Cairns coaches pool talents to boost swimmers
CAIRNS Central Swimming Club mentor Andrew "Herbie" Howard hopes a series of training camps involving some of the region's most talented junior swimmers can be held again in the future.
Howard and many of the Far North's other top coaches have been working with 30 swimmers aged 10-15 years over the past two months to improve the level of competitive swimming in the Peninsula region.
Each of the camps has focused on a specific stroke and incorporated a dry-land program to further aid the athletes' development.
The first camp, on September 8 covered freestyle, while butterfly was addressed in the second camp, held on October 6.
Saturday's session at the Woree pool was dedicated to breaststroke and was overseen by the current TAS Swimming head coach and former Canadian Olympian Morgan Knabe.
Howard said the training camps were a coach-driven initiative and fostered a co-operative approach to developing talent.
"Ultimately, we wanted to see more swimmers from a wider range of clubs performing at a state and national level," he said.
"We think that targeting some fringe swimmers who may just need that little bit more enticement to train more in their home programs, improve some of the skills and to motivate them and swimmers around them to strive a little bit higher, would improve the overall region's performance."
Howard said the selection of swimmers for the camps was left to the coaches' discretion.
"Ultimately we wanted kids who were willing to commit to the program, who wanted to put the hard work in and who would come with the right attitude," he said.
"The feedback we've got from everybody has been really positive and hopefully we can keep do them again in the future."
The fourth camp (backstroke) will be held in Mareeba on November 17.
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Capacity building: Cairns Central Swimming Club mentor Andrew Howard at Saturday's breaststroke camp, held at the Woree pool. Picture: TOM LEE