COACHES REVIEW 2021
Covid 19 is still with us, yet we are learning to deal with it and understand how it affects training and impacts on swimmers’ goals. Thankfully, we have not been hit too hard with cases and the swimmers remain in good health.
As a club we had a fundraiser earlier in the year, where three swimmers swam the distance of the channel in the Beeston Hall School pool. These swimmers were Romilly, Isaac and Noah along with support swimmers that helped though out the day. It was great to see many of the other swimmers come along and support the trio.
I have been in regular meetings with my mentor, Alex Pinniger, City of Norwich Head Coach, and he has helped me understand short, medium and long-term training schedules and different ways to write sessions to get the most from the swimmers and help them progress. This has all helped us get ready for competitions this year and we have had some great achievements.
The first event of the year was Midsummer Madness. Being Long course, it was a real test for the swimmers who had not competed for over a year and only returned to training two months earlier. This competition saw a lot of good swims; we had 15 top three places and more importantly 59 PBs. This event saw Harry H compete in his first gala outside of club champs and he swam a very impressive 100m free under 60 seconds.
Our second gala that we attended was held by Diss Otters at the Sportspark. This saw 12 swimmers attend this meet and we had many of our younger swimmers at the meet for their first foray into the world of competing. We saw again many personal best times and first-time competition swims; this meet also saw Viking’s swimmers getting qualifying times for next year’s County Championship in January and February 2022. We still have one more gala to go at the end of the month and I am sure there will be more PBs and more qualifying times.
This year we also had Chloe J and Isaac B attend an open water course at Whitlingham Lake, hosted by Norfolk County ASA in lieu of any open water championships. I think it’s fair to say, while one loved it the other did not!
Unable to find any OW swims hosted by Swim England; Isaac entered an OW swim at Holme Pierpont (the home of National OW events) which was being put on by Outlaw triathlon. He placed 2nd in the U16 category, finishing the 1.2mile (2km) course in just over 35mins. This was also the venue where our Chair, Sarah, took part in her first Ironman which she says will be her first and only Ironman but I guess we’ll have to see about that! Sarah finished 3rd in her age group in a little over 12 hours. Later on in the year, coaches Sarah and Roxanne both took part in the Great Yarmouth triathlon. Roxanne has also found the love of tri and open water events after taking part in many this year. I am sure she already has some planned for next year.
At the beginning of September both Romilly and Isaac took part in the City of Norwich distance time trials. Romilly finished her race in 12:12.90, narrowly missing out on a County qualifying time. Isaac finished his race in 10:45.36 placing him first in his age group and qualifying for Counties and only 5 seconds off a regional time for next year.
Also, I have been competing in Masters competitions. I went up to Scotland for their nationals and won the 200m free to become Scottish National Champion. Just six weeks later I went to Sheffield for British National Masters where I swam faster than in Scotland and came 4th in the 400m free. This achievement I’m hoping will inspire our younger swimmers and proves that swimming doesn’t
Training will now focus on Counties in January and February 2022; a schedule has been put in place to ensure that the swimmers that have qualified will be ready to compete and achieve their best.
Also, with this in mind next year there will be a focus on Counties 2023 where we as a club will have many more qualifiers as there are a lot of new swimmers that have joined all squads of the club and their hard work is already paying off.
Let’s keep working hard together,
Many thanks Sam