C is for… (swim) Camps!

Back of the net: It’s summer time!

Things have certainly been heating up this month: Football VERY nearly came home, and we’re all beginning to wind down for six fun-filled weeks of sun, sea, sand and … SwimNE’s summer swim camps, of course!

In this blog, we chat to Emma, who will be running SwimNE’s swim camps, all about what to expect at our holiday sessions.

AHOY Emma! Firstly, we’d love to know– why did you decide to run summer swim camps?

Well, firstly because they’re super fun, of course that goes without saying! But secondly, our swim camps are such an important tool for our swimmers as they really offer them the chance to keep practicing their skills during holiday time – only this is in a more social setting and with a more flexible structure than in their typical lessons. It might go quickly, but the six weeks holiday really is a long time to go without practicing skills, especially when all of our swimmers are so used to practicing regularly in their lessons. The structure of our swim camps is so flexible, and you can come along for any reason: Whether it’s to perfect the skills that our swimmers may be struggling with and want to build their confidence in within more focussed sessions, or whether it’s a specific skill they simply love doing and want a bit more freedom to work on. Our swim camps offer swimmers the chance to work in the same group every day, swim with their friends, make NEW friends, and just really get the most out of a more fluid (pardon the pun!) swimming environment and utilise our expertise outside of term time.

Sounds good to us! We’re particularly intrigued about the Water Polo and Rookie Lifeguard workshops – can you tell us more?

So, our Water Polo and Rookie Lifeguard workshops are designed for our more advanced swimmers (stage 7 and above). We’re running them on the weekends of our swim camp dates, and our aim is just to give our swimmers a bit of a taster for other aquatic disciplines, allowing them to experience these in more depth than they would in say our pre-comp sessions. Water Polo workshops are a HANDS-ON way for swimmers to develop their fitness, work on coordination skills (such as passing and catching), as well as testing their teamwork – and all in a fun environment with our specialist instructor. I think especially given all of the World Cup hype we’ve had recently, Water Polo is a good way to show that the fun with sports doesn’t have to stop on dry land! (See Water Polo in action here.) Our Rookie Lifeguard sessions are designed for our swimmers to learn more about invaluable water safety skills, which is also very topical for the summer months.  Rookie Lifeguarding aims to broaden swimmer’s horizons if they were thinking about joining specific lifeguarding clubs outside of SwimNE.

Great stuff! While this is all obviously a fabulous opportunity for swimmers, what’s your favourite thing about swim camps?

It’s just honestly so great to have that flexibility to work with swimmers outside of their normal lesson environment – being with them every day means that I can see the results and their confidence growing – it’s just so positive to see all of their efforts paying off! I also get so much out of the varying group dynamics and the diversity of the different swimmers I work with each week. Without a doubt I’d have to say my favourite thing is the visual progress of each swimmer, whether that is through their increased confidence in the water or  whether it is watching them really get a particular swimming skill they’ve been struggling with or never had the self-confidence to try before.

So, we know that SwimNE’s swim camps are running from not one but TWO venues this summer – Sport Central in Newcastle and Boldon Dive Centre in East Boldon – why is this?

Both are just such great venues; Sport Central is great as it’s so modern with newer facilities. It also has a bigger pool which is ideal for our swimmers who are at the stage with us where they are about to move to a larger pool and want to get used to this environment. The pool itself also has a super-cool moveable floor which allows swimmers to practice in both shallow and deep water. I’m also excited about running our swim camps in Boldon Dive Centre on week 2 and 4 of the holidays. We’ve never had swim camps established in South Tyneside, so I was really keen this year to launch our swim camp at Boldon Dive Centre and build on the successes of our previous camps.

What would you say to first-time swim campers / those who are thinking about coming along?

Get yourself on board! Swim camps are such a great opportunity to make the most out of a) the flexibility that instructors have outside of term time and b) our expertise! Come along and chat to us about what it is your little swimmer wants to work on, and we can tailor sessions around these skills so that they can get the best out of their time over the four days.

On a final note, I’d say the elements of water safety that our swimmers learn throughout their sessions are invaluable. As we can see with fantastic outdoor swimming events like Swim Safe 2018, summer is an important time to make sure that you and your child are clued up about not just being safe in the water, but also around it. At swim camp, we practice things like how to enter and exit the pool safely, and how to float, relax and breathe properly in the water. Swimmers coming to us from stage 3 and stage 4 will have the chance to practice some of the more advanced water competency skills they will have begun learning in their lessons, such as sculling and treading water.

So, WATER you waiting for? Simply click here to find out more and grab your space!

Don’t just take our word for it – check out what our happy customers have to say about our previous swim camps.