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Young swimmers impress as former Olympian visits ahead of national championships

Edward Sinclair visited Sliema ASC for a training session with their young swimmers. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

Edward Sinclair visits Sliema ASC swimmers for training session

Sliema Aquatic Sports Club swimmers were treated to a day of professional training from double Olympian Edward Sinclair this past week when the former swimmer-turned-coach visited the club for a two-pronged training session on Tuesday.

The session, with a seminar in the morning and more hands-on training in the afternoon, saw several young swimmers refine their craft ahead of the national championships at the beginning of April.

Speaking to the Times of Malta, Sinclair said his visit aimed to give the swimmers a ‘fresh voice’ as they prepare for their races.

“I’m really, really privileged to be able to come here and work with the team. (Sliema ASC) reached out to me to come over from the UK and help them just enforce some of the things they’ve been doing,” Sinclair said.

“The guys here are just doing a fantastic job and I’ve just come over with just some fresh ideas, fresh voice and really helping them with their skills.

“They’ve got their national championships coming up pretty soon. So, I’m just helping them with the fine points of swimming; I mean swimming is such a technical sport – we’re doing some dive work today and we’ve been doing some drill work.

“I’ve just been another voice and just sort of installing confidence into the swimmers and helping the coaches.”

Sinclair, a former seventh-world-ranked swimmer in the 200-metre freestyle, has now been coaching for the past 16 years, even coaching other Olympians after his retirement. Asked about the level of swimming he had come across in Malta on Tuesday, Sinclair said there was a lot of talent and that the swimmers were reacting well to his advice

“I’ve been really impressed. These guys are doing a fantastic job – they’re building and building and building and there’s a lot of talent in this pool,” he said.

“It’s just about getting the right amount of channel and focusing on all the different elements of swimming. Swimming is not just about swimming up and down, there’s a lot of factors – we talked this morning in the presentations, we did some presentations on racing and race strategy, we’ve talked about motivation, we talked about just trying to get them to be able to push themselves in the pool.

“Swimming is a tough sport, you’re swimming up and down a lot so, it’s channelling everything and trying to help them with their motivation and their goals which I’ve seen today – it is such a good bunch. I mean they’ve been really reactive – they’ve been asking me some really good questions. I said to them at the beginning of the day ‘Use me – ask me as many questions as you need’.

“I’ve been coaching now for nearly 20 years, so I’ve seen a lot of patterns over the years and I’ve visited a lot of clubs and programmes, so I think it’s great. You guys here in Malta have got the weather, you’ve got the environment, it’s just such a fantastic thing.

“Swimming is just such a good sport and these guys are learning a skill that’s going to be with them for the rest of their lives and hopefully they’re going to try and reach their potential as well and that’s what I’m trying to bring out of the kids today: Install a bit of confidence as well, and tell them they’re doing a good job because they are.”

Edward Sinclair (centre) leads a training session at the Tal-Qroqq pool. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

‘Real showcase’

Sinclair represented Great Britain at the Sydney Olympics of 2000 and four years later in Athens. Discussing the current situation of the sport, Sinclair believes swimming is in a very good spot at the moment ahead of the Paris Olympics in a few months.

“I think swimming is an amazing place at the moment, just swimming in general I think, with all the coverage,” he explained.

“There’s more coverage through your different media channels, through social media and I think that swimming is in a really positive place. I think Paris is going to be a real showcase of some amazing things from swimmers from all around the world. I think the swimming community is a really good community to be part of and I’m really looking forward to seeing it all there.

“I’m going to Paris and I’m going to be going to watch some of the events. From a British perspective, we’ve got some great swimmers in a mix of events. Our relays are looking really strong. So yeah, I’m excited -It’s going to be really good.”

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