Midlands Para-Swimming Training Session - Sunday 21st November 2021

Para-Swimming Regional Training in the Midland Region made a welcome return at the weekend, with the region hosting its first session since early 2020. Eleven swimmers attended the session in Repton under the watchful eye of the new Regional Para-Swimming Lead Coach, Carla Bickerstaffe and Development Coach, Emma Harper. Lead TM Claire Thorn was assisted by new assistant TM’s Anna Plowman and Paul Hopkinson.

The session started with land training, where the principles of RMAP and land-based pre-pool were discussed and put into practice. Each swimmer could develop adaptations to suit them and received information that they could take back to their home programme and discuss with their coach.

The swimmers then went to the pool for a training session that focussed on technique and skills. Some of the skills explored, focussed around controlling pace and effort, as well as ways to give feedback on those areas to coaches within training sessions.

Lead Coach Carla Bickerstaffe, who led the session commented:

We had a great first camp, the land session saw the swimmers engage well and get fully involved sharing their own ideas with each other and supported by all coaches. When we moved to the pool those swimmers just starting their journey and hoping to develop the skills required to start the classification process, had a session which explored and developed many of the required skills, such as, technique across all four strokes, as well as floatation and rotation. Whilst other swimmers focused on developing their underwater and technique skills on front crawl and backstroke with an introduction to RPE on these strokes too. All the coaches were great on the day and provided each swimmer with lots of individual feedback – just what I was hoping for.

Development Coach Emma Harper said,

The session was a great opportunity for classified and aspiring classified swimmers to be assessed. It was great to see swimmers working with new coaches, making new friends and learning pool and land habits to take away and improve their overall performance.  come together and train in the same pool. It was great to see so many swimmers start and re-start their journey into Para-Swimming.

Para-Swimming Regional Training is the first step of the talent pathway for Para-Swimming in England creating a supportive, engaging, accessible opportunity within the region, for swimmers with an eligible impairment, or a hearing impairment, which is in addition to their home programme. There are usually three sessions per year, with each consisting of skill based, land and pool sessions, designed to develop the swimmers awareness of the skills, experience and knowledge required to aid their development.

If you would like more information or would like to attend future sessions, please contact: midlands@swimming.org