Action for young swimmers in Asia
Many different actions of the Olympic Solidarity (OS) can be of great help to the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and Swimming National Federations. One of them is the Talent Identification Project, an excellent tool to detect and to help young champions on a continental basis. In the frame work of this politics and to complete it Olympic Solidarity launched the "2012 - Training Grants for Young Athletes" World Programme. And for the first time for FINA Family, Asian young swimmers from 25 countries participated to a special course conducted on August 5-10, 2005 in Bangkok (THA). This project was jointly financed by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and Olympic Solidarity.
On behalf OS and OCA, James Macleod, Manager of the Athlete Programme Section of the Olympic Solidarity recently diffused to the NOCs the technical reports submitted by the FINA coaches that ran this Project. In his introduction James affirmed: “We were extremely pleased to note that your NOC agreed to send young swimmers and coaches to attend this training camp and we sincerely hope that their participation allowed them to improve their technical level prior to the 4th Asian Amateur Swimming Federation Age Group Championships. We believe that the athlete's participation in this training camp will set the solid foundations for their future swimming careers and hopefully we will see them representing your country at the 2012 London Olympic Games! We would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank the OCA for their vision in initiating this project, the Thailand NOC for assisting in the organisation of the training camp and the two FINA coaches, Jack Simon (USA) and James Brough (AUS), for their excellent work with your NOC's athletes and coaches.”
For Jack Simon, the idea of bringing together athletes and coaches from all over Asia is perhaps one of the best things to happen in the history of Asian swimming… “We presented them with education ranging from stroke technique, workout organisation, pace clock usage, dry land work, physiology of training and use of science, annual and seasonal planning, mental training and goal setting, time management skills to show that both high performance in the classroom and swimming pool can be achieved, use of training aids in competitive swimming…The training for athletes was kept to a fairly simple regime with two sessions and then one full technique session.”
In his conclusion, Jack Simon affirmed that the swimmers from the project turned in some ten to fifteen new national records for their respective countries and he added: “Perhaps the two young swimmers from Iraq can be used as the perfect example of why this program should be continued. Two young boys and their coach drove some twelve hours through dangerous roads and were not allowed to cross the border into Kuwait until Hussain Al Musallam, FINA Bureau member, intervened then had to stay in Kuwait for four days in order to get a flight to Bangkok. They came, they participated and then produced new personal best times and Iraqi records in every event they swam in the Asian Age group Championships.