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      GB selections for Leander
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    Posted by: Admin  Friday, 13 January, 2006  03:34 PM
    World Class Following Plymouth Leanderís most successful year to date, in which they were crowned as Great Britainís Top Male Age Group Club in 2005, the city side are already celebrating nine selections for British squads for the 2005-2006 season.

    Sophie Collier has overcome the trauma of two serious knee injuries in the last 12 months to be named at part of National Performance Director Bill Sweetenhamís ĎIdentified Groupí, 12 hand picked females who Sweetenham believes that he can personally mentor and fast track towards success at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008.

    Sweetenham will work closely with Leander coaches Jon Rudd and Amanda Booth in nurturing Collier who has already proven herself to be world class in 800m Freestyle and 400m IM. Collier has successfully completed an initial two-day assessment in Stirling and will now travel with Sweetenham to Calella in Spain during September for a 7-day training camp, from which 3-4 of the girls will be selected to attend the Chinese National Championships in Shanghai during December. In tandem with the Identified Group camp in September, British Swimming have also announced the swimmers who will form the National Event Programme for 2005-2006, a series of six further training camps at various European venues.

    Steven Beckerleg is another hot property, having won gold for GB at this summerís European Youth Olympic Festival. He has been invited to join both the National Distance Freestyle Event Programme and the World Class National Youth Programme.

    World Class Programmes Director John Atkinson heads up the Distance Freestyle Camp and Beckerleg will be joined on this Camp by Leander team-mate Cassandra Patten who will be using the opportunity as a stepping stone towards final consideration for the English Commonwealth Games Team. Beckerleg has already had to decline an opportunity to train for 6 weeks on the Gold Coast in Australia as part of Britainís Senior Middle Distance Freestyle programme due to his GCSE commitments. Beckerleg and Patten will also be situated in Calella as part of their training camp.

    Both Matthew Cross and Adam John have been selected for the National Backstroke Event Camp, to be conducted in Palma, Spain. Crossí selection follows a tremendous British Championships back in April where he was to just miss out on selection for Britainís European Youth Olympic Festival team.

    Adam Johnís British National Age Group Record and 200m Backstroke gold medal in the recent National Age Championships joins Cross on the camp in Spain. He has has also received notification that he is make his inaugural appearance on the World Class National Age Programme at Level 2 this season.

    Mark Conroy has received notification that he will feature on the National IM Event Programme for the second year running. Leanderís Head Coach Jon Rudd has again been selected as Britainís Head Coach for the Palma based Camp for Britainís top medley swimmers. Conroy is part of an all male IM programme which has focused in on eight athletes, four of whom are currently favourites to represent Britain in the 2006 European Junior Championships and four who similarly look good for the 2007 European Youth Olympic Festival.

    Training partner Robbie Adams is thrilled with his selection for the World Class National Age Programme at Level 3, which will include a 7-day Camp in Eger, Hungary during 2006. Leanderís Rudd has also been named as Britainís Head Coach for this programme for the third year in succession.

    Matthew Collierís selection for the World Class National Age Programme at Level 1 is a tremendous boost for the 12 year-old, with both Matthew and Sophie Collier currently supported by DML Sports & Social Club in their swimming endeavours. Leanderís Amy Ballantyne will travel to Loughborough University along with Beckerleg for the World Class National Youth Programme Orientation Day, as she steps onto the ladder with the national team.

    Leander Coach Amanda Booth said, ďWe are determined to keep this programme moving ever upwards and onwards and to already have nine of our athletes selected for British programmes is quite remarkable and inspiring for all of us. The challenges of another hectic season are already upon us and we are preparing our top swimmers to use these opportunities as springboards towards success in 2006.Ē

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