Swimming to recieve boost from 2012 games
It's difficult to believe that we're now just a little over 18 months away from the opening ceremony at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, where thousands of athletes will come together to compete for arguably the most coveted prize in sport- a gold medal. Many experts are hoping that the games will inspire people in the UK to take up some sort of physical exercise and with it reduce the number of people who are overweight or clinically obese. Legacy has been the word used on several occasions to highlight the fact the aftermath of the event is just as important as what happens during it, and the government want the stadia and facilities built to produce the next generation of sporting superstars, or just encourage others to stop watching and start doing. One of the sports that will undoubtedly be given a huge boost is swimming. There are several British hopefuls for the games and not only is it popular but its also a fantastic way of losing weight and staying fit. It stretches all the muscles and tests your overall physical endurance and stamina. Many coaches across the UK have been dealt the responsibility of trying to create a name which may triumph in the pool next July, and one man in particular believes some of his students will progress enough to be included in Great Britain's squad. Stuart Clamp at Swim Flintshire believes at least two of his former apprentices have got what it takes to qualify for the games next summer, with a few of his current crop not far behind in terms of progress. Stuart is the elite performance training scheme head coach and doesn't think his swimmers are just flashes in the pan. He believes they can take the sport by the horns and be successful for many years to come. His former students include Tom Allen and Lucy Worrall who now apply their trade in Swansea and Stockport respectively. He said: “I coached Tom for seven years in both Chester and Flintshire. He won the European juniors which is a good precursor to competing in open water events all over the world. “He then won the Great North Swim and was described as one of the most exciting swimmers Britain has seen. He needs to keep going and qualify for the World Championships this year. “Lucy is now on the edge of making the England Commonwealth relay team. It will be an important year for her. The selection policy in swimming is different to other sports and there are some early selections and some late ones, but we’re hoping that they will both be on the team for the Olympics.” He added: “We have some other younger swimmers who are not quite at their level who will be looking to qualify for the Commonwealth Games in 2014. “They are also on the long list for the World Youth Games so the future looks bright.” Hopefully the future also looks bright for the sport itself with many Brits having been successful at the Commonwealth Games recently, and hopefully this will inspire others to get involved and test their physical fitness in the pool.