Swimmers getting back to their best

Evie Judge took part in a virtual District Regional Programme.

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Kintyre ASC swimmers taking part in the virtual Championships.

After a long five months out of the water, swimmers from Kintyre ASC were delighted to get back to the pool as soon as restrictions were lifted.

Based at Aqualibrium, the club worked closely with Live Argyll to ensure that an organised, phased return was put in place with the swimmers among the first in Scotland to return to the water.

Lockdown was particularly challenging for Kintyre ASC swimmers as nothing comes close to training in the same environment that they compete in but the club organised Zoom sessions with Live Argyll’s Jake Sanders and had regular online sessions as part of the Argyll and Clyde Swim Team.

Swimmers stayed as active as they could in their own ways while ACST swimmers and coaches took part in a Q and A on Zoom with Scottish Olympic swimmer Hannah Miley.

Club training has gradually increased and the club is almost back to where it was prior to lockdown with swimmers attending most sessions ‘pool ready’ to avoid using the changing rooms.

Kintyre’s Evie Judge was again selected for Scottish Swimming’s District Regional
Programme (DRP) after her performances in the pool prior to lockdown.

Evie had successfully qualified for the Scottish National Age Group Championships (SNAGS) and was looking forward to swimming in Aberdeen when the pandemic hit and all events in the swimming calendar were cancelled.

This year’s DRP programme was successfully held over Zoom with three sessions scheduled.

Evie enjoyed this year’s experience although slightly different from the normal sessions usually held in Cumbernauld.

She took part in group breakout sessions learning about aerobic and anaerobic/speed training.

In the final session she learned about the importance of ‘preparation’ and ‘visualisation’ as well as watching an excellent presentation by senior swimmer Katie Robertson followed by an informative Q and A discussion.

Over recent training sessions the swimmers have been competing in this year’s Argyll and Clyde Championships virtually.

Instead of swimmers travelling and meeting up at the same venue, which is not allowed under current restrictions, it was decided this year to hold the championships virtually.

Clubs simply time swimmers in events at their own pool, following safe protocols, and submit results for the overall championships.

Head coach Stuart McQuaker said: ‘What has been unbelievable is the personal best times that swimmers have been recording here, showing that as a club Kintyre AC is getting back to the competitive level that it was at before the pandemic struck.

‘It’s just unfortunate swimmers are unable to compete on a bigger stage at present.’

Kintyre ASC top squad swimmers have also been getting timed for Scottish Swimming’s Tighinn Comhla 2020, a National Virtual Gathering.