This is my 21st year as member of Pen-y-bont Surf Life Saving Club. I’ve been a committee member for 14 years – I’ve done a few different roles along the way but currently I’m the Club Secretary and part of the junior coaching team.
Over the years I’ve been lucky enough to represent Wales & GB at youth and senior level and have raced all over the world including Ireland, France, Australia, Poland, Spain and Canada. I’ve also raced for SLSA Wales in Commonwealth competitions a couple of times. Swim, Board & Flags were always the races I did well in, but my favourite races are the board rescue & surf teams, especially if there’s some surf. These days I still race for Pen-y-bont in the master’s competitions.
Question from Morgan: “What is your training regime to get into the Welsh Team. I like board and swim?”
There’s not one answer for this and it’s important to find something that works for you and the events you want to do. Consistency in your training is important in order to see those gains throughout the season. Also, pay attention to how you race, which parts of the race went well, and which bits didn’t. You’ll then know what parts to concentrate extra effort on in training.
More specifically for the swim, getting swim-fit with pool sessions is the best way to improve your swim leg. Once the weather warms up, keep up your pool swimming but mix in some sea swims to get used to sighting and swimming in chop/surf.
For board work: along with the club training try and work on your surf skills. Any time you can get in the sea catching waves will really benefit you. Keep pushing yourself so once you’ve mastered catching waves straight start trying to go sideways and turn on a wave.
Most importantly have fun.