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A total of 430 swimmers have been selected for the Swim England National Development Programme learning and engagement day. The National Development Programme is the third step on the Swim England Extended Talent Pathway but the first on the national framework. Swimmers were chosen using the new adjusted selection guidelines that have been introduced for the 2020-21 season because of the coronavirus pandemic.

A Swim England spokesperson said: “Swim England Swimming Talent has tried where possible to make these guidelines robust and transparent whilst also promoting fairness and inclusion to all of our aspiring young swimmers. We intend to continue to collaborate with our regions and counties and where possible continue our pathway activities to help enhance the daily training environment so swimmers and coaches that show future performance potential have continued support along their journey.”

The 13 and 14-year-olds picked will be expected to join a day of online workshops in early October covering ‘Loving Race Day’, sleep recovery and injury prevention. A dry land conditioning session will also emphasise mobility and stability to enhance the anti-rotational / rotational strokes and streamlining. The highest-ranked 15 to 17 year old male and female pool and open water swimmers have been chosen for an online engagement day in November.

Due to the pandemic, there will be no pool camps in 2020 and dry land activity will be carried out online. It is hoped that pool activity may resume in 2021, depending on timing and the ability to host safely. This is dependent on the latest Government guidelines and will be confirmed in due course.

Swimmers were selected based on the Swim England long course rankings in each individual Olympic pool event and only times achieved between 22 March 2019 and 15 March 2020 were considered. Grant Robins, Swim England Head of Talent – Swimming, said: “We’d like to say well done and congratulate everyone selected for the National Talent Camps. We know this year’s camps will be very different to what we have been used to in the past but it’s still an honour for all these youngsters to be selected. I’m sure everyone will dive into  the opportunity to be involved in the online engagement day and we’re looking forward to working with all our developing swimmers over the coming season.”

Dorset swimmers selected are: Bournemouth Collegiate – Jamie Workman; Poole SC – Max Looker, Tilly McHugh, Charlie Meek, Luca Sartorius; Swim Bournemouth – Frank Chappels, Connor Cherrington.

A further 91 nationally ranked swimmers aged 15 to 17 years have been selected for the National Events Camps, with Robbie Hemmings (Poole SC) being selected from Dorset.

Twelve youngsters have also been added to the 2020-21 Swim England Para-swimming Talent squad, highlighting the quality of swimmers coming through club ranks and investment in regional training. A total of 58 swimmers from 49 clubs across the country have been chosen to take part in the ‘first-class programme’. There are now 12 juniors on the pathway’s foundation tier, 12 in the junior ranks and 24 in the youth section.

Martin Lees, Swim England Para-swimming manager, said the Coronavirus pandemic had led to challenges in how to develop the potential of the swimmers in the squad but he was confident the programme that had been created would help them all to perform in the pool when it matters.

Dorset para-swimmers selected are: Luke O’Dowd (Tornadoes of South Dorset); Zack Sturgess (Swim Bournemouth).