Cyprus Blog 2018

The Cyprus 2018 training camp starts when our swimmers travel to the beautiful island of Cyprus on the 26th September for a week of intense training. The group will be taken out of their comfort zones with sea swims, running, land training and lots of pool sessions – but it will be a hugely enjoyable trip. This page will be dedicated to provide a brief update everyday.

Good luck to Jude, Nathan, Hannah, Sam, Max, Dion, James, Josie, Isabel, Keighley – you will love it!

It will be much a much tougher trip for the parents though. They will have to suffer the 30 degree by the pool of the hotel; with only 3 restaurants to choose from and a couple of poolside snack bars; half price drinks at happy hour and a beach side location. But these are the small sacrifices we make for our children to follow the sport they love.

The trip is in association with Visit Cyprus who we thank for their continued support. Our swimmers will be staying at the beautiful Athena Beach hotel which is about a mile walk to the training pool at the Geroskipou Sports Centre

Day One – 26th September 2018

Finally, the start of the camp and that meant a wake-up call at 4.30am for most people to make the journey to Leeds Bradford airport. As usually Guy instructed the swimmers to have the “Fat Lads Breakfast” before boarding the plane.

After a smooth flight we arrived at the hotel safely at 5.30pm and the first team meeting was called for 6.15pm. Guy and Dan outlined the activities for tomorrow and informed the swimmers that tomorrow will be the toughest day! We were all well feed and retired to bed early after an exhausting day travelling. For the swimmers it is about to become even more so…

Day Two – 27th September 2018

After the previous early night, the swimmers were greeted with a 6.30am alarm call, all set for a morning run. The older swims ran 3.5 miles whilst the younger ones did 2.5. However, despite the calm beautiful weather – the planned sea swim was postponed due to the choppy sea. This may be rescheduled for later in the week but was a disappointment to most.

After breakfast the swimmers departed to the pool for the rest of the day, with 2 two hour pool sessions and a land session planned – today is traditionally the hardest day.

As parents were asked not to attend todays sessions, so they had to endure temperatures in the 30’s with only the hotel pool and two snacks bars for relief!

Parents and swimmers then met for ice cream at Häagen-Dazs at 5.30pm after a long hot day. The rest of the evening was spent dining in the hotel before bed at around 9pm. The biggest disappointment was learning that the hotel no longer has a happy hour 🙁

Tomorrow is another early start with a pool session before breakfast.

Pre run warm up

Keeping the tree upright

Post run stretch

Tough day for parents

Sports massage time

Lunch time break

No ketchup in sight!

Swimmers reward for a hard day

Parents reward for a tough day

Guys fish feet – natural fins

Coaches meeting

Tired swimmers


Day Three – 28th September 2018

Day three started with a 2 hour pool session in the morning. The day was set to be a hot, as it was 28 degrees at 7.15am when we all met for the 1 mile walk to the pool. Even the parents had a lane to do a little exercise before breakfast.

The swimmers had a meeting in Guys office for some log book work before land training at 11am which was mostly stretching to loosen the body up from the previous days training. The session took place in the hotel grounds much to the amusement and jealously of passers by.

The chicken in a pitta bread comes highly recommended amongst most swimmers and coaches for lunch; the afternoon session then started  at 3pm with another 2 hour pool set before the usual ice cream treat.

Tonight, was also the quiz night! It was the usual Swimmers v Parents v Coaches. However, this year was slightly different. With our resident quiz master retiring last year, Trevor stepped up to take control and move the seats around in the foyer (Sam Milburn’s Grandad) With this changing of the guard came a change in the result. After 8 years of dominance – the swimmers were crushed with relative ease. The parents scored a perfect 20, the swimmers and Google scored 19 whilst the coaching team came in last on 18.

Tomorrow morning should be the sea swim – rearranged from the first day and it is also our annual trip to Fat Mama’s!

The pool in the morning sunshine

Guys office

Quiz night – Trevor & Isabel marking the answer sheets.

Day Four – 29th September 2018

Today was the first sea swim of the camp after the postponement from the first day which meant a few nerves for the swimmers and also the few parents who also completed the session. Despite the seaweed at the start of the swim, conditions were very good and Guy informed everyone that the water temperature is the same as the Billingham Forum which is the only comparison! I am sure Paphos doesn’t have green algae at the deep end or vending machines that don’t work.

Breakfast soon followed and the swimmers regrouped at 10.30am for a log book session. After that the swimmers had a few hours of leisure time until the next pool session at 3.00pm. The parents also had a meeting with Guy at 11.00am to discuss the progress and development of the swimmers over the past 6 months.

