The second Development Gala of the season took place on Saturday January 21st. Six swimmers from the club participated in the Swim Ulster Development Gala in Omagh, Co. Tyrone.
This event involves not only just swimming regular strokes but also meeting the new criteria of staying under the water until your hips are past the flags for the start and every turn of the 100m IM Swim. While some may think this is easy, well try it. And try it going fast trying to get a time to progress you to the next level of competition.
This is a tough challenge and requires a lot of purposeful, focused practice at training. The rational for this requirement is to develop a high standard of underwater skill (ABC’s off the wall, turning sequence skills, streamlining, kicking, breath management and kinaesthetic awareness), in all developing swimmers in order that they have pretty much mastered a very important aspect of high level swimming, early in their development.
There were also, kick only events (also new), to help motivate swimmers to practice their kicking and reinforce the importance of leg work in all swimming strokes and distances.
There were also relay races and these of course bring the noise level and the excitement to a new level of decibel altogether.
So our swimmers all attempted the IM, kick and relay events. They also swam other strokes over 50, 100 and 200m.
Success was achieved in obtaining new Personal Best times and in some instances medals. The list of swimmers and their results are as follows;
James Campbell… 100 free kick BRONZE, 50 Fly BRONZE, 100 Breast BRONZE.
Hazel Mc Morrow…. 100 free kick 4th, 50 fky, 100 breast PB.
Michael Mc Morrow…. 100 free kick, 100 breast PB.
Susie O Flaherty …. 100 IM, 100 free kick BRONZE, 50 Fly, 100 breast PB.
Hannah Sheridan…. 100 free kick, 100 breast PB.
Darcy Walker …. 100 IM – GOLD.
The skill of streamlining is a basic requirement of swimming fast and does not cost the swimmer any additional energy to gain valuable time. Our swimmers executed this skill “to a much improved level” according to the Swim Ulster Talent Coach. Some of the Sliabh Beagh swimmers were listed among the clubs who achieved the required standard. A work in progress!
Overall this was a worthwhile event for our swimmers, as it gave purpose to their training and the opportunity to perform their learned skills in a competitive setting. Each swimmer should take the feedback they got into their future training sessions and take ownership of improving these points and developing newer and different aspects of their swim development. It is a tough but worthwhile sporting and life skill process.