Swan's Sara is shining example

PUBLISHED: 14:52 31 December 2008 | UPDATED: 14:48 14 July 2010

THROUGHOUT the 2008 swimming season, Norwich Swan Swimming Club, based in Wymondham, has enjoyed a significant amount of success, recording many personal bests and improving measurably over the past three seasons' results.

THROUGHOUT the 2008 swimming season, Norwich Swan Swimming Club, based in Wymondham, has enjoyed a significant amount of success, recording many personal bests and improving measurably over the past three seasons' results.

And justifiably the swimmers have received the recognition for their performances.

But those same swimmers would be the first to acknowledge that their achievements are the product of some first-class training from a team of committed coaches, among whom is Sara Greenwood from Wymondham.

Sara is one of Swan's coaching staff who not only performs her regular coaching duties, but is also an active competitive swimmer herself.

It is not unusual to see her at poolside during the weekdays and then racing for the club at weekends, achieving considerable success in both dimensions.

In 2008 alone she competed in the East Region Long-Course Championship at the Sportspark in the 50m freestyle and butterfly; followed by the East Region Masters Championship at Bury St Edmunds.

In the Norfolk Championship she was second in the butterfly and fifth in the freestyle, and in the Norfolk Masters Championship at the Sportspark she was first in the 50m freestyle and butterfly.

Then came four galas together, namely the Ipswich Open, the Sudbury Masters, the Club Relay Gala at the Sportspark and the Inter-County Masters at Thetford, where she was a top scorer for the county.

In between these events Sara competed in and won all of her events in the Swan's Club Championship, and raced for the club in the National Swimming League Championship, again with great success.

And then in November Sara set two outstanding pbs in the 50m freestyle (28.74 secs) and the 50m butterfly (30.73 secs) a time which took her into the A final of the Eastern Region Short Course Championships - a remarkable achievement!

These excellent swimming results were supplemented by some impressive triathlon performances (Sara's first year in triathlon competition), starting in May when she won her age group medal in the Waveney sprint triathlon in which she clocked 1-05:01 for the 400m swim, 20k bike ride and 3.2k run.

Two months later she won her second age-group medal, this time at Culford, in a time of 1-06:12 for a 300m swim, 21k bike ride and a 4k run.

In the same month Sara competed in her biggest test to date, the Norwich triathlon at Whitlingham over the Olympic distance, namely, 1500m open water swim, 40k bike ride and 10k run. This time she finished third in her age group in an impressive time of 2-47:58.

Her final triathlon was the Waveney sprint in which she won her age group in a new pb of 1-02:08.

This combination of gala competition and triathlons is relatively unusual, but it has proved highly successful for Sara.

Because of her coaching commitments she uses the cross-training method of triathlons to supplement her limited swimming training in order to develop the necessary stamina for the galas.

In addition, she has paid particular attention to the techniques of swimming, namely; the four strokes, the starts, the turns and the finishes, all of which are quintessential elements in competition, and then she passes on her knowledge and perceived skills to the children by personal demonstrations in the water.

It would seem from what has been written that all of Sara's time has been accounted for, but in fact she graduated this year with a BA (hons) degree in visual studies, from which she hopes to train as an art teacher next year.

Indeed everything that Sara has attempted over the past years has come to fruition, especially in 2008, and the exciting part is that there is more to come in 2009, which is great news for Sara personally and a further source of inspiration to her young swimmers.

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