Every month Swimming Times brings you an up and coming star from one of the aquatic disciplines. Who knows, one of these young stars could be a potential world beater or Olympic medallist. Don’t forget you heard about them here first!
Former GB synchro squad member Lauren Smith talks to Jennifer Knobbs about her life-changing move to England, what she was doing before GB Synchro and some career defining moments.
What persuaded you to come to the UK?
In 2008 I made the Canadian senior national team and moved to Montreal, which is where the team centralised. They trained 5.5 hours a day. In 2009 I decided to leave the squad. I did not enjoy it and I believe that in order to do well in the sport you need to enjoy training…
To find out more take a look at the February issue of Swimming Times.
Introducing …East Invicta eXcel
Seven Kent clubs signed up to be part of East Invicta eXcel after the local ASA committee recognised the importance of improving swimming in the area and decided this could only be achieved with the clubs working together as a group. Swimmers with regional or national times from Ashford, Canterbury, Dover, Faversham, Folkestone, Herne Bay and Hythe now have the opportunity to swim and train together and share coaches, pool time and expertise. East Invicta ASA committee believe this will bring the best out of the swimmers.
To find out more take a look at the October issue of Swimming Times.
Introducing...the Branch family
Dad Stuart was born in 1970, the son of Carol and Robert, themselves both swimmers who had met as teenagers at Romford Swimming Club. Stuart, 40, is married to Christine and they have twin daughters Megan and Sarah, who have just turned 11.
Swimming is a central pin in the Branch family calendar of events. Sarah is a county and regional swimmer, who has been pushing hard for a national qualification this year in the 11yrs 800m (and made it by four seconds with a time of 10min 19sec).
To find out more take a look at the August issue of Swimming Times.
Introducing… Jennifer Hartley
When a doctor prescribed swimming as the best treatment for back injuries sustained in a quad-bike accident, there was just one problem – the patient couldn’t swim. And when she started, she soon learned that pride rather than fear was the biggest obstacle. Jennifer tells her own story. Picture by James Jones of James Jones Photography.
To find out more take a look at the July edition of Swimming Times.
Introducing…the Woolley family
Our recent feature on ‘relative swimmers’ prompted some interesting responses, not least the Woolley family who together embrace a varied and impressive range of aquatic achievements. Mum, Margaret, started as a swimmer in the 1960s…Dad, Simon, swam at school and university level…Son, Russell, started as a swimmer, achieving success at county schools level, but water polo soon took over… and daughter, Louise, is a synchro swimmer and the most successful member of the family aquatically.
To find out more take a look at the May edition of Swimming Times.
The Dublin-based Early family – Ken, Katie, Ciaran, Stephen and Sarah – were last year awarded the CSA’s Roy Cossom Trophy for their tremendous achievement of a 10hr 9min five-person Channel relay success. And they are only the second-ever five-person family relay team to have swum the Channel under the auspices of the CSA (the first being the Roberts brothers from the USA in 2003 with a time of 11hr 23min).
To find out more take a look at the April edition of Swimming Times
Introducing...The British Gas Community Trophy
When British Gas were approached about plans for a community gala between several local clubs, the energy giant jumped at the chance to underline their commitment to swimming at grassroots level. The hugely successful result was a riproaring gala with 250 swimmers from six local clubs: Andover, Eastleigh & Oaklands, Isle of Wight Swim Team, Romsey & Totton, Winchester City Penguins and two teams from Southampton Dolphins (Titans and Warriors) and a packed spectator gallery at The Quays pool in Southampton.
To find out more take a look at the March edition of Swimming Times
Introducing... The Cresswell Champions
Cresswell Leisure Centre,a pool built for miners in 1924, is leading the way in swimmer recruitment by using enthusiastic customers to find recruits in supermarkets, on the bus and wherever they happen to be visiting.
The customers have one simple objective – champion swimming – as part of the aptly-named Kellogg’s Aquatic Champions initiative. The idea came from the ASA as a way to encourage people into the pool and gained the support of sponsors Kellogg’s, who think ‘a friendly familiar face is all the encouragement needed’ for some people.
To find out more take a look at the February issue of Swimming Times
Introducing... Rebecca Lewis
The 26-year old physiotherapist from Barrow-in-Furness last year became the fastest British woman to swim the Channel, recording a time of 8hr 35min to knock 13 minutes off Queen of the Channel Alison Streeter’s record that had stood for 20 years.
To find out more check out the January issue of Swimming Times.
Introducing... Louise Watkin
A silver and three bronze medals in Beijing put Louise Watkin firmly on the Paralympic map – but now she has London gold in her sights.
At 18, most girls are just starting university; some want to be teachers, some doctors and some just want to go out and experience a bit of the world. But for Louise Watkin, the future looks a little different: she wants Paralympic gold.
After making a splash in the Beijing Paralympic Games two-and-a-half years ago, the City of Salford swimmer has gone from strength to strength, boosted by her time in China. ‘Beijing was such an amazing experience for me. Getting to compete at such an incredible event when I was just 16 is still a bit hard to believe,’ she said.
To find out more check out the December issue of Swimming Times.