week after a career spanning 60 years and is described by colleagues as ‘one in a million’. Swimming Times talks to BBC Sport’s Unsung Hero of 2014 and coach of Leicester Penguins.

It all started for Jill Stidever in the sea off the south coast of Devon. From learning to swim in those choppy waters through competitive swimming for Plymouth Ladies, Jill’s journey progressed to teaching and coaching, with her commitment to and passion for disability swimming rewarded with an MBE and the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2014 Unsung Hero Award.

There has also been personal and professional joy at seeing three of her students, including daughter Jane, compete at the Paralympics.

Growing up in Plymouth, Jill did not learn to swim until she was 11, admittedly a late learner ‘because something called the War held me up’. She continued in an outdoor pool on Plymouth Hoe and became a club swimmer, breaststroke her speciality at Western Counties competitions.

Jill had already got involved in teaching lifesaving to youngsters but it was when she moved to London to study teacher training at Avery Hill, Eltham, that she really took her first steps in what was to become a lifelong career and passion.

She explains: ‘I fell into it. People would ask me if I could help them with swimming. This was ordinary people who had not had the opportunity like me to do swimming and asked me for help.

 You can read more from Jill in October’s Swimming Times, click here to buy a copy. 

Soundtrack to success  

We all know how noisy and chaotic it can be on poolside. No wonder we often see athletes adopting personal headphones, especially prior to competition. But is it just about blocking out external noise or is more at stake?

Choosing what to listen to ahead of that all-important event can depend on the state of mind you are hoping to reach just prior to the start.

For some, it is about keeping nervous energy under control and getting on top of pre-event jitters whereas, for others, it is a means of getting themselves into the right mode, psyching-up, and creating high levels of self-confidence.

From a team perspective, and in the lead-up to the European Games in Baku, we asked GB’s under-17 girls’ water polo team to share their dressing room soundtrack. The problem with playlists in team sports is pleasing everyone but there was one standout song among the water polo girls. ‘As a team we like to listen to Eye of the Tiger (by Survivor) before a match. That gets us really pumped up,’ says Devonport Royal’s Bethany Ward.

To find out how you can be in with a chance of winning a pair of Beats by Dr Dre headphones worth £329.95 and a £50 iTunes gift card - plus a £50 iTunes gift card for two runner-ups, click here to buy a copy of the October 2015 issue of Swimming Times. 

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