County squad back in action as Craig and Co observe Swim Wales Protocols

County National Elite Squad with Craig and Nick


Swimming News:

It is great to report that the talented young Pembrokeshire swimmers are back in the pool and raring to improve their personal bests after being allowed by Swim Wales to train from the 21st August.

Back in action and total commitment shown by swimmers and parents

Breast strokeAll the clubs are back in action with the elite squads, coached in the Haverfordwest Leisure Centre Pool are back showing the total commitment asked for by head coach Craig Weston and his assistant Nick Russell.
They have four distinct squads with their National Performance squad ‘enjoying’ seven sessions with Craig, followed by the National Performance National Squad (five sessions with Nick), their Junior National Squad (four sessions) and their Academy Squad (for 10 year olds, who have one session and also work at their own club).
Craig and his merry band start out for three morning sessions for two hours at 5.40am so they have time to get home, dress and have breakfast before leaving school, with four evening sessions during the week from 4.30 to 6.30pm, plus a strength and conditioning session with Simon Roach at the SAW Academy on Saturday mornings.
So it is also worth praising the commitment of parents who drive their children in from all over the county.

No championships in sight – but ‘virtual races’ encourage participation!

Freestyle“It’s now a year since the last County Championships, which were brilliant for us, “said Craig, “and our only problem is there being no further such competitions for the foreseeable future.
“But we are keeping motivated with ‘virtual races’ where each swimmer is carefully timed in their respective races and the times submitted to Swim Wales, who co-ordinate them from all over the country and then contact him with the results, which are also displayed on their web-site at

Protocols followed with swimmers’ safety in mind

Butterfly“It is the best we can do in the circumstances of the pandemic,” he admitted, “and we are also following all the protocols laid down by Swim Wales to keep everybody safe.
“We have completed all the necessary documentation and careful risk assessments, with everyone made aware of what we need to do to protect each other.
“Our squad all arrive in track suits and go straight to pool side, where large boxes with a lid are available to leave their track suits, towels and drinks – and immediately after training they towel down, get their tracksuits back on and leave the area to meet their parents.
“Everyone has to carefully observe social distancing, with each starting block having its own boxed area – and as coaches poolside we must wear masks, which we can only remove once every swimmer is in the pool – and put back on if anyone leaves the pool.”

‘Zoom’ meetings helped keep swimmers engaged

During the lock-down the squads still managed to meet for regular ‘Zoom’ sessions where swimmers were encouraged to keep up their fitness levels and to keep them engaged – and Craig was understandably delighted that there wasn’t any swimmer who dropped out of swimming.
“The last six months haven’t been what we would like out of choice but there is still a great camaraderie amongst the squad and I would like to thank everyone involved, including Swim Wales, Pembrokeshire County Council, Haverfordwest Leisure Centre or at any other level for helping us get our talented youngsters back in action in such unusual circumstances.”