Thursday, May 26, 2022

Glasgow International Swim Meet 2022

The Glasgow International Swim Meet is back for 2022 with over 600 swimmers representing 60 clubs competing over three days at Tollcross International Swimming Centre in Glasgow this weekend.

Alongside athletes from Clubs across Scotland, the National Junior Team from Denmark, the National Team of Iceland, National swimmers from Ireland, the Meet provides a further opportunity for Scotland’s National Junior Team to come together and compete within a multi-disciplinary environment. Support staff across physiology, physio, technical analysis, and sports psychology will all be present to provide learning opportunities in a competitive setting. Performance behaviours are always central to the national programme and with the potential of Scotland’s Commonwealth Games athletes also present, there are plenty of opportunities to learn from role models across the senior team.

Ian Wright, Head Coach of City of Glasgow Swim Team and Event Director for the Glasgow International Swim Meet said,

“Within Scotland’s senior team there are a range of experiences, with some swimmers potentially making their third and even fourth appearance for Scotland at the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

“With that in mind there is an excellent opportunity for Junior Team athletes to really observe the senior athletes’ performance behaviours, see how they conduct themselves on poolside, how they prepare for and then recover from their events. I’m sure they’ll have seen them race plenty of times but being around them both at the pool and in the hotel, having dinner together, I really hope they’ll ask questions. And for the senior athletes I hope they are proactive in talking to the junior team, not telling them what to do, but passing on any advice and sharing their own experiences. Senior athletes may well have more influence in what they say, than perhaps a home coach or a parent.”

Speaking about the Meet itself, Wright continued,

“I’m really happy to have the meet back in the calendar. The international swimming calendar is a bit mixed up this year with events being moved around. We want to try and establish this meet and hold the event in between Trials at the start of April and before the international meets this summer. For many people this will be the first real racing opportunity since Trials.

“As the Event Director my main priority is that the event goes to plan, there are no problems, and everything runs smoothly. If it runs smoothly then the event is set up to create opportunity for the athletes to get a lot out of it. It’s not too crammed, it’s not going to be too long a day. The sessions are only around two hours and there’s a decent gap for those who make finals. And there are three finals per evening session, one junior and two for open age group meaning that 30 swimmers in every event will get a chance to swim twice, from heat to final.

“In terms of performances, I’m not expecting any world record, most athletes are coming here in heavy training. While it is not a peak meet it is a great chance for swimmers to test themselves at where they’re at now and see the areas they need to work on before their next meet, which for some will be the World Championships or World Para Swimming Championships, for the majority it could be the Scottish National Open at the start of July.”

The last event to take place at Tollcross was the Scottish National Age Group Championships, where after five days of racing City of Glasgow Swim Team were crowned top club. With winning performances across all events and in all age groups, Wright spoke of the team culture within the Club, and said,

“Some of it is strategically done and some of it grows organically from the swimmers themselves. As a coach you are trying to create the opportunities for the swimmers and as well as the opportunities, you bring the athletes together, bind them together to bring some of that team culture and camaraderie that helps spur each other on.

“We are quite lucky that our squads don’t train in isolation they usually train side by side. My group and Danielle’s group (Danielle Brayson) train alongside each other. That gives us the chance to switch people around if needed, cover each other’s session if needed. Kids then get used to different groups. One of the things I’ve often said to the coaching team is that your number one priority as a coach is that when the kids leave a training session, they want to come back to the next one. You must send them away happy. Even if they’ve found the session difficult and have had to work hard, they’ve left having had fun with their friends and got something positive out of it. That’s how you keep them engaged and in the sport for longer.”

The Glasgow International Swim Meet is taking place at Tollcross International Swimming Centre from 27-29 May.

The event is being streamed live, and the full Playlist can be found here: https://bit.ly/3LyuBiY.

Information about the event can be found on the Glasgow International Swim Meet website.