Six Blue Fins selected for talent programme

Left to right: Christopher Littleton, Struan McNeil (head coach), Lottie Wynne-Jones, Tom Thornley, Maddy Powell, Kieran Bird and Freddie Ashley-Sparks
Left to right: Christopher Littleton, Struan McNeil (head coach), Lottie Wynne-Jones, Tom Thornley, Maddy Powell, Kieran Bird and Freddie Ashley-Sparks
0
Have your say

Six top Bicester Blue Fins swimmers have been talent scouted and selected to join youth development programmes run by the national swimming authorities.

Kieran Bird, Tom Thornley, Freddie Ashley-Sparks, Lottie Wynne-Jones, Maddy Powell and Christopher Littleton are all attending special Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) run coaching events aimed at nurturing their talent.

Last week, 15-year-old swimmer Kieran Bird was one of only two UK junior swimmers to be asked to go to Doha in Qatar during the 12th World Swimming Championships.

He attended the first ever Youth Training Programme run by FINA, the international swimming governing body. More than 230 athletes and 120 coaches from all five continents, representing 130 countries, gathered for the prestigious event run by renowned swimming coach Todd Schmitz from America.

Kieran and fellow 15-year-old national champion Tom Thornley are currently on the ASA England Talent Development Programme that started last month and runs into 2015.

In addition, 12-year-old Freddie Ashley-Sparks, 11-year-old duo Lottie Wynne-Jones and Maddy Powell and 10-year-old Christopher Littleton are to join the ASA South East Region Talent Programme, selected based on their regional rankings.

Starting with all day swim camps at Stoke Mandeville and Godalming, Surrey, they are being instructed by top regional coaches in the pool, trained on land and given talks on topics such as nutrition and lifestyle management.

Blue Fins coach Struan McNeil said: “These swimmers have all made great progress at county, regional and in Kieran and Tom’s case, national level, so being selected to join the ASA development programmes is the natural progression in their careers.

“I have high hopes for these six guys and am excited about what they could achieve in the future.”