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Swim England Masters Conference 2018

Masters News

There was a lively discussion and debate at the recent 2018 Masters Conference held at SportPark.

William Long, the county representative for Sussex, explained the inaugural and successful Sussex versus Kent Cup which was introduced this year. This encouraged both counties to enter two teams which competed on the day in lots of new events which saw, for example, 18 year olds in relays with 50 plus year olds.

Three clubs told us about the way they work and how they are successful in different ways.

Teddington has had to work hard to grow but has attracted a wide range of swimmers who have different needs. Kings Cormorants now have a waiting list and attribute this (amongst other things) to the way they swim and socialise together. While Etwall Eagles has a clear development plan, which includes its very successful open meet and a small committee which feeds into the age group swimming committee.

Unfortunately, Verity Dobbie, chair of the Swim England Masters Working Group, couldn’t attend the conference due to ill health. So Sharon Lock, Swim England’s masters officer, discussed the achievements of the group and Swim England, as well as what’s happened on in the international Masters stage in 2017-18.

Damien Bryan, Swim England’s talent coach, gave a highly motivating and engaging presentation about what to expect from your masters coach. The key message was your coach may have lots of different types of swimmers and it’s important they get to know all of you, what your needs, motivations and backgrounds are and how these will affect the way you train. A big thank you to Damien for staying much longer than expected and answering everyone’s questions throughout and even after lunch.

In the afternoon session of the Masters Conference, everyone was asked to get their thinking caps on and get into groups to discuss the masters strategy. This exercise started some in-depth discussions and allowed the masters working group to listen to swimmers’ views. Great suggestions on the way forward were made, which will be fed into the strategy review.

You can download any of the presentations from the day here:

If you would like any more information on any of the topics, or would like to get in touch with any of the speakers, please email masters@swimming.org.

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