Courtesy: Swim Wales
2019 started with a splash for fourteen swimmers from the Senior Elite, Elite Development and Para Elite Development squads. Before the New Year began the carefully selected squad travelled to the Thanyapura Sports Resort in Phuket, Thailand to complete two weeks of intensive training. The key objectives of the camp were to continue to develop world class technical skills and behaviors while improving upon their physiological fitness levels at the start of the long course season.
The camp also included educational sessions in areas of nutrition, injury prevention, and one to one athlete review and goal setting meetings. Following the success of the Gold Coast, a relatively young team of elite athletes were selected with one eye on Birmingham 2022, many of who were stepping up to training at this level for the first time. The athletes were supported on the camp by an experienced and highly skilled multidisciplinary staff, which included expertise in coaching, strength and conditioning, physiotherapy, nutrition, performance science and team management.
Thanyapura Sports Resort was chosen as it provides a world class training environment for the athletes, with its exceptional facilities, training conditions and nutrition. The location provided great experience and exposure in terms of travel distance and challenges, adapting to the time difference of +7 hours, nutritional choices and cultural variance. All this provided great preparation as the next four major international competitions will take place in Asia (World Championships 2019 – South Korea, World Para Championships 2019 – Malaysia, Olympics/Paralympics – Japan).
The team of athletes and staff set incredibly high standards throughout the camp, both in and out of the pool, and displayed exceptional levels of delivery in all areas, be that during land based training, pool based training or simply in the way they conducted themselves away from training. The team new comers stepped up to elite level in an incredible manner and by the end of the camp, many of these looked like they had been swimming as an elite athlete for many years. The camp proved to be a great learning experience for all involved and will provide a fantastic springboard for these athletes as they head towards their goals in the year to come.
The athletes training in Phuket were:
Alys Thomas (Swansea University)
Harriet West (Loughborough University)
Harriet Jones (City of Cardiff)
Dan Jones (Swansea University)
Dylan Broom (Torfaen Dolphins)
Rhys Davies (Pembrokeshire County)
Matthew Richards (Royal Wolverhampton School)
Medi Harris (Swim Gwynedd)
Ioan Evans (Millfield School)
Alisha Hawkins (Stockport Metro)
Rebecca Sutton (City of Cardiff)
Kyle Booth (City of Cardiff)
Lewis Fraser (Swansea University)
Joseph Small (Swansea University)
The staff supporting the athletes in Phuket were:
Team leader / Head Coach: Ross Nicholas
Coaches: Graham Wardell, Stuart McNarry, Graeme Antwhistle
S+C coach: Spencer Fuge
Physio: Rhys Shorney
Nutritionist: Rebecca Burns
Performance Scientist: Helen Parrot
Team Manager: Sue Flanigan