Cranleigh’s Olympic Clinic 18th October
Cranleigh swimmers were put through their paces recently when Olympic swimming medallist Cassie Patten, and fitness coach Harry Needs, came to pay the club a visit.
Cassie Patten represented Great Britain at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in the 800m freestyle where she reached the final and in the 10km open water-swimming event, where she won a bronze medal. Cassie attended Plymouth College as a swimming scholar from the age of 11-18 and competed at her first international meet in 2003 at the European Short Course Championships Dublin, where she came 15th in the 200 Fly. At the British Championships in 2006, she won a bronze in the 400m IM and silver in the 800m Freestyle. Then at the British Championships in 2007, she won a bronze in the 400m freestyle and silver in the 200m Fly. In 2008, her third year at the Championships, which also doubled up as the Olympic qualifying meet, she won silver in the 800m freestyle. In 2007 she won silver in the 10km open water-swimming event at the World Championships in Melbourne, despite being stung by jellyfish. A year later she took silver once more, at the 2008 Open Water World Championships.
While Harry took the senior swimmers for an hour and a half of fitness training, Cassie took the younger swimmers into the pool area where she began working with them on their reactions on hearing the race start gun! Soon after that they got into the pool and spent the next hour and a half on perfecting their stroke technique, turns and finishes. After a quick exhibition swim she was then back poolside with the senior squads looking at their turns and starts. while they recovered from an arduous but fun fitness session looking at core strength and reaction time. Harry, also known as husband to Olympian Rebecca Adlington, joined Cassie on poolside later on and helped out with the session. Harry, also a swim coach, helped Cassie on improving turn technique as part of race strategy.
“It was a very useful and inspiring 3 and half hours for all the swimmers present, “ commented Peter Stanley, Chair of the Club, “ we’ve had some great feedback from the younger and older ones as to what they took away and we were incredibly impressed with the energy and commitment both the Olympic coaches and the swimmers showed during the session. I think everyone took many useful ideas away and we can see that they are all putting them into practice already in training. We will definitely run another one soon as we begin the Spring competition season. “
Cassie and Harry were working alongside the CASC coaching team of Head Coach Martin Young, Head of Juniors Lynne Godfrey and their team of coaches.