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'Patriotic honour' felt by coaches selected for Swim England National Junior Squad

The coaches who will lead the Swim England National Junior Squad have spoken of their ‘patriotic honour’ and ‘privilege’ at being selected for the role.

Nine coaches, led by Poole Swimming Club’s Barry Alldrick, have been picked to develop the ‘healthy blend of existing talent and promising potential’ chosen for the squad.

Barry said of his appointment: “Each time I gain a selection, it fills me with patriotic honour.

“This year has been particularly challenging for everyone and we will certainly seize the extra time and opportunity the team has with these athletes to thoroughly guide them to prepare for the competitive arena we all love to thrive in.”

In total, there are seventy-one swimmers on the team, all of whom will take part in the squad’s first online event of the 2020-2021 season on Saturday, December 5.

Despite the difficulties this year has presented, each of the coaches has spoken positively about the ‘opportunities’ that online camps present.

Head coach

  • Barry Alldrick – Poole

Team coaches

  • Rachel Adlington – Millfield
  • Roberto Pavoni – Plymouth Leander
  • Greg King-Limb – Mount Kelly
  • Chris Littler – City of Birmingham
  • Adam Naylor – RTW Monson
  • Dan Cocking – City of Sheffield
  • Dan Fogg – Hatfield
  • Joe Stanford – Nova Centurion

Nova Centurion performance coach, Joe Stanford, said his selection was “a privilege”, and commended Swim England on continuing the talent pathway programme outside of the pool.

He added: “This year will be very different and I am looking forward to seeing what skills they have learnt from lockdown that they can bring to the camp.

“I feel extremely lucky to be working with some of the best junior swimmers in England.

Adam Naylor, head coach of RTW Monson, said: “2020 has been a challenging year for everyone and it is really impressive that we are still able to positively impact on our future international athletes via the online platform.

“There are some really interesting workshops for the swimmers to engage in and further their knowledge and understanding of our sport.

“This camp is a great opportunity for the athletes, coaches and support staff to collaborate, motivate and learn from one another.

“It is a huge honour to be involved and I am very much looking forward to working with the athletes this weekend.”

Fantastic opportunity

Mount Kelly’s Greg King-Lamb said of his selection: “I am incredibly honoured to be selected as part of the Swim England National Junior Squad and the virtual camp will be of huge benefit for all the athletes and coaches involved.

“It is a pleasure to see many of the athletes selected this year come through the National Development Programme and National Events Camp in previous years and their selection is a testament to their talent and commitment to the sport.”

Fellow team coach, Dan Cocking of City of Sheffield, said: “It is a fantastic opportunity and I am delighted to be selected.

“I am looking forward to working with some of the country’s best swimmers and alongside some fantastic coaches.

“It will be different coaching online. However, I have no doubt it will be a success and both coach and athlete will be better for it.”

Staying connected

Rachel Adlington of Millfield stressed the importance of staying connected for all those within the swimming community.

She said: “The swimming community has worked really hard this year to stay connected and there are some real positive learnings that we can carry into 2021.

“It’s always exciting to be included in the Swim England Programmes; it’s great to share ideas with new minds and hear different athlete’s stories.”

Plymouth Leander’s Assistant Head Coach, Roberto Pavoni, agreed that keeping the lines of communication open between athletes and coaches is paramount.

“I feel it’s extremely important to remain in contact with our young, high-performing athletes, and to provide them with as many learning opportunities as possible whilst the swimming community as a whole is largely out of the water.

“I’m really pleased to be selected for the National Junior Squad and am excited to be part of the new online experience.”