Throughout October and November this year, another six Clinics were hold in five FINA member nations; St Lucia and Trinidad & Tobacco, in the Caribbean, and Papua New Guinea in Oceania hosted Clinics for Swimming Coaches, while the Maldives, in the Indian Ocean, and Surinam (South America) welcomed Swimming Officials.
The St. Lucia Swimming Association organised a competitive swimming course for 17 coaches from September 20 – October 1, 2015. Specific areas such as biomechanics and hydrodynamic in swimming, in-water strokes techniques and workout assessment were part of the comprehensive 11-day programme during which the participants’ level of engagement was really high and enjoyable. A modern facility, including a new 50m pool, is now available within the island’s complex and will help develop a stronger competitive swimming environment for the youth in this region of the world.
St. Lucia Swimming Association
Port of Spain, in Trinidad and Tobago, was also the host to a Swimming Coaches Clinic from November 11-15, 2015, bringing together 11 local participants under the leadership of Dave Farmer, FINA expert from Barbados. Farmer reported that taking the participant’s various backgrounds into account, a very fruitful and positive atmosphere prevail throughout the course. Trinidad has a lasting tradition in swimming with many high quality swimmers, competing at the continental games as well as the Olympic Games training on the island. An additional ultra-modern Aquatic Centre is scheduled for completion within the end of the year.
Farmer commented: “The future of aquatics in Trinidad appears to be on sound footing. The country’s coaches are eager to learn and are receptive to new information. It is very important that a level of coach education be continued to ensure stability and replacement for years to come.”
Coaches in Port of Spain (TRI)
From October 20-24 the Papua New Guinea Swimming Inc. organised a five-day Clinic in Port Moresby under the hat of FINA lecturer John Bladon. 37 coaches attended the course, aimed to educate the participants on how to deliver basic swimming squad sessions that develop the swimming technique of apprentice swimmers. The course outline was classroom theory sessions in the morning (strokes teaching progressions drills; simple biomechanics; training programs skill based; energy systems; training sets overview; race analysis) and practical pool sessions in the afternoon. The participants left the Clinic with a clear understanding of the importance of delivering educated, systematic programmes to their athletes and the importance of communicating in a proactive and positive manner for all to enjoy the sport.
Coaches attending the lecture in Port Moresby (PNG)
In parallel, two FINA Clinics for Swimming Officials took place in Parameribo, Surinam (October 1-23) and in Malé, Maldives (October 5-10).
The Swimming Association of Maldives, with the support of the Maldivian Government and FINA, demonstrated strong commitment to improving the standard of officiating within the nation and the 15 young Maldivian participants showed their eager attitude to learn and understand the FINA Rules.
Finally, FINA lecturer Bill Hogan reported that 76 officials attended the Clinic held in Parameribo, Surinam, making it a great success in terms of participation and improvement.
FINA organisation, introduction to officiating, competition management, timekeeping and judging strokes & turn judging where on the programme of this course taking place within the the Suriname Olympic Committee Complex which offered all equipment requested for the lecture.
Officials Group at the Lecture
FINA lecturer from Canada Bill Hogan accepted to answer FINA's questions regarding the Clinic in Surinam.
FINA: What was the highlight of the Clinic?
Bill Hogan: The participants unanimously supported the opportunity given to them to practice, using the information and pool protocols they learned during the instructional portion of the clinic. They all wanted to be actively involved in the pool session, and put into practice judging the strokes and the turns performed by the swimmers in a real life situation. They mentioned a number of times that they liked being exposed to the FINA on-deck protocols from the way they usually perform on deck at their local competitions. They were glad to hear where they should be correctly positioned when a race starts, what to look for during the turn portion of the race, how to judge relay-takeovers, and what correct FINA protocols are expected when reporting infractions to the referee. Since there are usually a variety of interpretations on protocols and procedures used by officials in different federations, it seemed the officials in Suriname were very happy to establish a single procedure that would be consistent within their country. The officials mentioned in their evaluations of the Suriname clinic that they wished they had more time at the pool session. With 76 participants, it was difficult for each official to get the needed length of time for on-deck experience that would be most beneficial to each of them. So it would be my opinion that the the highlight of the Suriname clinic for the participants was the time they spent practicing their on-deck judging techniques and procedures.
FINA:What are the imediate and long-term benefits of these types og initiatives fot the country, the Federation and the participants with respect to the FINA Development Clinic?
Bill Hogan: The immediate benefits that are generated for the Federation and the participants for hosting a FINA Development Clinic would be the formal exposure of receiving an approved FINA interpretation of all the rules, the explanation of any recent rule updates, and the acceptable FINA on-deck protocols for the participants to review and practice during the clinic. The long-term benefits for both participants and the Federations that host the FINA Clinics would see all Federations adopting the same consistent behaviours for its Technical Officials both domestically and within their continental zones. With this development of both domestic and continental consistency in the knowledge of the FINA rules, their interpretations, and their application within the competition setting, FINA would then be in a very favorable position when appointing and selecting their technical officials for international assignments. The transition from the domestic, to continental, to international officiatiing would be raised to a very high level which would be both consistent and seemless.
FINA: What are the main challenges faced during a FINA Development Clinic with such various background and large number of participants?
Bill Hogan: The main challenge I see is the wide discrepancy and differences in the skill-based officiating background and knowledge among the participants of every clinic. This is to be expected, of course, when there are so many participants with different backgrounds who are interested in taking the clinic.