Two Largs swimmers are set to round their season in style after confirmation they’ve qualified for the British Summer Championships next month, writes Rob Waller.
15 year old Abby Kane, who began training with North Ayrshire again earlier this year, will go in 5 events: 50m / 100m & 400m Freestyle. 100m Backstroke and 200m IM.
Fraser Kelly, who’s also 15, qualified for the 200m Fly in Sheffield.
For North Ayrshire Swimming head coach Ross Douglas, it is confirmation of the progress the senior squad has made this season, something which has been commented on at a national level.
“I set a myself a target of getting three swimmers to the British Summer Championships,” he says, “So to get five is an amazing achievement and it’s taken a week for it to sink what we’ve done!
“But I’m conscious that we’ve got six weeks to get down to some serious work.
“We’ve reached a point this season where a lot of the older kids have got something to focus on which think is super-important when it comes to the summer. This is what you’ve worked for all year, so race hard, then have a break, reflect on it and give yourself new targets for next season.
“It can be a long summer break if it hasn’t worked out the way you wanted it to, so now the hard work is done it’s about fine-tuning everything.”
As well as the delight in sending so many swimmers to Sheffield, North Ayrshire will also have one for their largest teams in many years heading to Aberdeen for the Scottish Summer Championships.
Abby and Fraser will be joined by team mates James Marshall from Largs and Andrew Sutherland from Fairlie.
“There’s a real sense of achievement in getting 11 swimmers to the Scottish, there are kids in there who have got times which surprised me,” admits Ross.
“A lot of people have really stepped up this season and it’s taken me aback and I think we’re going to be really well represented in Aberdeen and I’m really looking forward to it.
“It’s important now that I get my head down and think of really innovative sets and structures I can put in place for these guys to swim their best.
“This is the business end of the season where you need to get the job finished.”