BUDMOUTH student Mikaela Dashwood has been selected to attend the National Young Coaches Academy at Loughborough.
The 18-year-old, a coach at Tornadoes of South Dorset Swimming Club four times a week, was delighted to be picked for the programme from hundreds of applicants.
Having already attended sessions at Loughborough and Sheffield, she is due to travel to Manchester later this month for further training.
“Although my sport is swimming, the programme takes young coaches from the complete range of sports with a view to developing their skills, knowledge and enthusiasm,” she said.
“There is ongoing input at a national level for a full 12 months aiming to improve us as young coaches.
“It is quite a steep learning curve but I am learning and benefiting from the programme.”
The teenager has already introduced some of her learning at Tornadoes with the full support of the club.
She has set up targeted training sessions and introduced the use of computer programs via an iPad to help the swimmers analyse their strokes.
“It is far easier to visually show the swimmers what corrections need to be made rather than just verbally explain,” she added. “It is a modern tool we can now use.”
Dashwood’s mentor and Tornadoes’ lead coach Chris Beal added: “Mikki has been a real asset to the club.
“She has been given specific swimmers to work with as part of her year-long course and we are now seeing some good improvements, both in the swimmers’ skills and speed.
“Mikki is keeping a detailed log on all her work as a base for her to use with other swimmers.
“She has embraced the use of the new technology and is keen to continue and promote its use throughout the club.”
Dashwood, who also teaches swimming at the Tornadoes, is hoping to further utilise her experience during August by joining forces with local coach Ian Hooper.
They are running their own eight-session swim camp at Osprey Leisure Centre, aiming to target fitness through core stability combined with stoke specific work.
For further information on the camp, contact either Dashwood on 07791197938 or Hooper on 07913488865