Swimming Center Tsunami Saipan members trained under Japanese professional coach Hana Okimoto for two weeks at the Pacific Islands Club Saipan pool.
Tsunami Saipan head coach Hiro Kimura said Okimoto provided technical lessons to their swimmers and held sessions for various classes (recreational, beginner and senior) of the club every night at the 25-yard pool. The visiting coach is from Sukumo, Kochi Prefecture and was impressed with the skills of Tsunami Saipan swimmers and how they eagerly responded to the workouts and drills she conducted. Kimura added that Okimoto hopes to come back to Saipan or even stay here for a while to continue training the club’s members.
Meanwhile, Kimura is pleased with Tsunami Saipan’s progress since they started training at the PIC pool despite the challenges they are facing with their new practice venue.
“We deeply appreciate PIC because they keep providing a training facility to us. Without PIC’s understanding and support, it will be very hard for our swimmers to practice and improve,” said Kimura, whose swimmers had to look for an alternative training venue after the Kan Pacific Swimming Pool closed in October last year.
At PIC’s short-course pool, Tsunami Saipan conducts time trials either once or twice a month and majority of the club’s swimmers achieved impressive records based on the U.S. motivational time standards that the group follows.
“Our swimmers have marked AA, AAA, or AAAA times. Several swimmers who just moved up a new age group could get more than AA time. Before, at the time we were using the Marpi pool, our swimmers best was BB or A time, the highest when they moved up to a new age group,” Kimura said.
The Tsunami Saipan coach added that their swimmers could post faster times if they do diving practice, so he will look for some venues where their members could do so.
“The PIC pools is not deep enough so we can’t dive there. We will try to find a place for our diving practice, maybe a pool designed for scuba diving training,” Kimura said.
Tsunami Saipan swimmers are training for some tournaments next year. They are originally set to compete in Guam this month, but the Hagatna Pool is closed and undergoing repairs so the meet was canceled.