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Charlotte’s Web: April 2013 Update

4th April 2013

Charlotte Henshaw is a European gold medallist, World Championship silver medallist, European record holder and at London 2012, won her first Paralympic medal with SB6 100m Breaststroke silver. In this blog, she looks ahead to the British International Disability Swimming Championships where she will look to qualify for the 2013 IPC World Championships..

2013 so far has been a relatively quiet year in terms of swimming which has been very welcomed after the busy end to 2012.

I always knew that with the New Year would come a real push to get back up to fitness so that I have the best possible chance of qualifying for the World Championships, which are being held in Montreal in August.

I spent two hours trying to dig my car out of the snow - I figured I'd had enough of a work out for that day.

I certainly wasn’t wrong! The first session back following our New Year’s Day off my coach, Glenn Smith, threw us back into some very hard training. Although it has been a challenge, I’ve really enjoyed getting back into a proper routine of pool work and gym work.

One of the things that Glenn and I really wanted to set into motion this year was getting regular race practice. With our annual calendar, it can be several months between races which can be tough. The first of our planned races was unfortunately called off due to the never-ending snow but having spent two hours trying to dig my car out of the car park – to no avail - I figured I’d had enough of a work out for that day anyway!

I did manage to race at the Nottinghamshire County Championships, which was held at one of the pools in Nottingham where I’d last raced when I was about 12.

Not a lot had changed and it felt really nice to be able to go back and race at a pool that was so much a part of my development as a competitive young swimmer. It was a real sense of going back to the roots of my swimming development, even though it did make me feel extremely old.

Myself and the other members of the British team have just come back from racing at the British Gas International Meet in Leeds, which was a great opportunity to gauge how training has been going and gave us a chance to race whilst still in heavy training. Mid-season racing is always a challenge and this was certainly no exception.

However, it did give us a good indicator of the work which needs to be done in the lead up to trials – our first major competition since the Paralympics - and I came away with a silver in the MC 100m Breaststroke.

It hasn’t all been swimming, though. A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to get some tickets to go to the Harry Potter Studio tour. I love making the most of my days off – I think most athletes are like this – and my friends and I are quite partial to a roadtrip, so when we were given the chance to combine this with our love for all things Harry Potter (Yes, we are 26...), we jumped at it.

We were very excited to get the opportunity to go and see all the props, costumes and sets from all the films. We got to stand inside the Great Hall, sit inside the famous flying car and walk down Diagon Alley (Sorry to all the non-Harry Potter fans!).

My friends, Jude and Anna, wanted to have a go on the broomsticks or take part in the wand class but I think they were supposed to be for the kids so we just went wild in the giftshop instead. It was a fab day and a great chance to relax for the weekend. If you’re a fan of all things ‘Potter’ then I’d definitely recommend taking a trip there.

The next stop is the British International Disability Swimming Championships which take place at Ponds Forge between the 25th – 29th April and tickets are on sale from the British Swimming Ticketmaster page now!

It would be amazing for people to really get behind these trials and come and support us as we try to post times to qualify for the Worlds. I think during the Paralympics it showed that home support really spurs us on to perform better and it would be brilliant if we could capture some of that home crowd magic again.

British International Disability Swimming Championships

Charlotte and her Paralympic teammates will be competing at this month’s British International Disability Swimming Championships 2013 which double up as IPC World Trials for the British athletes.

There are still tickets available for the event which takes place at Ponds Forge Sheffield from 25th – 28th April.

Head to our dedicated subsection to find out more.

European Champs 2016