News September 2010
Keep up to date with what's happening at Dartes and performance swimming in Doncaster. This page records the news as it happens -- history in the making!
The Stories behind the Headlines
RSS: World of Swimming
30 Sep: Judging by how many of you have been clicking the links, a fair few people have already spotted the World of Swimming news feed we've added to the site over the past few months. With a very busy period for swimming fans coming up next week, we should probably explain a little about what it is and introduce it properly.
Different people will see World of Swimming in different places. Those with lovely wide screens get a 3rd column between the normal two, showing off around 12 news headlines in all their glory (see photo). Those of you with smaller screens get space for a single headline at the top of the 2nd column. It may be small, but that single headline rotates through the entire 30 news stories that we store each day (see insert).
The wide screen version came first by about a month, but the smaller screen version offers more. Of course, the browser window can be resized to give those with wide screens the same view as the others. Those of you browsing the site on your phone might get the small version, but many of you won't even get that.
So that's where it is, but what is it?
We've hunted the World for the best source of swimming related news stories. Most online news outlets offer a mechanism for syndicating their headlines called RSS. We've taken advantage of that by syndicating as many relevant feeds as we could find and giving you a link back to the owning site for the full story. It benefits you: you get the World of Swimming in one place; and it benefits the news outlets as it drives more visitors to their sites.
We currently include 15 different feeds. They range from the BBC here in the UK, to news outlets in Canada, America, South Africa, and all the way to Australia. There are more being added weekly too (this weekend should see another 3 being included). Quite literally, all the swimming news from around the English speaking world. We could have added a French and Spanish feed too, which although interesting, would only have a limited audience.
Originally we were updating our columns once per day. With 15 feeds busily sending us headlines from different time zones, and the Commonwealth Games sure to add many more articles next week, that is set to become hourly. To keep abreast of events in Delhi and read commentary from numerous nations, check back regularly.
Introducing: The 2km Swim
29 Sep: Last Saturday Phase 4 had an extra special treat. After the success of the 2x800m test set last season, the coaching team decided to add a bigger challenge for 2010/11. Bring on the 2km time trial!
The principle is nothing new to the sport, we're hardly breaking new ground. Indeed, 8 or 9 years ago our former Head Coach, Mick Gartside, was well known for his Friday evening sets consisting of 2000m, 1500m, 1200m, 1000m of Freestyle. Not one, but all 4 back to back! The legendary American animal lanes of the 1970s were reknown for even greater feats. And the term "T30" was coined to describe the 30min continuous swim - for Time.
So despite the shocked expressions on the 20 young faces last Saturday, this really isn't anything out of the ordinary. Maybe even a little on the short side.
In addition to the coaches just trying to be evil, there are sound reasons for doing this set on a regular basis. Oh that's right, did we forget to mention, we'll be doing it every couple of months. Some of those reasons are physiological, others are psychological, and some are just to help us measure progress.
On the physiological side the athletes spend half an hour working at their Anaerobic Threshold (if they swim it correctly). Essentially they're working at the fastest even pace that they can maintain, pushing their cardiovascular system to its limit. They discover that lovely nauseous feeling when they push a little too hard too soon, or they suffer the embarrassment of being lapped if they start off too slowly. Not only does it prepare them for the 1500m races they'll be entering this year (oh yes you will) it's also a very efficient conditioning set.
Psychologically it removes the fear of distance swimming. The longest event they'll ever race in the pool is likely to be the 1500m. So here we are discovering that 1500m is really short compared to a 2km. It's important to stay focused all the way through too; the middle section often slows down markedly. This is a good opportunity to develop pacing skills for the longer events then, critical for any kind of success at the 1500m. And of course, just as we saw with the 800m set last season, the more distance swimming you've done, the braver you get, and the more viciously you're prepared to attack from the start.
All told then, a very useful addition to our training armoury.
Now here's their first attempts:
Welcome Back Coach Keith
28 Sep: For those of you who haven't been around Dartes for very long, we have a new member of the coaching team to introduce to you. He's been away from our poolside for 2 or 3 years, but this past week you might have spotted him sporting the familiar Dartes hair cut.
Keith Gilbert (Adw) has held many posts at the club in the past, from Coach and Team Manager, right through to Child Welfare Officer. He's an experienced coach and enthusiastic character to have around the poolside, it's great to have him back on board.
His return adds yet another safe pair of hands to the coaching team around Phase 4. John Smith (Adw) has done a fantastic job over the past couple of years helping the squad's new entrants get to grips with the multitude of new skills. Sarah Green (Tho) has done a similar job on Friday nights, while Phil Hughes often helps out on Tuesdays as he works towards his Level 3 Senior Coach qualification. On the Land Training side Leann Dodson (Adw) will soon return from injury to add a little extra sparkle in the gym too.
Over seeing the Phase 4 programme, Assistant Coach Dave Cuthbert would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to each of them. A sentiment sure to be echoed by the swimmers in the squad. Your help makes so much more possible and hopefully we can all continue to learn from each other in the future. Any more budding coaches (or experienced ones for that matter) who fancy flexing their skills in a different environment are more than welcome to join in the fun too. Just get in touch.
