THURROCK Swimming Club has been at the heart of our community for many many years and has a tradition for producing outstanding young athletes from the Thurrock area. The club currently has in excess of over 450 members and offers a full learn to swim programme, as well competitive swimming for all ages.
Under the leadership of new head coach Lisa Bates, the current crop of young talent that make up the Borough’s swim squads have high aspirations for the future. With 2 national finalists in 2009 (11 year old George Epsly and 12 year old James Day) and a number of other senior swimmers on the England Talent Development Programme (Kerriann Chipperfield, Alex Delicata, Sonny Ford, Charlie Hayes and Harry Payne), the future certainly looks bright and one day we might just see one of own from Thurrock representing their country.
Swimming at the highest level demands a huge amount of commitment and personal sacrifice – one of Thurrock’s rising stars, 16 year old Grays school student Charlie Hayes, gives us an insight into a typical week for a young star pursuing their dream of swimming glory…..
Monday: Woke up at 4:20am as usual to get ready for morning training. Had a cereal bar, got changed and packed my bag for my daily routine. This Mornings session was a very hard long distance frontcrawl set and I was shattered after, but no time to rest! After training, I had ten minutes at home to eat and dry my hair and then straight out the door for school. Came home from a hilarious day at school and got ready for another very hard training session at 6-8pm. Got home, had my dinner and straight to bed, as another early start looms tomorrow.
Tuesday: Another hard set this morning starting at 5:00am. This time all on kicking on our best stroke, which for me is breaststroke. My legs were absolutely dead after the set but the recovery set after loosened them off. Back to school again feeling a little tired but eager to get the day started with Performing Arts, my favourite subject. Schools over and no swimming tonight but no rest for the wicked, me and my swimming friend James went to the gym to keep our fitness to our best which will help us in our swimming. Another good night’s sleep needed in order to be at my absolute best for training tomorrow morning – again!
Wednesday: Another double session day! Morning training was particularly hard with a heart rate and sprint set. Me and My best friend Harry got each other through the set to produce a good session. School was laughs today, double performing arts! Rehearsing for our play which will contribute to our GCSE’S. Tonight the session started with 40 minutes of core work on poolside and then an hour and a half of solid skills to improve our technique.
Thursday: No swimming today – a well earned rest day. Had a nice lie in.
Friday: Possibly the hardest day! The day started off in early morning training where we completed a maximum sprint set trying to hit times set by British Swimming. The set made most of us feel sick but my coach Lisa Bates said ‘Pain is just fear leaving the body’ a quote she loves to use. The final day of school, a mediocre day, and so glad a break was in sight or so I thought. After school I had a quick dinner and then rushed off to swimming where an individual medley set was waiting for me, I like these sets! Chatted for a while after training with my teammates to catch up on things, then I got changed and rushed home off to bed for a hard day tomorrow.
Saturday: Me and my friend Harry Payne have been selected for an England Talent Development Beacon Programme. Every Saturday we attend a 2 hour swim one hour gym or lecture at UEA Norwich, a long drive! We train with the best swimmers and coaches in the eastern region of England. We arrived at the pool and completed a 30 minute sprint kick non-stop set which was killing my legs. After the main set it didn’t get much easier when we was told to do a butterfly set which didn’t please my friend Harry. We then had an intense land training session straight after. I then rushed home and met with my friends Jason, James and Sonny at Lakeside to get clothes for my mum’s party which was later on that night.
Sunday: Not getting in until 1am after my mum’s party affected me on the Sunday session. I could really feel my belly working on the kicking but I soon loosened off and got back into my rhythm. Swimming’s over for this week, another 50,000 metres in the Bank and it will all pay off for when I next compete. Back home to relax for the evening, before it starts all over again!
Thurrock’s club night, is held at Blackshots Leisure Centre every Friday from 6:00pm until 10:00pm. Pop in and see us or visit our website www.thurrockswimmingclub.ik.com