Hi United Families
Well done everyone for achieving so much in your swimming over the holidays. The camps and post camp training have been very successful and we would like to thank all swimmers and parents for positive attitudes whilst adhering to our COVID Protocols and driving all over Auckland in pursuit of available pool training sessions! Thank you also to squad managers and camp managers who have played a big part in this.
We are very pleased to report that the EGGS pools plan to be ready for our return from Tuesday 1st February.
The Committee and Coaches have put together a new summer timetable for term 1, which we enclose as a reasonably final draft. This will be effective from Tuesday 1st February. We have considered a number of aims and principles as we have developed these changes. We would like to share these with you so you have more understanding of our ‘why’.
1. Attract new members, retain current members.
United needs to build membership and income. We want to provide training opportunities across a variety of swimmer pathways, encourage and nurture our younger swimmers and create the highest quality senior squads.
2. Junior (Juniors, JDT, Bronze and Silver) and senior squads (Seniors, Gold and SDT) working collaboratively as two units, enhance squad coach consistency.
This will help nurture younger swimmers to maximise retention, and also support the retention/expansion of Senior Development and Training (SDT) squad.
Max Polianski will take on a leadership role for junior squads.
Max Polianski – coach for JDT and Silver.
Marco Smeets – coach for Juniors and Bronze.
Both supported by Emily Whitehead, who will work with alongside Max and Marco.
Jamie Isemonger – leadership role for SDT.
Jamie Isemonger – coach for Gold and SDT.
Igor Polianski – coach for Seniors
Having two coaches covering junior and senior squads as relatively separate units supports collaboration and coach consistency, it will also enable coaches to attend competitions/meets relevant to squads they coach (and not over-commit number of weekend meets they need to attend). This change will build on the great work done over term 4, summer holidays and camp.
3. Expand on our new pathway to support swimmers through the Club at all levels and ages i.e. JDT and SDT pathway.
We will now have a primary coach responsible for each of the development and training squads – JDT and SDT. This will provide ownership/responsibility for the coach and consistency for swimmers leading to more attractive/rewarding outcomes.
In the future we expect that many SDT swimmers will be coming from Gold and Silver squads. Jamie as Lead coach for SDT will provide continuity and inspiration for transfer and ensure that this squad remains strong for competitive, as well as fitness, swimmers. In addition, we will now offer afternoon sessions and have an increased number of sessions available making it more convenient for those swimmers who have additional sporting and other interests to pursue over the week.
As our most experienced coach across the junior squads, Max will take on responsibility for JDT. JDT is a pivotal squad for determining younger swimmers progression, having Max’s critical eye and support will be key to success of swimmer transition to senior squads. More JDT sessions will have preferential use of EGGS indoor lane space than previously.
4. Coaches – we need to use/grow our own.
We are very fortunate to have very strong coaching resources and we have welcomed their input to this programme and their flexibility and willingness to take on more. Coaching resource is hard to come by in New Zealand (even more so in these times of COVID). This new programme will continue to develop our coaches and support them to deliver our high-quality programme, including opportunities for mentorship and formal coaching qualification. We are also exploring the possibility of a specialised dryland coach for some sessions (to be confirmed).
5. Some investment made but within reasonable boundaries of expenditure.
We have kept our current full-time coaches pool-side hours within similar boundaries but with some additional investment in support coaches. Extra lane space and additional sessions is associated with more expense at a time of likely lost income (COVID impact) but we plan for this investment to allow an expansion of squads and increased membership numbers over next few terms.
Additional points to note:
- These changes are included in our summer programme and include the use of outdoor lane space at AGGS. As we move into the winter terms we will need some more modifications to the programme to accommodate sessions returning indoors. This will also provide opportunity for us to review demand and attendance and assess how well these changes are working for swimmers, coaches and the Club.
- At this stage a few items on the timetable are still to be confirmed by providers.
- Fees will not be changing, however, there will be additional charges when there are higher numbers of sessions selected. An updated fee structure is enclosed for your information.
- These enclosed documents will be updated on our website.
COVID Red Alert does pose us some challenges but we will aim to keep training as ‘normal’ as possible and seek ways to support as much racing as we can. This includes an alternative United NZ Juniors style race meet that is currently being planned, allowing our junior swimmers to race and take advantage of all of their summer training.
We hope term 1 progresses well for you and we wish the swimmers good luck if they are racing in Hamilton this weekend.
A reminder that our COVID Protocols continue to apply for term 1.