London 2012 Paralympian James Hollis coaching Bishop's Stortford Swimming Club members at outdoor land training sessions
A London 2012 Paralympian has been helping Bishop's Stortford Swimming Club members keep fit while they wait to return to the water.
James Hollis, who is lead performance lifestyle mentor at Loughborough University, has been a volunteer coach during the summer as the swimmers do sessions on dry land.
Club members used technology and the internet to come together during lockdown and enjoyed doing shared daily fitness regimes, Pilates and shadow boxing sessions, Strava running and cycling groups plus whole-club challenges.
After Swim England published guidance on how sessions could be run safely in small groups outside, Stortford head coach Benoit Grattepanche has been co-ordinating regular land training for nearly 100 members, with sessions aiming to improve overall fitness and strength that will develop stronger swimmers on their return to the pool.
As well as Hollis, Grattepanche has had support from fellow coaches Mathieu Leroy and Barry Chandler along with gym instructor, personal trainer and 'swim dad' Martin Tang.
"Although the coaches are working them hard and the older squads are doing dry land training three to four times a week as well as following daily exercise plans, it doesn't compensate for the 10-plus hours of weekly pool time they would normally have," said BSSC press secretary Kat Gore.
"For these swimmers, there's definitely something comforting about the smell of chlorine that is missing in their daily lives."