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The new swimming season is getting underway this weekend with the second stage of the Club Championships.

Auchenharvie blocks 1331 x 998
Swimmers from across our squads – including some of our Synchro and Masters – will be competing in the fast and furious sprint races at Auchenharvie pool on Sunday afternoon.
 
Just like at the first round, the times they set for each event will earn them LEN points corresponding to how close they are to the world record at that distance, and the totals from this meet and the distance races will be added together to find out who are this year’s age group champions, to be revealed at a later date!
 
Then we’re into a hectic run of weekends with the West District Sprints & Relays, and our Foundation and Development meets following in September.
 
So, it seems like a good time to catch up with our coaching team and hear about their plans for the season to come.
 
Jess swimmers 1224 x 918“This is the first proper pre-season I’ve had with the club,” says Head Coach, Jess Wilkie.
 
“My aim is to get the seniors in the Youth and National squads straight back up to full fitness and pushing different areas -like getting them out of the pool a little bit more, which can also have the added benefit of making them appreciate the work in the water!”
 
As for her targets for 2019/20 she says: “The ambition for this season is to get as many swimmers qualifying for SNAGS as possible. I thought we did alright last season but there’s a lot of younger ones coming through who I think are definitely in with a shot of making it to Aberdeen in March next year.
 
“Depending on how many qualify we could look at team travel arrangements – that would be pretty cool!”
 
“Before that we’ve got the Scottish Short Course to aim for and we’re going to finish the year with the South Ayrshire meet and race our local rivals.
 
The last few months have seen a big change in the age profile of the senior squads, with an influx of swimmers moving up from the junior section and a number of club stalwarts moving on to higher education or calling time on their swimming careers.
 
“It’s a lot younger group than we had last year and we’re going to be more focused on the age group meets,” explains Jess. “But the exciting thing is that it’s very, very competitive at the moment, especially among the girls, and the boys are starting to come through as well, so hopefully they’ll challenge them a little bit more.
 
“We’re trying make sure that people recognise us for our skills and there’s definitely going to be a lot more diving – that’s something we definitely didn’t do enough of at the start of last season. 
 
We’ll be getting the blocks out as much as possible and really using them – and we’re fortunate to have access to a really good set at the Portal,
so we’ll be making the most of that.”
 
Alan swimmers 1224 x 918“I’m really excited about this year,” says Junior Coach, Alan Dickson. “Last season gave us a tremendous stepping stone.
 
“It was really good to see 23 swimmers back in the water and raring to go for my first session after the holidays this week.”
 
“Over the summer I’ve been working on a plan that gives me the best chance of making sure all the swimmers have got the skills they need to take themselves forward and feed into the senior squad.
 
“My big message for the kids is to focus on their skills and not think about the times or the outcomes.
 
“As a coach I’m looking for them to be working hard in training and see them applying what they’ve learned in a race situation.
 
“We’ve had a fantastic last couple of years, getting back to where I’ve always felt we should be with the number of swimmers being selected for DRP, and I want to make sure this time next year we’ve got 8 or 9 swimmers qualifying for the programme.”