On 27, 28 and 29 October, 521 swimmers representing 16 international schools across Beijing and Shanghai participated in the annual marathon swim meet at ISB. Keystone’s small team of just 30 swimmers brought home 16 gold, 20 silver, and 17 bronze medals, including one Girls 8 and Under Overall Champion Swimmer with five gold and one silver title in her name alone. Keystone’s Primary School swim team continued to accumulate gold, silver and bronze medals taking second place in the overall team score at the ISAC 11 and Under Meet on 11 November.
In Keystone’s brief history, the team has grown steadily each year from seven swimmers in the first year, 12 in year two, 20 in year three and now 30 in our fourth year. Swimmers qualify for the swim team by achieving the Keystone swim standard.
Most of the Keystone swimmers train at school with our outsourced coaches during KAP (Keystone Activity Program) time. The swimmers focus on advancing their technique with up to eight coaches in the pool at any one time and the Keystone swimmers have developed at a rapid rate. Some of the team swimmers train in a similar fashion with outsourced coaches away from school as well.
“Keystone’s club/school approach to developing our swimmers was a first when we started three years ago here in Beijing. We engage high-level outsourced coaches who bring their training expertise to Keystone,” said Derek Davies, Activities/Athletic Director at Keystone Academy.
The Keystone swimmers then all come together to form the Keystone Swim Team, which trains on Tuesdays in the school pool. “Keystone teams are always managed and coached at team training, swim meets and on away trips by our own Keystone coaches. This is vitally important for our students as swimming, just like all other Keystone activities, needs to be underpinned by our Shared Values,” offered Davies.
The Keystone Swim team is being coached by two full time swim teachers, Ms. Rita and Ms. Jessy, and by Ms. Emma, our Secondary School PE teacher who has swam competitively in Australia and lead the swim team in her previous school in Australia.
Tuesday’s weekly team training allows our swimmers to train together, and plan and get organized for upcoming swim meets. This training is special and different from students’ normal practice because during this time the swimmers build team spirit and practice race techniques. To help swimmers develop and swim competitively, Keystone participates in all ISAC and ACAMIS swim meets and the Beijing/Shanghai invitational Asian all Stars.
“The long-term plan is to steadily grow the size of the team and the aim is to encourage students to stay with the sport. Swimming is a rigorous sport that takes enormous dedication. It teaches our students how to win and how to lose. Success is not always measured in medals, it can also be measured in 0.01 of a second,” concluded Mr. Davies.