Berks & South Bucks Pre-County Level Development Camp for Swimmers and parents

BAGCAT Focus – Sunday 9th November 2014

Heathfield School , Ascot

Last Sunday saw 39 swimmers and 39 parents from the County come together for the third Pre-County Level Development Camp. The purpose of the Camp was to give young swimmers (9-11yrs) and their Parents further insight into competitive swimming at County level and beyond with specific focus on training, nutrition, competing at a higher level, volunteering and officiating.

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08:45: Welcome and Orientation

The programme started with a Welcome from the County Team Manager who congratulated all the swimmers for having been chosen to attend the day and being potentially able to perform at County level and hopefully beyond. She talked about the focus for the day which was education and to give insight into competitive swimming at this level. She then orientated the group to the buildings and the specific details of the programme

09:15: Guest Speaker – Ekatarina "Katy" Avramova, Olympian 2012

Katy shared her story from talented Age Grouper, through the experience of “going backward”; uprooting herself from home in Bulgaria at 16; failing to qualify for Beijing through to eventual Olympian at the London 2012 games. She talked with humour, honesty and humility about the stresses and successes on the way that all the highs and lows eventually led her to be able to participate at the best Olympic Games ever in London. She talked about her first training session in the UK at Ealing Swimming Club where she cried for most of it and at the end as it was so hard; the experience of swimming at a then Speedo League event which changed it all for her; how she attended the Bulgarian Championships and broke three long standing backstroke National Records; the importance of being an IM er in the early years…with all distances; what a really tough training environment and team mates who want to train as hard as she does – ever session, feels like and her reaction if her fellow swimmers come to the session moaning!; and the mistake she made at not resting a shoulder injury early on which took her out of swimming for 9 months. The swimmers and parents were given the opportunity to ask Katy questions, get autographs and have their photos taken with her.

Swimmer Track

Parent Track

10:30: Pool session – skills development.

Coaches and Ekatarina (Katy)  Avramova – Bulgarian no.1 and London Olympian

The session focussed on Skills work – investing in getting the fundamentals right with Katy in the pool both demonstrating and correcting stroke.

The group was taken through the life of organising the County Championships (or any Licensed meet) from Promoter’s Conditions, booking the pool, getting the Officials and all the volunteers using a mock pool. All the parents were invited to stand in position as the different roles were introduced and talked about. Once there were no more parents to physically stand in position, we added the “additional people” by placing a red dot on the floor for each person required. It took 50+ people in total to man the meet.

11:15: Nutrition – Anita Bean www.anitabean.co.uk

Anita, who is a swimming parent as well as a Sports Nutritionist led an inter-active session based on parents’ own questions around the issues that pre-occupied them like – what to do with a fussy eater; what to eat pre and post training at this age; lucozade or no lucozade; how to support a pre-pubescent girl from a nutrition perspective; how many calories should a swimmer of this age be consuming if they’re training for 1-2 hours a day? The parents seemed genuinely surprised by some of Anita’s facts – great food for thought!

12:30: Lunch

13:15: Nutrition – Anita Bean

After Lunch we invited people into the Market Stalls session. The four stalls were manned by:

Sue Green – Developing Officials

Rob Moore – Running Meets

John and Liz Rowley – Team Management

Joan Scarrott – Swim 21 and roles in the clubs

The group split into 4 smaller groups and moved around the room in 30 minute cycles.

14:30: Pool session 2

Skills work – with the Coaches and Katy on the pool deck

15:45: Open Forum

The group was given an opportunity to offer feedback and ask any final questions before the County Team Manager thanked Rob, John, Liz and Sue and wished everyone all the best for the coming season.

16:15: Close

CRAIG OLIVER - County Head Coach Joan Scarrott – County Team Manager


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CRAIG OLIVER - County Head Coach Joan Scarrott – County Team Manager


Member of Ealing Swimming Club since February 2009

Ekaterina is Bulgaria's number 1 swimmer for the past 6 years despite the fact that she's only 21 years old.

Recent achievements include:

1. Represented Bulgaria at the XXX Olympic Games in London 2012

2. Finalist at the European championship in Chartres 2012 (short course)

3. Finalist at the World Cup Meet Berlin 2012

4. Finalist at the European championship Debrecen 2012 (long course)

5. Voted Best Bulgarian Swimmer for 2011 and 2012

6. Highest ranked Bulgarian swimmer by the World and European bodies for 2011 and 2012


Anita is a registered Sports Nutritionist with a degree in Nutrition and Food Science. An award-winning author and health writer, Anita specialises in sports nutrition (in particular, swimming nutrition) and children’s nutrition. She has written 24 books on nutrition and fitness including The Complete Guide to Sports Nutrition and Sports Nutrition for Young Athletes.

She writes regular features for Good Housekeeping, Waitrose and Tesco magazines and has appeared on several TV and radio programmes. Anita has 2 daughters at Guildford City Swimming Club.

Anita’s latest book on sports nutrition (Sports Nutrition for Young Athletes) is written for parents, coaches and teachers of young athletes, looking for up-to-date guidance and advice. It covers topics such as eating for performance, hydration, and competition nutrition, as well as meal plans and healthy recipes.