Scotland’s performance swimmers are back in the water following the resumption of training at the National Swimming Academy at Stirling University.
Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls like Duncan Scott and Toni Shaw are delighted that they are now able to refocus on getting their qualifying campaigns back on track after Coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions on pool access for performance swimmers were eased.
Keeping on track
During lockdown the swimmers have been keeping up their training thanks to land-based programmes designed by their coaches and the physical preparation team at the sportscotland Institute of Sport.
Duncan describes how he has been able to maintain focus and fitness. “Fortunately, like so many others, I’ve been lucky enough to have the continued support from the Institute of Sport,whether that is the Workout of the Day sessions on a Tuesday and Thursday getting as many people involved, or the gym sessions on the other days. The Institute has provided constant contact allowing us to have a routine.
“Getting us back into the pool training again has also been great with the support of Scottish Swimming, the University of Stirling and the sportscotland Institute of Sport.”
Support to swim again
Toni also acknowledged the support of the wider team behind the team who have ensured she could keep up her fitness levels in the most challenging of circumstances: “There has been so much support from everyone at the Institute and Scottish Swimming including online workouts to keep us busy and active during lockdown, which has been amazing.
“The support we have had from the University of Stirling, Scottish Swimming, British Swimming and the Institute has also been fantastic, enabling us to swim again in Stirling.”
Refocus at the right time
Mike Whittingham, Director of High Performance at the sportscotland institute of sport: “It’s fantastic to see the swimmers back in the pool. We know this has been a very challenging time for them, a time when they should have been working hard towards events like the Olympic and Paralympic Games, that are the pinnacle of their careers. That’s why we delivered additional support to look after the physical and mental wellbeing of performance athletes and staff to ensure they could refocus on qualification when the time was right.
“We have worked closely with our partners at Scottish Swimming and Stirling University to get the swimmers back in the pool as soon as it was safe to do so, and we are looking forward to more performance centres opening up in the coming weeks.”
Progress is also being made to reopen other pools for high performance swimmers and these are important first steps to help guide a return to the water for all levels of the sport.
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