Kintyre swimmer selected for Scottish Swimming junior academy

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A 13-year-old Kintyre swimmer is making waves at national level after being selected for this year’s Scottish Swimming junior academy.

Evie Judge was chosen to participate in the initiative run by Scottish Amateur Swimming Association (SASA) Districts and the Scottish Swimming Performance Team, underpinning the national programme of senior, youth and development squads.

As a result of Covid, this year’s programme initially took place over Zoom, with Evie linking in to various online workshops including sports psychology with Zoe Black, a sports psychology consultant who works in a number of sporting environments including swimming, rugby, football, basketball and tennis.

The online workshop looked at techniques to overcome anxiety in competition, including mental rehearsal and visualisation.

With restrictions gradually easing, Evie was delighted to be able to travel to Tollcross International Swimming Centre in Glasgow on Saturday, to meet up with 74 other swimmers from across the West District.

Swimmers from across the West District gathered for Scottish Swimming’s junior academy.
Swimmers from across the West District gathered for Scottish Swimming’s junior academy.

The junior academy swimmers took over Tollcross with three lead coaches, 16 club coaches, including Stuart McQuaker, head coach at Kintyre Amateur Swimming Club (KASC), and team managers.

The day started early with registration followed immediately with the first pool session of the day.

The swimmers and coaches were split into two groups and Evie found herself in the group being led by none other than the national performance coach Alan Lynn.

Alan is responsible for technical development in swimming and heads up the extensive national squad programme.

The morning session in the pool focused on breaststroke and individual medley turns and finished with land-based stretching.

Swimmers stopped to enjoy lunch together at the poolside and this was followed by an informative presentation from swimmer Jack Thorpe, who shared his journey within swimming and challenged those in junior academy to discuss various challenges within small groups.

Evie returned to the pool for the afternoon’s session, focusing on butterfly, which was led by Alan, gradually building technique with swimmers using training fins.

The session challenged their thinking and emphasised the importance of always ensuring swimmers develop their technique at all training sessions.

There were various sessions focusing on different techniques.

The afternoon’s pool session finished with a number of fun relays in Tollcross with swimmers challenged to swim various strokes before Alan brought the day’s events to a close and swimmers safely departed.

Evie found the day to be informative and KASC hopes that next year Kintyre will have more swimmers selected for the junior academy.