Coniston Chillswim End to End Medal
It was worth it for this

LUSU Lou started her staggered triathlon challenge completing the Coniston End to End Chillswim event, raising money for the Dan Maskell Tennis Trust on Saturday 25th June.

Coniston End to End, a 5.25 mile swim was the first challenge of the series. Entering with a small team of friends, the challenge was set and the training was due to begin at the beginning of the year. A shoulder injury and workload, interrupted the training plan, so Lou arrived at the event feeling anxious and unprepared.

Having registered on Friday evening, the night was spent camping and calming the nerves.

Saturday began early, meeting for breakfast and then off to the meeting area, to change into wetsuits, and make any last minute preparations. Bags were dropped off and we jumped onto the buses to transport us to the other end of the lake and the starting point. Nerves increased as we drove the length of the lake and the challenge became real.

The swim route of Coniston providing details such as feeding stations and mile markers.
The swim route

The weather was a typical British summers day; rain and wind, creating choppy conditions in the water. We started in the 3rd wave of participants, pink hats and a tow float highlighting us when in the water. Conditions weren’t kind, with the wind causing the tow float to affect the swimming stroke and waves adding to the challenge.

After 4 hours, Lou exited the lake, feeling proud that the Coniston had been completed.

It was a fabulous atmosphere, a very well organised event and the volunteers helping throughout the weekend made the event extra special.

We celebrated in style, fish and chips and a well deserved glass of bubbly! The bubbles must of taken effect as our thoughts and discussions turned to entering Ullswater Chillswim in 2023 – 7.5 miles! Watch this space ……

So the first challenge of the staggered triathlon has been completed – now to start thinking about the bike and walk event. There is still time to sponsor Lou, so please head over to the fundraising page, any donations are really appreciated – please donate here.

If you would like to enter Coniston End to End or the other Chillswim events, please click here.

Whilst Sue was receiving the Regional LTA Award at Ilkley, Lou delivered the Visually Impaired Dan Maskell Tennis Camp at the Nortumberland Tennis Club.

IBTA Sound Tennis Ball in the foreground with tennis courts in the background
Ready, Yes, Play

20 players joined the coaches Frankie Rohan and Andy Bell, led by Louise for a 2 day camp, working on stroke technique, tactical intentions and matchplay.

For some players, this was their first camp (some players having only played for a couple of times), and for others this provided an additional opportunity to their club sessions or even to the GB camps they have attended.

The days started with movement and tracking warm ups, linked into Ready Read, React. Tracking is essential, to allow the players to get behind the flight of the incoming ball, therefore being in the correct position to contact the ball in-front of the racket to effectively send the outgoing ball. Tracking for Visually Impaired players is extremely important, as every player has a different sight condition which in turn may effect how the players move, their ability to read the ball and therefore the ability to react to the where the ball bounces.

The days continued with specific stroke work linking tactical intention and technique, with fun drills and games. At the end of the day players turned friendships to rivalry as matchplay including doubles commenced, and all that could be heard was ‘Ready, Yes, Play’ and the sound of the balls.

Visually Impaired camps and sessions rely greatly on the support of volunteers, and many volunteers gave their time on both days to help with the ball collection and guiding around the centre. A big thank you, it is much appreciated.

Saturday night moved into the social element, where players joined together for an early meal, and with one of the players celebrating their 40th it was a great opportunity to relax off court.

A great weekend both on and off the court for players, volunteers and coaches alike.

For more information about Visually Impaired Tennis, please click here.

If you would like to purchase Sound Tennis balls for Visually Impaired Tennis, then please click here.

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