Twenty swimmers swimmers from Coleraine Swimming Club leftthe winter chills behind them as they jetted off to Tenerife for warm weather training.
It was the first time that we at Coleraine Swimming Club had organised a warm weather training trip and everyone was very excited about the prospect of spending five days in the heat of Tenerife during the Halloween half term break.
Following an early start and coach trip to Dublin airport followed by the five hour flight to Tenerife everyone eventually arrived in the team hotel. After a late dinner everyone got to bed in preparation for the early start the next day and the first training session of the camp.
The 50m open air training pool was a 10-15 walk from the hotel and the pool was booked for two 1.5 hour sessions per day (one every morning and afternoon/early evening).
Training in a 50m pool was a new experience for most of the team and during the five days away they would be doing more training than in three average weeks of training in the 25m Coleraine Leisure Centre pool. Therefore, physically the trip was going to be very demanding and push most swimmers to a new level of training they had never experienced before.
All swimmers were tested using various skill and speed tests on the first session of day one hence giving the three travelling coaches a knowledge of where each swimmer was starting from. The main focus of the trip was to encourage team spirit within the club’s senior squad and improve their starts/turns and dolphin kick. Each training set was devised with this end goal in mind. Some sets being skill based and some endurance based.
The team spirit needed no encouragement as all swimmers from the age of 11 to 17 years mixed well and encouraged each other when training became tough and spent time together as a group in their free time.
Away from the pool, activities included, beach American football, beach rounders, Siam Waterpark, sea swimming, mini golf, shopping and endless Burger King Fantas.
On two different evenings the swimmers did something none of them had experienced before – train in the dark! The pool was floodlit in the evening after 6pm and the sun had set for the day. This was fun for everyone however visibility proved difficult with the mirrored darkened goggles most swimmers had with them!
On the final day further testing was carried out to check for improvements in skill and speed. Practically all athletes improved their skill and speed in all tests undertaken – which was a great achievement.
After five days of constant training and fun on the beach it was time for home and the long journey back to Coleraine.
All 20 swimmers had a great time, trained hard, had fun and behaved extremely well and were a credit to their swimming club. The next club PTL gala is a few weeks away and hopefully some of the new skills will be carried through at competition level.
Already thoughts are turning towards planning the next warm weather training trip!
Meanwhile the club would like to thank The RAF for sponsoring some new club kit. The club was given new club shorts and polo shirts which can be worn when the athletes are representing Coleraine Swimming Club at club, Ulster and Irish galas and on club tours.
Montgomery Irwin, Coleraine based RIBA chartered architects and designers sponsored 20 tour T-shirts for the swim team from Coleraine Swimming Club who travelled Tenerife for warm weather training.
McClarty’s Insurance, Railway Road based Insurance provider sponsored the travelling team free travel insurance for their warm weather training camp in Tenerife over the half term holidays. This allowed the team to travel with team insurance and reduce the price of the overall cost to parents.