Clubs take the lead in district and national squads

26th April 1996 at 01:00
The Scottish Amateur Swimming Association has announced a development programme entitled "Pathway to Progress" and while it appears to have got into a tangle over the description, it is clear that schools have been excluded.

This is a four-year scheme aimed entirely at and through clubs and is designed to bridge the gap between club and district standard.

But school facilities could be vitally important and the target group are aged 11 to 14. It is hoped to involve almost 300 this year. Numbers are expected to rise to 500 by 1998.

Squads will be formed in nine areas chosen from the new unitary authorities and these will be expanded in years two and three. It is a scheme aimed at attracting not just young swimmers but young club coaches as well.

"We are going to exclude the top end, which is already provided for, and broaden the net for coaching," Martyn Woodroffe, Scotland's director of swimming, says. "We are looking for key coaches to work with the squads and would like more and more of the club coaches to get involved. We have already got elite squads, national, youth and district squads, and we will be notifying all the people in clubs below that level."

But facilities are a problem. "We are having to do it in stages and are confident of being able to secure the facilities in these nine regions, " Woodroffe says. "It's a case of let's go with what we can get."

Ian Mason, chairman of the SASA's board of management, added: "We want to help young club coaches, managers and swimmers progress towards district and then national squad standard and the structure will help build a standardised programme across the whole country."

Three development days will be held in October, November and December and the programme will be led by Ian McGregor, the swimming co-ordinator for Team Sport Scotland.

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