Sarah Chiarello, FINA Communications Department

The 1st FINA Gold Medal Swimming Coaches Clinic concluded successfully with more than 200 swimming coaches from a hundred nations. The golden opportunity to exchange ideas, experience and knowledge with top-level coaches from swimming powerhouses like USA, Australia or China was praised by many participants.The coaches attending the clinic were offered a wide range of visions of coaching, practical training cycles, personal experiences, motivation tips for swimmers, and many pieces of advice on the balance between training and life outside the pool and the relationship between a coach and his athlete.

Lorna Riley, a level-3 swimming coach from Zimbabwe, said at the end of the clinic: "It gives us practical tools to improve grassroots swimming in Zimbabwe and inspires us all to go back." Thanks to her kids who where good swimmers, Lorna Riley started coaching swimming and now manages swimming within the country's Aquatics Union. At the FINA World Aquatics Convention for the first time, she talks about the current situation of swimming in the Southern African country: "There is a shortage of swimming pools so identifying talents is not an easy task." Swimming infrastructures are in many instances the starting point to develop the sport. "It would be good to include coaches of different levels to enrich the exchange of ideas," she added, something FINA will certainly consider for the future editions of the event.