The swimmers made it back to the hotel in record time following the afternoon session – not to enjoy the second day of the Ryder Cup, but because they wanted to smarten up a little before the usual Saturday night entertainment during the Cyprus camp. Fat Mama’s. Once again we were treated to some fantastic food, drink and entertainment. Jude and George both celebrated their October birthdays a little early, while Trevor celebrated his February birthday a little late…

Most swimmers retired to bed by 11pm following a couple of tough days. Tomorrow they are rewarded with a day off as it is a Sunday, which will probably involve a little more fast paced action in the water only this time behind a speed boat!

The sea on day one – too rough for the sea swim

Todays sea conditions

Happy Birthday Jude & George

Day Five – 30th September 2018

And on the fifth day; Guy created the rest day! Halleluiah cried the swimmers – longer in bed cried the parents! Wonderful.

After the late night the previous day, everyone enjoyed a more relaxing day. Breakfast was taken at 9am and then the rest of the day involved jet skis, paragliding, banana boats and hanging around the pool.

Everyone appreciated the down time and even caught up on the Ryder Cup.

Tomorrow promises to be a long hard day as it is a repeat of our first full day. A run/sea swim/breakfast/pool session/lunch/land training/pool session/ice cream/dinner/bed

Day Six – 1st October 2018

Day six is traditionally the same as day two – however due to the rough sea, the sea swim was postponed earlier in the week. This was also a distinct possibility today. Following the storms in Greece earlier, the residual sea swell had an impact on Paphos.

Therefore, Guy planned to make a decision during the morning 7.15am run. His verdict was that the sea was maybe too rough for the younger swimmers. After some discussion and protests from Izzy and Josie, both insisting they still wanted to do it – Guy agreed for all swimmers to participate. Everyone arrived safely at the finishing point albeit a little slower than Saturday when the sea was quite gentle.

Breakfast followed before the 1 mile walk to the pool and the first pool session of the day between 11am and 1pm. Lunch followed with most opting for a chicken pitta – delicious before a 1 hour land training session. Unfortunately, Dan’s music was stuck on one track, and after 60 minutes everyone was sick of the Arctic Monkeys, “I bet you look good on the dancefloor”

Another 2 hour pool session followed between 3-5pm before the swimmers returned for an ice cream treat before getting ready for dinner in the hotel restaurant.

So as the sunsets on another long hot day; the parents yet again hammered the swimmers in a quiz before bedtime at around 9.30pm.

Day Seven – 2nd October 2018

Our final full day in Cyprus and the day began with a 7.10am meet for a mile walk to the pool and a 2 hour morning session. Some of the parent s made the journey to feel part of the swimming group but only completed a few lengths. Some just talked at the end of the lane!

At 9.30 we returned to the hotel for breakfast before the swimmers met again for a log book session at 11.00am followed by land training and team building exercises at midday. It must be said that the swimmer’s ability to limbo was seriously questioned; and the least said about lowering a cane to floor the better. But it was a very good team building exercise.

The final afternoon pool session was 3pm to 5pm. It was then on to our final post session ice cream treat before our final meal.

The evening consisted of “prinks” whilst a thank you presentation to the coaches was made. The effort, mutual respect and appreciation of the coaches, swimmers and parents cannot be under estimated and hopefully the benefit will come to fruition over the coming months.

Tomorrow morning is a 7am meet as we have our final pool session and it centres on our World Record attempts. Each swimmer has chosen a World Record time to challenge and they can use any means to achieve the time such as fins and breaking the time into manageable chunks with a short rest period.

We will then return to the hotel for our final breakfast, before packing and heading home!

Mark’s quick painting from today

Day Eight – 3rd October 2018

Records tumbled on our final morning in Cyprus, both in the pool and the dining hall. We all met at 7am for the walk up to the pool where the swimmers took on several world records. Some succeeded, some failed, but all were encouraged and everyone had smiles on their faces.

We then returned back to the hotel for our final breakfast and the swimmers participated in the breakfast challenge. Cereal, full English cooked breakfast with toast and then pancakes. The person who eats the most wins. This year Jude Blackmore broke the record with 12 pancakes and James Cook completing 10. While they went for a lie down, parents packed their cases before enjoying the last couple of hours of sunshine.

Dan and Guy are thrilled with the effort, desire and attitude of the swimmers during the camp and state that they will get rewards in the coming competitions.

So for now it is farewell, until next year!