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Success of the Sheffield Beacon Programmes

Sheffield is host to three very successful but diverse Beacon programmes providing high quality training and support services to swimmers, divers and water polo players.

For the last three years City of Sheffield Swimming Squad, City of Sheffield Water Polo Club and Sheffield Diving Club have hosted elite training programmes and support packages for athletes across their region or club network.

This includes pool based training, strength and conditioning or dry land training and sports science support, using funding secured through the ASA Beacon Programme.

In addition, these clubs have provided training and mentoring opportunities for local club coaches and volunteers, the development of athlete pathways from grass roots through to elite level and have brought together local and regional clubs through club networks to provide support for each other and deliver local projects.

City of Sheffield Swimming Squad

City of Sheffield Swimming Squad have had much success as a result of the Beacon Programme, including Ellie Faulkner and Max Litchfield qualifying for the 2016 Olympics and James Crisp qualifying for the 2016 Paralympics.

In 2015, Nick Grainger, Ellie Faulkner and Becky Turner competed in the World Championships, with Grainger bringing home a gold medal as part of the Men’s 4 x 200m Freestyle team relay.

In 2014, five swimmers from the club represented England and one represented Scotland, winning five medals between them. Six other swimmers are also currently competing at international level in events including the Mare Nostrum series 2016, the French Open, European Junior Swimming Championships 2016, the Italian Cup and the European University Games 2016.

There has also been an increase of swimmers competing at national level, from 29 in June 2014 to 35 in 2016 and an increase of swimmers competing at regional level from 57 in June 2014 to 81 in 2016.

The club is now focused on preparations for the Rio Olympics in August 2016 and Tokyo Olympics in 2020.  The club is also keen to ensure the ongoing sustainability of their programme and is currently seeking business sponsorship, anyone interested in discussing sponsorship opportunities with the club should contact Rachel Jones, Director of Operations: rachel.jones@cosss.co.uk

City of Sheffield Water Polo

For City of Sheffield Water Polo Club the provision of Beacon funding has enabled the club to develop a highly successful ‘Mini Monsters’ programme as an introduction to water polo and vital grassroots feed into the club.

Find out more about City of Sheffield Water Polo club.Additionally, 2015 saw the start of monthly training sessions for talented players aged 13 to 17-years-old from across the North East and East Midlands Regions, with 25 boys and 33 girls now training regularly together. One parents provided the following feedback:

”We feel that the Beacon program provides Cameron with the fundamental skills and training required to further progress as a Water Polo player and without this program he would not be able to maintain the high level of skills and training required to progress further in the sport.

“The coaches and support team have truly offered a development program that is well structured and we have noticed that Cameron finds the training beneficial, challenging but enjoyable. It truly is an asset to the Beacon coaching squad to pull together such a comprehensive and well-structured program.”

Congratulations to the six players from the Beacon Squad who have been selected to represented ESSA schools at an international tournament in Malta in October 2016.  Those selected are Ben Stephenson, Kris Egginton, Connor Keeble, Connor Carpenter, Daniel Hunt, Michael Cousins and George Reader

Over the coming months it is expected that these highly successful Beacon sessions will become part of the North East Regional Academy and form part of the new national water polo performance pathway.

Sheffield Diving Club

For Sheffield Diving Club, Beacon funding has enabled them to achieve national and international successes, including Freddie Woodward qualifying to represent Great Britain at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Sheffield Diving Club has had an athlete selected for every Olympic Games since 1992, which is testament to the great work that they do with their athletes.

In 2016, divers from Sheffield won six medals at the British Diving Championships for the second year in a row and since 2014, 13 athletes have qualified for Junior and Senior England and GB teams, including two athletes representing their country at the London 2016 European Aquatics Championships.

Other fantastic successes have included the delivery of an annual ‘Talent ID Programme’ in primary schools. Since 2012 over 10,000 Year 3 and 4 pupils have worked with club coaches through a series of fundamental skills in their own school sports halls.

The club also delivers a highly successful ‘Learn to Dive’ programme at Ponds Forge for 300 regular participants and has been instrumental in supporting the development of diving in both Maltby and Barnsley.  Sheffield Diving Club can also boast being the first and only diving club to achieve swim 21 performance accreditation.

Moving forward the club has aspirations to refurbish their dry land diving training area and are currently seeking funding opportunities for this.