A world class masterclass for Leyland Barracudas as top swimmers come to town

Lizzie Simmonds
Lizzie Simmonds

Leyland Barracudas Swimming Club has been treated to a world class masterclass.

Double Olympian swimmers Lizzie Simmonds and Chris Walker-Hebborn visited Leyland Leisure Centre.

The club organised the two day event to provide their swimmers and coaches with an unforgettable experience both in and out of the pool.

Lizzie and Chris have represented Team GB at British, European, Commonwealth, World Championships and Olympic level, with an impressive collection of medals to match.

They mixed with all swimmers, coaches and helpers, taking time to show off their medals, sign autographs and swimming kit, and talk about what it took them to reach Olympic standard.

This was even before they put the swimmers through their paces in the sports hall and pool, taking the opportunity to demonstrate personally all of the skills required.

In between the active sessions, nutritionist Rachel Bartholemew was on hand to provide invaluable hints and tips on the best foods to sustain peak levels of performance, and help recovery after training and competition.

Young swimmers in particular were encouraged to ‘own their lunchbox’, and they also took full advantage of the chance to make and try delicious freshly- made smoothies and a range of different snacks.

Lizzie delivered a fascinating talk, describing her journey to become an elite athlete.

All who attended, including the Mayor and Mayoress of South Ribble, and coaches from both Leyland Barracudas and visiting clubs, were given an absorbing first-hand insight into how mental preparation, motivation and goal setting can support extraordinary achievements in sport, but can also have a much broader application.

Leyland Barracudas are finalists in the Rock FM/Cash for Kids 2019 Lancashire Charity Sports Challenge, and the event formed part of its current fund-raising campaign.

Barracudas chairman Jon Ward said: “It was a fantastic opportunity for swimmers, coaches, parents and volunteers alike. We wanted an experience that would inspire, motivate, and promote sport and a healthy diet and lifestyle. It has been great to receive so much positive feedback after the event, and we

would love to provide similar opportunities in the future.”