HEAD COACHES REPORT – AGM 2014 Coaches Report AGM 2014
The past twelve months have been a busy time for the coaches, swimmers, parents and volunteers. Our membership has risen to over 140 swimmers and children are still attending for assessment and hoping to be given places in our squads. Whilst swimmers leave the sport and move on to other things, others appear out of the woodwork to replace them.
Our volunteers have worked tirelessly to ensure that Scottish Swimming Memberships and Child Protection Forms are completed to ensure that we have only properly accredited individual’s poolside with our kids. I would encourage parents to help poolside as long as they are accredited by the PVG system designed to protect children and vulnerable groups. We can arrange that.
• Training in Stirling
Six sessions have been booked for next year at the National Swimming Academy in Stirling and we will be offering places to Step Rock swimmers too. Last season saw us train there on seven occasions with Step Rock sending along swimmers for almost all sessions. This close working between the two North East Fife clubs has positively impacted on swimmers and coaches relationships, with swimmers from both clubs cheering one another on at galas. This is an admirable situation to find ourselves in and is one that should be actively encouraged and enhanced over the coming seasons.
• Swim Camps
As part of my role coaching with the Fife Performance Swimming Squad, I delivered a week long Easter Swim Camp at Lochgelly High School which was attended by seven swimmers from CADSC. Gina Logan also on the first day and shared her experiences from previous Commonwealth Games with the swimmers. Whilst nothing has yet been arranged, I would like to run a Summer Swim Camp at Cupar for our local swimmers. Keep your eyes peeled for info on the website and club noticeboard.
A large group of club swimmers attended at Dalguise once again this year and had a fantastic time. My thanks to the coaches and parents who helped arrange and supervise this event. Such team building weekends are invaluable to help our athletes bond. They enjoyed it so much, they are going back next year again. Please look to book your space soonest. Any swimmer in P7 up, can go along.
• Coaching Fife Area Squad
From November 2013, until the end of the season in June, I was appointed and acted as the Fife Area Squad Coach delivering training sessions, land work and education inputs to swimmers from nearly all of the Fife clubs. It was with great regret that I was unable to commit to coaching the squad this season too.
• Scottish Swimming – District Programme
11-yr-old Adam Young and 14-yr-old Ollie Carter achieved the necessary national times to gain entry into the Scottish Swimming District Regional Programme and have already attended the first full day of training held in Edinburgh. At Adam’s venue, he was taught by Ross Murdoch’s coach (winner of gold medal in 200m Breaststroke at Commonwealth Games in July) who showed him new swim techniques. Ollie qualified last year and this time round is training with the older group. He was also chosen to attend the national stroke camp which he found invaluable. We have several young swimmers who may go on to achieve times this year and I wish them all the best in their efforts to qualify. Two more full days of training yet to come for Ollie and Adam.
• Continuing Professional Development
Over the last year I have attended three District Regional Programme days as well as two full days at the National Swimming Academy in Stirling working with the national swim coach on stroke days for Butterfly and Freestyle, where Robbie Renwick was the swimmer. Furthermore, I have attended three CPD events at the Tayside and Fife Institute of Sport to maintain my skill levels and keep my coaching knowledge relevant and up to date.
• Performance Swimming
The Fife Performance Swim Squad unfortunately folded very recently, despite all of the efforts to keep the squad alive since the loss of the head coach last November.
This has led to the creation of a local training squad in North East Fife, with swimmers from Cupar and Step Rock training together at Cupar and Glenrothes under the guidance of former Cupar Head Coach Russ Green. This group is still in its infancy and hopes are high that we will be able to maintain a coherent and well organised group to enhance swimming at a local level. This should thereby reduce the need for swimmers to move to other clubs to access greater levels of swim time. Recent decisions surrounding this group have caused me concern and I am working hard to resolve my disquiet with the existing arrangements. Rest assured, I am fully committed to our swimmers receiving the highest levels of training at a local level.
14-yr-old Oliver Carter continues to take giant steps toward selection into the GB squad with his recent performances placing him very close to the times needed for selection to the national disability team. An existing member of Scottish Swimming’s Talent Programme and a Sports Aid Athlete, Ollie has also recently joined the ‘Next Generation’ athlete programme which ensures his development can continue to improve.
• Coaching Teams
Our coaching team continue to enjoy healthy levels of participation in swimming across the club. We currently have the weekly services of 14 coaches:
Junior Squad Coaches
Assistant Teacher John Wishart Assistant Teacher Kenny Wishart
Assistant Teacher Tracey Lorimer Assistant Teacher Jane Reay
Assistant Teacher Callum Ellis-Morton Assistant Teacher Jane Staal (soon to commence her teachers course )
Senior Club Coaches
Swim Teacher Mark McQuilton Swim Teacher Catriona McCrone
Coach Wendy Hay Swim Teacher Forrest Hamilton
Assistant Teacher Jacqui Houston Assistant Teacher John Innes
Assistant Teacher Alan Cousins Assistant Teacher Tony Thorne
Confirmation of a pool closure, muted earlier this year, has been confirmed and committee members are currently working to find alternative training venues for the club. The pool will close on the 5th January for a period of ten-twelve weeks to allow upgrading/alterations to be carried out within the swimming pool area.
Junior Squads Report by Coach John Wishart
At the AGM in 2011 I reported that we had 34 swimmers in the junior squads and can report that we now have 80 swimmers between all 4 groups. Due to the numbers on the waiting list we were able to get another two lanes at 5.30 on a Thursday evening which further increased our capacity. We continue to assess swimmers on a weekly basis which is testimony to the reputation that the Club has in the community.
The success of the Junior groups is as always due to the enthusiastic contribution made by the teachers of varying experience who actually teach the children and I am very fortunate to have at present probably the best team of teachers I have ever had on poolside, so my thanks goes to them and to the swimmers who are willing to come along to teach and demonstrate. Once again I would like to thank Gina Logan for the courses she has run during the year. We must ensure that teachers continue to be offered courses which will maintain the standards of teaching throughout the club in the future.
Our young swimmers have competed in Galas at Glenrothes and Perth and we host our own Novice Gala on Saturday 29th of November. These galas are used to introduce swimmers to competitive swimming in a supportive and friendly environment and introduces parents to the joys of timekeeping/team management.
I would like to mirror John’s comments about the support and levels of improvement within the Junior Squad. Having coached them semi-regularly, they are all keen as mustard and try very hard during sessions. The level of parent support is excellent and the envy of other clubs.
Mark Laing, Head Coach, Cupar and District Swimming Club – 3rd November 2014