On the 23rd of June the Swansea half marathon will be taking place. If you are coming to the facility please leave extra time and plan your route beforehand. Thanks – WNPS Reception Staff
Use to reuse. Wales Against Plastic Campaign. Please read the Wales Online article about how plastic and non recycling is a big problem in our communities.
This week is #BeARookieLifeguardWeek and we are helping the RLSS share how important it is for young people to learn lifesaving and join the Rookies lifeguarding programme.
We run the largest selection of lifesaving courses for young people in Swansea. We are proud to be able to provide all four stages of the Rookies Lifeguarding programme and the RLSS Survive & Save programme. These are run at a variety of times on Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can book on by calling one of our helpful reception team on 01792 513513 or for more information, check out our Rookies Lifeguarding page.
We could list the reasons why Rookies is so great and why we think you should do it but we thought you’d prefer to read what our Rookies Instructor, Alan, has to say instead. I sat down with Alan before he was about to head onto poolside to teach the next generation of lifesavers and asked him a couple of questions.
N: When did you start getting involved in lifesaving?
A: I started lifeguarding when I was 16 at my local beach. I was part of my local swim club where we did all water disciplines like swimming, waterpolo and lifesaving. Then, when I was 20 years old I decided to start instructing because I love lifesaving and water activities so I wanted to continue by helping the next generation of lifesavers.
N: Why do you think lifesaving is such an important skill for children to learn and/or develop?
A: Developing their skills as lifesavers will help them in many aspects of their life like their education and in a possible future career and will keep them safe when playing or walking next to water, especially when living in a city so close to the sea. In addition, the skills that you learn on a lifesaving course, such as team work and problem solving, will help you in your education and any future career.
N: What sort of activities do you do in a typical Rookies session?
A: We tend to do a variety of activities in Rookies as there are many different things that make a good lifesaver. I will include some swimming in there because they will need some swim fitness when it comes to towing. We will also go over how to offer assistance safely to anyone who may be in trouble in the water and eventually we will cover some basic CPR. They are learning something very important but everyone has fun and they work together well as a group.
N: Why should children take part in rookies/survive & survive awards?
A: Because it is fun, friendly and they will learn a whole host of skills that will stay with them long into adulthood. Rookies Lifesaving is for everyone, it is the first taste of lifesaving for young people, but it is introduced in a fun and welcoming manner rather than being something too intense like the RLSS Pool Lifeguarding Qualification that they can do when they are older. They learn skills like team work and good communication and they learn about commitment and empathy. They build long lasting friendships and develop an active and healthy lifestyle. This is all on top of learning how to be a competent lifesaver so it really is a great course for everyone.
If you are interested in getting your children involved and want to know more then head over to our Rookies page or give us a call on 01792 513513.
Last week I sat down with Andrea Whitcombe, Silver Medallist at the 1998 Commonwealth Games and our very own Triathlon Coach. She gave us an insight into her competitive training past and some helpful advice to any competitive and beginner triathletes out there. With a long history of representing Wales at the Commonwealth Games and Team GB at the World Triathlon Championships, she is eager to help other triathletes hit their goals and achieve their dreams.
When she is not training herself, you can find her coaching our Swim4Tri classes on Mondays 18:30-20:00, Wednesdays 20:00-21:00 and Thursdays 13:00-13:45. If you are looking for advice on your next race, the best power foods to add to your diet or just some help on your swimming technique then try out a class this week.
N: How did you get into sport and triathlon in particular?
A: I’ve always been very keen on sport since school. Any sport. I swam, ran, played netball, tried a bit of badminton, I was a very competitive child. I realised at school that I was a decent runner so I joined a club and started to train and race regularly. In 1998 I won silver in the 5000m Commonwealth Games and then competed in the Sydney Olympic Games 2000. After the Olympics I decided to quit my job and go to Australia to train for triathlon as I had been a county swimmer as a teenager. A year later I represented Great Britain in the World Triathlon Championships.
