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SWIMMERS SHIFT OLYMPIC EFFORTS TO AUSTRALIA
23 October 2007
Thirty of Britain's elite swimmers, based both in the pool and open water, will travel to Australia for an Endless Summer camp over the next two weeks where they will look to build a considerable, uninterrupted block of training ahead of a demanding Olympic year.
As Britain experiences its first cold spell of the winter, the swimmers will pursue a healthier Olympic preparation in the warmer climates of Perth, Sydney, Canberra and the Gold Coast in an effort to avoid the bouts of common colds and flu that could blight chances of a best result in Beijing.
With heavy workloads, athletes become more susceptible to illness as they push themselves to the absolute limit and British Swimming Head Coach Ian Turner believes keeping Britain's athletes healthy at this stage in their Olympic preparation is vital.
"The concept behind the Endless Summer aspect of the programme is to try to merge warm weather from one continent to another to ensure our athletes stay healthy," said Turner.
"It's vitally important that our swimmers don't suffer illness and take time out of the water in the build up to the Beijing Olympics. Colds and illness during the next two months are rife and the Endless Summer initiative tries to minimise that risk.
"Training outdoors in warm weather has real health benefits and at this stage in an Olympic preparation we can't afford to have athlete's suffering a cold or flu and spending days if not weeks out of the water."
Turner believes there are many other benefits derived from the Endless Summer programme and is looking forward to witnessing the competitive edge that's generated by bringing Britain's best together to train.
"It will also be a great opportunity for quality athletes to train together, push each other and bond together ahead of what will be a demanding 2008 with the Olympics as the only focus," said Turner.
"Backstroke swimmers will train with backstroke swimmers, freestyle with freestyle etc, and this breeds competition, generates improvements and creates a challenging environment that all athletes feed off.
"It's a very important part of the preparation leading into 2008. It can make a massive difference to an athlete's preparation and end result. It's about like-minded people training together and avoiding that annual illness we all suffer from."
The British contingent will separate into smaller groups destined for training camps in Canberra and Perth before coming together at Southport on the Gold Coast for the final three weeks of the Endless Summer.
While in Australia a smaller British team will also compete at the FINA leg of the Sydney World Cup (2/3 November).
The Female British Swimming squad bound for the Endless Summer programme comprises:
Rebecca Adlington - Nova Centurion
Kirsty Balfour - City of Edinburgh (Sydney)
Julia Beckett - Loughborough University (Sydney)
Rebecca Cooke - City of Glasgow
Ellen Gandy - Beckenham (Sydney)
Fransesca Halsall - City of Liverpool (Sydney)
Kate Haywood - Loughborough University (Sydney)
Joanne Jackson - Derwentside (Sydney)
Jemma Lowe - Borough of Stockton (Sydney)
Mel Marshall - Loughborough University
Caitlin McClatchey - Loughborough University (Sydney)
Hannah Miley - Garioch (Sydney)
Cassie Patten - Stockport Metro
Keri-Anne Payne - Stockport Metro
Elizabeth Simmonds - Lincoln Vulcans (Sydney)
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photos by Tim Mavers-Chance