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More athletes than ever take part in 'hugely successful' Development Camp

Swim England has engaged with ‘more swimmers than ever before’ during what has been described as a ‘hugely successful’ National Development Camp.

The camp took place from October 30 – 31 and saw 932 athletes taking part in online engagement days which focused on their holistic development both in and outside of the pool.

The near-thousand 13-14-year-olds were part of workshops on topics such as nutrition, mental wellbeing, turns and stroke efficiency and knowledge of events.

A variety of delivery methods were used to ensure the camp was as interactive as possible, with a group of 45 coaches delivering bespoke teaching to the athletes.

These were led by six head coaches who were selected for the camp, these were: Chris Reekie, Mandy Bell, Karen Pinniger, Greg Buck, Joe Stanford and Chris Alderton.

A number of experts also contributed to the camp including Laura Sandford (nutrition), Gemma Hathaway (strength & conditioning), Gary Pepperell (strength & conditioning), Luke Buxton (events), and Craig Robertson (events).

‘Huge success’

Richard Blackshaw, Swim England head of swimming talent, said of the camp: “The online engagement days were a huge success and we were able to engage with more swimmers of the ages of 13/14 than ever before.

“We asked swimmers to engage in break-out rooms with skills coaches, research some of the world’s best swimmers and play Top Trumps against the coaches, while also completing a strength & conditioning shoulder capacity circuit.

Speaking on the benefits of development camps, he said: “The athletes will benefit in so many ways from attending the online engagement days.

“Our philosophy is to give information and learning that can be applied back in the swimmer’s daily training environments.

“Swimmers will be more equipped to make improvements in age-appropriate aspects of their development and embed winning habits within their home programmes.

“This is a significantly higher number of athletes than we have ever engaged with before and is part of our strategy of using a combination of remote online engagement days and face-to-face camps.

Phase one of the National Development Camps will consist of two online engagement days in total with the second taking place in March 2022.

The camps are also the third step on the Swim England Extended Talent Pathway and the first on the National Framework.

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