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National Development Camps helping athletes build ‘confidence and courage’

The Swim England National Development Camps have helped athletes build ‘confidence and courage’ after successfully moving to an online format.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the camps could not be delivered in the traditional face to face set up.

Swim England’s Swimming Talent Team instead designed a way to deliver these remotely, which has turned out to be a ‘huge success’.

The camps include a talk and question and answer session with an elite athlete and cover topics such as goal setting after lockdown, sleep recovery and injury prevention and coping strategies.

So far, more than 1,000 athletes have taken part in the online development camps, with ages ranging from 11 through to 14-years-old.

The most recent schedule saw a total of 433 teenagers involved across six different camps.

They were joined by 60 coaching staff along with Sport Science and Medicine practitioners.

An array of thank you’s have flooded social media following the development camps – not only from the athletes but also from their clubs, coaches and parents.

One parent said: “My son really enjoyed the camp and found it incredibly useful.

“One of his biggest problems is dealing with his own ‘stress’ when racing and he found the suggestions really helpful – thank you.”

The key objectives have been to deliver education that is not only inspiring, but keeps swimmers engaged and motivated to succeed in their sport.

Richard Blackshaw, Swim England National Talent Officer for swimming, said: “The camps were a huge success, lead brilliantly by our head coaches and facilitated by the skills coaches and sport science team who delivered the workshops.

“There was a large emphasis on swimmer engagement within a series of breakout rooms throughout the day.

“The swimmers were outstanding, they were so adaptable and engaged. It was fantastic to see swimmers develop confidence and courage.”

More camps are set to take place in the coming months, with one planned for 15 to 16-year-olds in November followed by a camp for under 18s in December.