Mansfield and Ashfield elite swimmers braved freezing temperatures to train in outdoor pool

An elite squad of swimmers – including competitors from Mansfield and Ashfield – had to train in sub-zero temperatures in an outdoor pool before lockdown measures eased earlier this month, it has been revealed.

By Dale Spridgeon
Wednesday, 28th April 2021, 3:19 pm

The Nova Centurion County Swim Squad was unable to practice for several months because of the closure of pools due to the pandemic.

But when outdoor facilities reopened on March 29, club bosses jumped at the opportunity to send its regional and national standard squad to train at a 30-metre pool at the New Bath Hotel in Matlock Bath.

However, it meant swimmers had to endure taking part in early-morning sessions in freezing conditions ahead of indoor pools at Water Meadows and Rebecca Adlington Swimming

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Nova Centurion swimmers Rebecca Darrington, Ruby Maiden and Freya Gibbons at the Matlock Bath pool.

Centre in Mansfield and Nottingham’s Harvey Hadden Sports Village reopening on April 12.

Nathan Hilton, director of swimming for Nova Centurion, said it was ‘fantastic’ for the swimmers to return to the pool – even if it was outdoors.

"It’s been a frustrating time for the whole swimming community but it was fantastic to secure an outdoor pool so we could return to the water at the earliest opportunity,” he said.

"It was a challenge for the swimmers, but fantastic to see so many of them with smiles on their faces doing what they love most.”

Nova Centurion swimmers Rosie Dickerson, Connie Philips and Jess Brandon.

Nova helped to develop the talents of double Olympic gold medalist Rebecca Adlington and Paralympic stars Sam Hynd, Ollie Hynd and Charlotte Henshaw.

Melanie Darrington’s daughter Rebecca is among the next generation of swimmers at the club and she said the competitors enjoyed their time at Matlock Bath but were relieved tobe back training indoors.

“They were nervous but excited to return to squad sessions once restrictions were eased,” she said. “Coaches and swimmers are now hoping for the resumption of competitions.”

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Glenn Smith, coach at Nova, said he was grateful to his fellow coaches, volunteers, parents and swimmers for helping to get the training sessions back up and running.

“Social Distancing rules are still in place and a considerable amount of planning had to be done for swimmers to return to indoor facilities,” he said.

“A big thank you to Mansfield District Council, Mansfield Leisure Trust/SERCO and Nottinghamshire ASA”

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