N: Who was your biggest inspiration or idol when training for triathlon?
A: It all happened so quickly really that I can’t say that I really had an idol. Of course I admired some athletes that I was competing against but I had to believe that they were beatable. The Australians at the time were a strong force and all pretty impressive. I only took up triathlon when I was 30 so perhaps I was too old for idols?! My running idol was Michael Johnson.
“However if I had a group to swim with as fun as my Swim4Tri group I would swim much more regularly!”
N: What was your typical session when training for the commonwealth games?
A: I was lucky to have a great coach Bob Parker and training partners to help pace me for sessions. A typical track session would be 12-15 x 400m with 100m jog recovery at faster than 5k pace.
N: Can you remember the toughest training session you did?
A: The toughest mentally for triathlon was always a long bike ride, as I can’t say I was fond of spending hours on the bike. Once on a GB training camp in Spain just before Christmas I had to ride for over 5 hours and it wasn’t pleasant!
N: What kept you going through the most grueling training sessions? And what was your motivation?
A: I knew that I had to do some sessions that I didn’t like in order to improve. It was my job and as with any job there are days when you don’t want to do something but you can’t just stop and go home.
N: What would you say was your biggest sporting achievement?
A: When I was an athlete and went to the Commonwealths and Olympics, I had a full time job of which I had to take unpaid unpaid leave for the Olympics. It was a great achievement to train twice a day around a job and run at such a level. Another achievement i’m proud of is switching sport at 30 years old and making the World Championships in Triathlon within less than a year. I had only swam a little since I was 16, so it proves that technique is crucial as you never lose it!
N: What was your favourite discipline out of running, swimming and cycling?
A: Running for definite as it was my strongest discipline. I still try to run every day now and it’s the easiest to fit in around a young family. However if I had a group to swim with as fun as my Swim4Tri group I would swim much more regularly!
N: Why do you think people should get involved in swimming and group exercise classes like Swim4Tri?
A: Swimming is great for all round body fitness. It is non weight bearing so there’s less chance of getting injured. We are so lucky in Swansea to have the Wales National Pool with superb facilities, both a 25m and a 50m pool is a real luxury. Training in a 50m pool is superb for triathletes and swimmers looking to improve their endurance. Group classes such as Swim4Tri are great for meeting new friends, having training partners, getting expert coaching advice and having fun. You’ll be surprised at how much more you can do when training in a group.
N: Finally, what does sport and fitness mean to you?
A: I love sport and fitness. It is so important to stay fit and healthy. I have had children quite late in life so I really appreciate that I need to stay fit to keep up with them. I love coaching my Swim4Tri group. Seeing them improve and enjoying the sport keeps me happy.
Thinking about trying out Swim4Tri?
Check out our Swim4Tri page with all the information on the different sessions we offer and what’s included here – https://www.walesnationalpoolswansea.co.uk/aqua-school/fitness-classes/swim-4-tri/
You can pre-book Andrea’s Swim4Tri class at the main reception desk or by calling 01792 513513.
When you come for a swim – why not use a refillable (not glass) bottle and if you do use a one use plastic bottle why not recycle it in our designated bins!
The Reception Team!
We have a number of companies and organisations already signed up to our corporate membership schemes, including:-
• Natural Resources Wales
• Civil Service
• Mid and West Wale Fire and Rescue Service
• South Wales Police
• Natural Resources Wales
If you work for one of these organisations then please speak to reception and they will sign you up to the appropriate scheme.
If your organisation isn’t listed then don’t worry – as long as there is a minimum of three people who would like to join the scheme then just contact reception and we can pass on your details to the admin team
*Proof of employment status (e.g. staff ID card) is required in order for us to sign you up to a corporate membership scheme.
Current members, we still have our referral offer on. If a friend joins the pool for 6 months you will receive a month free on your membership! Information can be found at reception!!!