Speaker followed by Dinner - Host Martin McLeavy

Wed 16th November 2016 at 6.30 pm - 8.00 pm

President Mike with our guest speaker Keith Minnican and host for the evening Rtn Martin McLeavy PHF

Coach and Fatherhood- When to let go.

A talk to the Rotary Club of Furness by Keith Minnican, Head Coach of Barrow Amateur Swimming Club

reported by Rtn Frank Randall PHF

Keith said he had been involved with swimming for 48 years, starting out as a junior with the Barrow Swimming club. He was involved with training with another boy from Ulverston and would go to the Derby Baths at Blackpool five mornings a week to train for two hours in the pool before coming back to Barrow to attend school. This went on for two years and he attained a Level 1 training certificate at 18 after a successful schoolboy swimming career. He had a chance to go to Millfield School to take his ‘A’ levels but didn’t go (Adrian Moorhouse trained there as a schoolboy).
He then went to Loughborough University and started work as an engineer. He carried on training as a coach and with other certificates reached Level 3.
Keith went on to talk in some detail about the different levels of training, starting with the Elite level which involves in total 10,000hours of practice altogether. This didn’t only involve time in the swimming pool but took in skills, physical training and development, emotional and mental discipline with support from coaches at all levels. Finally making all this hard work fun in which to take part.
The Barrow Club has been in existence for 144 years, one of the oldest established in the British Isles. It has 144 members of all ages, and Keith said that he coaches for 18 hours a week at all levels.
This regime is carried out as a Long Term Development Plan
Active Start for 0-6 year olds
FUNdamentals for 6-9 year olds
Learn to Train for 8-12 year olds
Train to Train for 11-16 year olds
Train to Compete for 15-21 year olds
Train to win for 18+
Active for Life covering any age.
There are different groups for girls and boys so the above ages are approximate.
The costs of the Training Programme are between £8000 to £10,000, involving Hotel costs, specialised foods, equipment, entry fees for competitions and Gym costs. These are annual costs, so being a dedicated, proficient and competitive swimmer takes not only these and other attributes but parents with deep pockets and time to spare.
The Training Programme itself involves 15 different styles and distances in the swimming pool including the teamwork of relays.
Fraser Minnican, Keith’s son, went to Pennington School, which specialises in swimming and he reached County and National level as an 11year old. He won a scholarship to Millfield School, where he took his ‘A’ levels before going to Loughborough University. During this time, he met some famous swimming stars including Sharon Davies and Adrian Moorhouse. He went South Africa and appeared on the Bridgestone commercial for the Rio Olympics. At the moment he is in Australia, training, in preparation for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
Keith was thanked for a most interesting and revealing talk, including slides and a video, by Rotarian Martin McLeavy and everyone present responded warmly.