After a strong summer of competition where they collected 10 medals and finished fifth at the Commonwealth Games the Scots are not sitting back on their laurels.
National Team Head Coach Alan Lynn, who took over those duties in October, has developed two training camps and will be sending a strong contingent to the Flanders Speedo Cup in Antwerp, Belgium on January 24th and 25th.
“Scottish swimming is on a real high after another successful Commonwealth Games,” Lynn told the Scotsman.
“We have some established performers and some outstanding potential to look out for in the next few years. I aim to support the excellent performance environments already in place and challenge our swimmers and coaches to make the gains necessary for even greater success.”
One of the initiatives that Lynn has continued with, to get the most out of his young swimmers, was to hold a camp for 40 of Scotland’s best 13-15 year olds from December 26th-30th, “This camp has been run for many years around this time and has always proved to be a great success,” said Lynn.
“As all of the youngsters have school commitments and miles to travel, this is the best time of year to hold it and we believe they and the coaches will have taken a lot from it.”
He will now be taking a group of seven pool and two open water swimmers to Australia for a training camp focused on achieving success in Rio,“It is always great to be able to start a new year with some warm-weather training and this group of athletes will really be able to refocus their goals whilst we are out there,” said Lynn.
“Of course, the big events on the horizon are the Olympics in Rio in 2016 and the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018, but there are plenty of things for these guys to be aiming for before then.”
Two of the most high profile swimmers in this group will be Keri-Anne Payne the 10km Olympic silver medalist and Stephen Milne who broke the Scottish records in the 800 and 1500 freestyle this summer along with collecting a silver at the Commonwealth Game in the 4 x 200 freestyle relay.
“It is also great that someone of Keri-Anne Payne’s experience is coming with us on the trip and there is no doubt that the others will enjoy working with her and learning from her.”
The rest of the swimmers travelling with the team will include; Craig McNally, Lewis Smith, Camilla Hattersley, Kirsty Simpson, Megan Briggs, Kathleen Dawson and Danielle Huskisson.
After the camp McNally, Milne, Briggs and Dawson will join nine other Scots who will compete as part of a British team at the Flanders Speedo Cup.
“The Flanders meet will be provide another valuable opportunity in the overall race strategy for our swimmers,” British Swimming Head Coach Bill Furniss told Scottish Swimming.
“These events allow us to practice the process goals that are important for progression this season.”
“Once again, the team will be a mix of our top seniors and juniors and a chance to work on our team behaviours.”
The rest of the Scottish swimmers attending the meet will include; Craig Benson, Charlie Boldison, Jordan Hughes, Michael Jamieson, Craig Maclean, Ross Murdoch, Duncan Scott, Sian Harkin and Hannah Miley.