A revamped Talent Pathway booklet has been published which outlines Swim England plans to provide a clear route for development for swimmers aged from 11 years to international level. At the starting point are County Associations which have been asked to run training camps for 11 year olds and working on stroke development. In the South West Devon, Dorset, Gloucester and Somerset were able to get these camps up and running in 2017, with Cornwall and Wiltshire planning to join the programme in 2018.
In Dorset, thirty six swimmers comprising 13 boys and 23 girls were selected for the programme following the 2017 County Championships. So far, County Pathway camps have been held in April and June and with the third and final camp scheduled for 1 October. All camps have been held at Dorchester Sports Centre.
Regions were tasked with running camps for 12 year olds and focussing on starts, turns and finishes. In the South West thirty six swimmers, with 18 girls and 18 boys participating, were selected from rankings. The camps, which will all be held at Oxley Leisure Centre in Sherborne, Dorset will be a mixture of pool work, pre and post pool exercises, land training and talks covering nutrition and psychology. The first Regional camp took place on 16 July, with the second due to take place in October. Dorset swimmers selected were Finley Chandler (Poole), Lawrence Elliott (Seagulls), Molly Goddard (Poole) and Charlie Rowe (Tornadoes).
The next stage of development is known as Phase 1 where a smaller cohort of swimmers will be invited. These camps, which will be run by Swim England, will be a mixture of swimmers from more than one region and will be held in various parts of the country. Phase 2 includes an overseas camp and is followed by Phase 3 and 2024 – all of which are run by England Programmes and lead into British Swimming’s World Class Podium Potential and then World Class Podium.
As all swimmers develop at different rates, some may follow the path right through from bottom to top but many others will dip in and out of the programme, or even start part way up. For further information on the Swim England Talent Pathway click here.