SWIMMING: Olympian starts swim academy
TWO-time Olympian Adam Faulkner is looking to inspire the next generation of swimmers after setting up UK Swim Academy.
The 32-year-old swam at the Sydney and Athens Games for Great Britain, as well as claiming a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester in 2002.
Orginally from Nottingham, where he used to train alongside double-Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington, Faulkner is now based in Swindon and is running his academy at the Cricklade Leisure Centre.
The academy runs swim sessions for youngsters designed by Faulkner as well as one on one lessons for disabled swimmers, with lottery funding.
Faulkner said: “Initially we wanted to get kids into the sport. Here we allow them in from three, rather than most schools who start at four because of the qualifications of the teachers we’ve got.
“Three things are massively important when getting people swimming - enjoyment, confidence and body position, you’ve got to get them engaged to keep them in the programme.
“We have three groups of swimmers instead of following the ASA programme; the children don’t get stuck on a levels and the emphasis is on enjoyment.
“We run a structured programme to keep it interesting - the kids have enough tests at school.
“You lose children because of testing and not moving up, that’s my take on it.
“London inspired a next generation, with UK Swim Academy that’s what we’re trying to do.
“We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel but essentially it’s just my take on a swim school.”
With the focus presently on enjoyment, Faulkner says that he hasn’t ruled out creating ae competitive club from the academy.
“It would be a lovely thing to do,” he said. “It’s all about pool time, that’s a big struggle for anyone.
“Pool time is taken up by those who have been around for a number of years, to be fair there’s nothing wrong with what Tigersharks, Dolphin and Chippenham do.
“It’s something I could do, but right now it’s about getting kids into the sport.
“They’re (the local swimming clubs) aware of what I’m doing, what I will be doing is trying to engage their members in things like my Olympic swim days, I’m not trying to take them off those clubs.”
And Faulkner says that the academy will hold its first Olympic swim day in October, with a special guest Olympic swimmer.
He said: “It’s a whole day with kids, there will be advice in and out of the pool and we may well bring in another Olympic swimmer.”
As well as the learn to swim programme, the academy offers one-to-one coaching for children and adults at the Hilton Hotel in Swindon For more information about UK Swim Academy visit www.ukswimacademy.com or contact Faulkner on 07730 565382.