Sirens ASC – Pushed to the limit in Sicily

A focused pre-season training schedule culminated in a tough training camp for Sirens ASC swimmers earlier this month.  35 athletes from all squads travelled to Catania for a week’s Olympic-level, intensive training in the water and on land.

The week was led by the South African Olympic coach, Grant Kritzinger, fresh from Rio and coach to World Champion, Cameron van den Burgh, among others.  Kritzinger was supported by nine other coaching staff and officials including Sirens ASC Head Coach, Craig Gibbons and Malta’s Olympic swimmer, Nikki Muscat.  Together, this elite group designed the seven day camp to provide swimmers with the knowledge, background, technique, peer support and attitude that is needed to get to the next level.

The newly built sports village near Catania featured two pools and two gyms and excellent use was made of all facilities during the week.  Whether it was two hour’s training in the pool, dry land gym and stretching, individual video swim sessions, a seminar, workshops devoted to mental preparation, or the daily recap and discussion, the Sirens squad was on the move for seven hours every day.

Commenting on the structure of the week, Craig Gibbons said, ‘We’ve done well in pre-season training this year, but this training camp was all about pushing to the max.  The sessions focused on technical aspects and broke down strokes to be able to rebuild the perfect technique. Each swimmer was pushed out of his or her comfort zone  – in the gym, water, or both.’  He added, ‘Undoubtedly, it was one of  the toughest weeks of their swimming careers, but exciting to see where their current limits are.  Building on these achievements, Sirens is  looking at a bright future.’

Echoing these thoughts when asked to describe the experience, one of the swimmers said, ‘hardest thing I’ve ever done and I pushed so hard, I felt ill at times.  But I’m so glad I did it; I’m definitely stronger mentally.’

Endorsing the club’s ethos of friendship and team bonding, the week’s programme included brief trips to Mount Etna and the Etna Land Water Park providing a little light relief in a hard-hitting week.

Adding his thoughts to the week, swimming coordinator member, Oliver Tanti, said: ‘It was a special week; tiring, but one to remember.  Our thanks to the whole team for their sterling work in making this week such a fantastic experience.  As well as Grant and Craig, special thanks to Daneila (and Benjamin!) Lara, Ivan, Nikki, Grant’s wife, Nicole, Marian and Neville.

Caroline Furminger

Sirens Media Office



link to our gallery – Sicily 2016


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