Dave Holmes Cleans up at NER Masters
18 Sep: The NER Masters Championships took place at Freemans Quay Durham. Doncaster's clubs were represented by 4 swimmers who between them came home with medals galore. Top performer among them, and having won all 15 events the top performer at the meet, was Dave Holmes (Arm) in the 25-29 age group. He's back training at Dartes for a couple of early mornings each week and is keen to take the Masters World by storm over the next couple of years.
Competing alongside him was Doncaster's long time masters competitor Brian Taylor (Adw). Brian has represented Yorkshire Masters on numerous occasions in addition to coaching Doncaster Junior Water Polo club. You'll remember two of his success stories: Chris Armstrong and Ben Pacey from previous articles.
Competing in the 60+ age group, Brian cleaned up on the Breaststrokes (Gold in 50m, 100m, and 200m) and had a good bash at the Freestyle too (Gold 50m, Silver 100m).
A former Dartes athlete from the 1980s was also competing in the 45-49 age group. Jackie Buxton (SAS) returned home from Durham with 7 Gold medals (50m and 100m Breaststroke; 100m and 200m IM; and 50m Freestyle, Backstroke, and Fly).
Jackie's club mate Nicola Hill (SAS) also travelled to Durham and won 50m Breaststroke in the 25-29 age group. A Silver was hers in the 50m Butterfly and 100m Breaststroke, and 3 Bronze medals too (50m and 100m Freestyle, and 100m IM).
Well done to all.
Commonwealth Games - 2 Weeks and Counting
19 Sep: With the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony a mere 14 days away and swimming being the big sport of the first week (4th - 9th October), here's a brief introduction to the Friendly Games.
The BBC have released their Opening Sequence for the games, but they seem to have mistaken the event for the World Kite Flying Championships.
As a special treat for swimming fans, Australian Legend Ian Thorpe will be joining the BBC commentary team. For those of you too young to remember Ian Thorpe why not watch Dartes TV coverage of the Sydney Olympics and discover why the man is such a legend. In addition to the usual fare on BBC TV and the red button, there will be 6 live streams available online too. All the action, available to watch whenever you want.
With all of the Home Countries competing individually at Commonwealths (England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales), and the possibility of 3 swimmers from each contesting each final, all the big names from British Swimming will be in action. Other notable swimming nations competing in Delhi will be the mighty Australians; Canada led by World Record holder Annamay Pierse; and a jubilant South African team fresh from cleaning up at African Champs.
White Rose Junior Meet
11 Sep: We arrived at Leeds for the White Rose Junior Meet determined to defend our 3rd place from last year. We decided to bring an A team and a B team this time round to give more of Doncaster's Junior swimmers an opportunity to experience this level of competition and because this meet deserves our full support.
At the top of the table City of Leeds walked away with the top honours with Borough of Kirklees runners up. A reverse of last year's placings. We just managed to defend 3rd place; a single point ahead of City of Sheffield who took 4th for the second year running.
With our A team, we'd approached the meet with a policy of giving each athlete 1 individual swim each plus a berth in the team events. It wasn't an approach designed to win maximum points on the day, but at this early stage in the season it was deemed more useful to get as many in the pool racing as possible. The results bode well for Winter Yorkshires next month.
We can find no history for this meet beyond 2009, so don't know how long it's been running nor which clubs have been represented previously. However, with the arrival (most likely a return) this year of Rotherham Metro and City of Bradford the event boasts 9 of the top 10 teams from Yorkshires earlier in the year. If Cleethorpes and Scunthorpe can be talked into it for next time, it could well be a full-house!
With those 2 new additions plus B teams from ourselves, City of Sheffield, and City of Leeds, the meet was split in 2 parts, one taking place after the other. We're not entirely sure how the tables merge together (if that's what was intended) so we'll publish them here separately.
|1||City of Leeds A||337|
|2||Borough of Kirklees||293|
|3||Donc Dartes A||230|
|4||City of Sheffield A||229|
|5||Kingston upon Hull||213|
|6||York City Baths Club||159|
|8||Harrogate and District||137|
|1||City of Leeds B||168|
|2||City of Bradford||145|
|3||City of Sheffield B||1??|
|4||Donc Dartes B||76|
An enjoyable early season outing for Yorkshire's young stars, and a rare opportunity for them to race head-to-head in a team format against the top squads. For their older peers (and no doubt a few of those present today too), round 1 of the National Arena Swim League is now less than a month away and offers a similar type of competition.
Full House for First 800s of the Season
11 Sep: With 40 swimmers in the pool at 5am and 22 of them taking part in this morning's test set, the lap counters had their work cut-out. So much so that reinforcements had to be called down from the balcony (thank you Julia).
