While most teenagers spent Halloween trick-or-treating and apple bobbing, five local swimmers attended and week-long swimming camp in Tenerife. Ellie & Lewis McCartney and Kealan McShea (representing Enniskillen Royal Grammar School), qualified for the warm weather 50m training opportunity in April at the Ulster Schools Swimming Association Meet in April.
The three students joined 22 other swimmers from around Ulster and trained twice a day for 5 out of the 7 days, with a single session on two days totalling 70,000 metres of swimming. Each session comprised of a two – hour session in the Long Course complex in Playa de las Americas were the swimmers packed in an average of 5,000m along with Coaches – Jess Wilkie and Bobby Medine. Jess, a former Scottish Age Group and Schools Champion, has recently taken up the position of Head Coach at Ayrshire Amateur Swimming Club. Bobby, past Irish Olympic Coach and now Director of Coaching at Leander Swimming Club, is a former Irish Butterfly Champion, has attended 5 Olympic Games as coach and was voted Irish High performance Coach of the Year 2011. The Coaching team were joined by the Ulster Schools Swimming Team Managers to ensure a good balance of training and social activities throughout the week including a quiz night, games nights and a formal. Ellie McCartney was appointed one of the two captains of the team while Kealan McShea and Lewis McCartney were invited in a mentor capacity.
Jonny Owens, USSA, said “It was a pleasure taking these swimmers on the training camp. They all worked extremely hard and were a credit to their schools and family. This trip gave swimmers the opportunity to enjoy first class training and to make friendships that will last a lifetime.”
Each of the swimmers enjoyed the opportunity to train and make friends and are now looking forward to competing in the next Ulster Schools Swimming Meet where there are opportunities to qualify for next years Tenerife Training Trip as well as the Senior Trip to London.