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Paralympics GB swimmers finish Games preparation in Manchester

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23rd August 2012

With just a week until the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, the ParalympicsGB swimming squad is completing its final preparations in Manchester.

The 44 athletes and their support team have gathered to ensure that they are as best prepared as possible to give their lifetime best performances in London.

All of the swimmers are really looking forward to racing and we really support each other, so I think the team is ready to go to London and do the best that we can.

Ellie Simmonds, a double gold-medallist from Beijing, said: “Everything is going really well and it’s fantastic to now be here with the rest of the team. We’re all really excited at the prospect of competing in London and it makes you want to stand behind the blocks and hear the roar of that crowd.

"All of the swimmers are really looking forward to racing and we really support each other, so I think the team is ready to go to London and do the best that we can.”

Chloe Davies, aged 13, who will be the youngest athlete to represent ParalympicsGB in London, said it was all about keeping focus ahead of the Games: “There is a great team here supporting us here, from the physiologist to the nutritionist, so if you’re ever unsure about something you know who to ask.”

Amy Marren, another young swimmer, aged 14, added: “This is our first holding camp and it’s a perfect training environment. I’m enjoying being with the more experienced athletes as you get to ask them about their Paralympic experiences. We are all working toward the same goal.”

Matt Walker, a veteran of Sydney, Athens and Beijing said: “London will be my fourth Games and it gets better each time. The set up is so professional now, but it’s still a nice relaxed atmosphere which I believe helps me to be a better swimmer. I’ve been through a period of intensive training and I’m now concentrating on fine tuning my technique to make sure I go to London and do a great job.”

Nyree Kindred, married to fellow swimmer Sascha Kindred, will also make her fourth Games appearance in London. Since Beijing, the couple have had a young daughter.

Nyree said: “London will be slightly different for me as I feel like I am going to the Games for Ella. Still, it will be amazing to compete in London knowing that the home crowd are behind us. Our preparations as a team are going very well and we are really well supported, meaning we can really give our best when it matters.”

John Atkinson, the Swimming Team Leader for ParalympicsGB, spoke of the importance of these final days of preparation, saying: “It was great to get together when the camp opened on Sunday. Bringing all of the athletes together provides us with benefits that you wouldn’t get if you were going through individual preparation elsewhere.

We have tailored an individual approach for each athlete, no matter what day they are competing, to ensure that they are ready to perform when they need to.

“At that first meeting, we talked about the camp being focused, relaxed, professional and positive. Working together to achieve those four things as our athletes prepare for London is a great thing for us to do, but we have also tailored an individual approach for each athlete, no matter what day they are competing, to ensure that they are ready to perform when they need to.

“This is the best supported team that we’ve ever had going into a Games. We have the home advantage, using world class facilities on home soil. These arrangements mean we can take a more relaxed approach in training whilst remaining entirely focused toward leaving the camp on August 25 and entering the Paralympic Village.”

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