It was also Coach Sarah's first time on deck for a Saturday morning - so why not throw her in at the deep end? Not literally you understand, the other coaches had plenty of opportunity to throw her around during the photo shoot in the sports hall afterwards.
But enough about the pool side, what happened in the pool? It's hard to predict how the summer break will affect form. Sprinting is rarely hampered, but endurance usually is. Would one or two return refreshed and ready to race these 800s, or would they all be tired and lacking fitness after their first week of full training. One thing's for sure, no matter what start order you put them in, they'll find a way to mess it up.
|Chloe H||11 Sep||5:23||11:07||5:24||10:56|
|Jack||11 Sep||5:40||11:50 ?||5:59||11:59|
Greater numbers in the lanes caused more headaches and it is critically important for athletes to be consistent each month and each 800m. There's not much room for over taking, so help out your team mates and always push yourself to fast times. If you lose count, it doesn't really matter as the lap counters won't. When you've done 800m you'll get a time whether you touch and jump out or turn and carry on. Always be prepared to set off again if you stop and the coach yells: "Keep Going!"
Photo Shoot: Phase 4 and 5
11 Sep: Immediately after training this morning, 40 athletes from Phase 4 and 5 were treated to a professional photo shoot with Doncaster Photographer Paul Clarke. The sports hall had been turned into a studio for the morning, with two or three flash lights mounted facing a wall emblazoned with Dartes banners.
It was all part of the 2011 Dartes Calendar effort, and Paul had very kindly volunteered his time, expertise, and very expensive equipment to help us out. The results look set to be sensational, but you'll need to wait for the calendar to become available before you see for yourselves!
If last weekend's JDS photo shoot, and those from the sponsored walk (also by Paul) were as good as these, then we have something very special to look forward to at the end of the year.
The swimmers were split in to squads for group photos: Phase 4, Phase 5, and a special National Squad one too. We also dragged in most of our coaching team for the occasion - although a couple had work commitments and couldn't make it.
A big thank you to Helen for organising the calendar effort and another huge thank you to Paul. Between them they certainly inspired some brilliant shots.
First Facilities Meeting for Dave Holmes
10 Sep: We've reported previously on the DMASA facilities meetings that take place every few months. September's was the first for the new Head Coach of Armthorpe Kingfishers, Dartes' masters swimmer Dave Holmes (Arm).
This sub-committee of the DMASA was resurrected by Peter Hardy (Arm) last year. Originally intended to monitor the performance of the Dartes training scheme, it is now more a Head Coaches working group. Meeting a couple of times already this year (previously in May), the group look at the progress of swimming in Doncaster from a coach's perspective. Dartes Head Coach Andrew Wallace updates the group on his swimmers' progress and passes on any coaching information gleaned over the intervening months. The group also looks at particular topics each meeting.
Last night's meeting discussed the recent Butterfly Clinic, organised by Andrew Wallace and presented by City of Sheffield Head Coach Russ Barber. It was voted a huge success, and ideas for a further clinic will be put into action by Andy in line with the group's recommendations.
The group then went on to look at the meets organised by the DMASA (not to be confused with Dartes' own meets). The ideas discussed by the group will be put forward by Peter to the DMASA general committee.
Whilst not wanting to give too much away before any decisions are made, the general feeling was that the traditional Doncaster galas need to (somehow) attract larger entries and be made more exciting for swimmers and spectators alike. Discussions focused particularly on the Bridon Shield Relay Championships. Doncaster's coaches had plenty of ideas, including some which were quite novel.
However innovative the recommendations might be from this group, they still have to go past the general committee. If you want your club to have a say in the format of future DMASA galas, or anything else regarding swimming in the Doncaster borough, please ensure two representatives from your club attend the monthly meetings (first Tuesday every month 7:30pm at Adwick). Your club has to be present to cast a vote!
Our thanks to Julie Hirst (DMASA Secretary) for her summary of the evening's discussions.
Accident Prone Dartes - Again!
10 Sep: A year or so ago it seemed like every week a swimmer was getting injured: falling downstairs, skiing accidents, trampolines, etc.
Well now it's the turn of the adults. Chairman Chris Hirst fell off his very expensive racing bike while training for next summer's sponsored event. Assistant Coach Dave who is also in training for this secret event, suggested cancelling the whole thing as it's clearly far too dangerous.
Last weekend Dave Lee also suffered a nasty fall at Askern while supporting his son Richard during a club gala.
We wish you both a very speedy recovery and hope you repair quickly.
Joe Selected for England Talent Programme
6 Sep: We received notification today that Joe Litchfield (Spa) has been selected for the ASA England Talent Programme. Last month 2 of our older swimmers were selected for the Level 2 programme so Joe's inclusion with the younger guys makes it 3 for this year.
Well done to them all.
As you'd expect, the names on the list read like a who's who of swimming in the North East so it's fantastic to have yet more Doncaster swimmers in amongst it. For the rest of you, let this be even more motivation to put together a cracking season. A few of you are edging ever closer to the standards required for this programme. Work hard, perfect the skills, and next season try and place yourself on it too.