Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Swim Social: Interview with David Carry

David Carry: "They’ve got massive smiles on their faces and they’re enjoying it. We’ve added some tips, some water and look what happens"

Commonwealth Gold medal winning swimmer David Carry retired from competitive swimming in 2012 and has become an ambassador for our 'Swim Social' programme. We caught up with him at the launch of our partnership with Scottish Water where he was pitching in with the coaching staff to help give adults some tips to improve their swimming. 

David says,  “One of our big missions at Scottish Swimming is making sure everybody can swim and we’re trying to make a significant difference in the adult swim market.  We know that if we can get coaches to help people understand how to swim better, they are more likely to swim more often.  Getting little tips and pointers can make a huge and immediate difference.  Getting better at something makes you more confident and when that happens you start to talk to others about swimming.  Then you’re more likely to take the family along to the pool, to go swimming with co-workers and at that point everybody is swimming better and more often and it all started with a few tips in a class like this”.

Swimming, running and cycling are three growth areas in recreational sports and David thinks each discipline can help and learn from the other.  He says, “we’ve seen the transformation in the cycling world and if the cycling can convince people to get dressed up in lycra, I’m sure we can take that just one step further and get them dressed in speedos!  Swimming is huge in primary school age kids but we see a drop off in teenage years.  We’ve now got this incredibly opportunity to capitalise on the social media posts of friends undertaking fun runs or triathlons to put the right resources in place in our swimming pools and make sure people get the right advice to become better swimmers.”

Scottish Swimming’s programme is called 'Swim Social' and David things both words are incredibly important.  He says, “If people come together in a group, they are far more likely to be motivated and commit to going more often.  What we’re trying to do at Scottish Swimming is create a structured swimming programme that gives people the right support at the amazing swimming pools we have around the country.  We’re here today at the Tolcross Swimming Centre which was home to the Commonwealth Games just a few months ago.  It is quite exciting to think we had Hannah Miley winning gold medals here and Ross Murdoch breaking records here and now we have recreational swimmers being able to get expert advice, being able to swim better, to learn those skills and develop and ultimately become more confident and happy in the water. 

David retired from competitive swimming after the London 2012 Olympics and now describes himself as a recreational swimmer.  He says, “After I retired I stopped swimming completely for about six months. Then I noticed in the office I was feeling a bit sluggish and didn’t have the same drive and motivation and I was getting more stressed more often.  Then I started swimming again and all of these things reduced significantly. I suddenly fell in love with swimming again. The feeling of wellbeing was amazing and so I completely empathise with everybody swimming in the skills and drills classes today.  They’ve got massive smiles on their faces and they’re enjoying it.  We’ve added some tips, some water and look what happens – everybody should swim more and more often and at Scottish Swimming we’re doing all we can to make that happen.”