FIRST making waves with programme picks

Swimmers, parents, coaches and clubs from the FIRST Pathway are celebrating this week after earning prestigious positions in Scottish Swimming’s National Programme Squads.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 3rd September 2020, 4:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 3rd September 2020, 9:10 pm
Swimmers made a splash

The 18 picks, from the 300-strong Falkirk Integrated Regional Swim Team (FIRST), is the largest number of athletes selected to the National Programme in at least three years.

Promising juniors from Bo’ness Amateur Swimming Club, Ellie Hamilton and Liam Murphy with teammates from Grangemouth ASC Jake Kirkham, Madison Gallacher and Suzie McNair are some of the leading swimmers attaining places in the Youth Development Squad and qualifying for national squad training camps, an international competition and a national technical development camp.

Scottish Senior Bronze Squad (SB) selection was achieved by Bo’ness’s Douglas Calder who was ranked fourth in Britain in the 2018-19 season.

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Many more junior athletes qualified for the Junior Bronze squad, known as District Regional Programme (DRP): Anna Beetham (Bo’ness), Zoe Crawford, Ava Gallacher, Keziah McCappin, Lexine McCappin, Emma Silcock (Falkirk Otters) Fraser Gemmell, Cameron Gill, Ava Kirkham, Baillie McGinley, Lisa McNair and Zuzia Smith (Grangemouth) who receive two regional training days and can qualify for a third with several being chosen for a national technical development camp.

The head coaches Graeme Davidson, Steven Binnie and Lynn Bryce have had a huge impact on the success of the athletes under their charge, aided by the support of many partner organisations and individuals including, but not limited to, Falkirk Community Trust, Falkirk Council, Scottish Swimming and Strength and Conditioning professionals, Personal Best.

FIRST Head Coach, Andrew Addison said: “The team is absolutely delighted with the high number of individual success’ in achieving selection. Increasing the numbers has been one of our longer-term goals but it was not something we expected to happen with the complications of this season. This is a time where all of our swimmers, families and clubs have been strong, with several athletes breaking through at this level for the first time. We will now look to continue the good form on our return to the pool and into the new season.”