Jodie Cowie’s GB Journey: Two Weeks To Europeans!
31 July 2014
In January 2013, 16-year old Jodie Cowie was selected to train with the British Gas GBR Synchronised Swimming Team. She decided to write a blog to keep track of her progress.
Time has flown by since our swim in the French Open at the Make-up Forever competition near Paris, where both team and duet got through to the finals. We were pleased for the opportunity, it was our first international competition as a new squad after Worlds last year, and we were happy with the outcome.
Unfortunately soon after this competition a valuable team member retired and we had to compete at British Champs with seven in the team instead of eight. The swim was very well received and the adjusted team performed very well together. It was a very special moment as it was our last competition with our coaches Biz, Lolli and Laura, due to the funding cuts.
After Champs was a very intense study period for me – I took my business studies A level which I did in one year but do not find out my results until mid-August (fingers crossed!). Farnborough Tech and my tutor Keith Cable were extremely helpful keeping me up to date with work considering the amount of time I had spent away training.
Loss of funding also meant I had to leave my host family, who I had been staying with since October. It was hard because I developed a nice relationship with Jo, Andy and their two boys. I’m sure I will keep in touch with them. Since then I was offered a place to stay with one of my friends and Rushmoor synchro teammate Emma, and from now until Europeans will be staying with another GB synchro team member and good friend Imogen.
After British Champs, I was selected to swim the duet. There are three of us for training purposes and two will be chosen to swim at the competition. Training has been really intense, especially since the last two weeks have been full-time. This has been a great opportunity to get to know the part-time athletes better, and work with our new coaches who are both Olympians!
For the past two weeks, having a full-time squad has enabled us to work on our lifts more and they have really improved. Here’s a picture of our first lift in the free team!
Our next competition is Europeans in Berlin, which is now only two weeks away! In preparation for it we have been doing simulations of each of the events, which basically means we do exactly what we would do on the day, from breakfast, to warming up, all the way to the actual swim and review afterwards. The idea is to be put in a pressured environment, much like the competition, to learn how to handle it so that we know how to cope when we get there.
So far we have done four simulations, starting with solo tech and tech team, and then free duet and free team a few days later. We practiced everything, including gelling our hair and doing our make up, as well as wearing the competition swimsuits. This was me with my team mate Imogen before the tech team swim!
After the competition we have a few weeks off and because I will soon turn 17 (while we are in Berlin!) I’ll be learning to drive and I’m very excited! I also hope to be going on holiday with my mum – although we’re not sure where yet – and then it will be back to training for the next selection.
A couple of weeks ago I was also asked to perform with Aquabatix at an event in London, where Bombay Bicycle Club were playing live. We were performing a similar routine to the one in the music video to the song ‘Luna’. It was a very exciting day, and it was really strange to perform to live music but it was also really fun! We also got to meet the band which was really cool and they jumped in with us at the end of the performance. We were lucky enough to get some good pictures of the routine.
I’m sure the next two weeks are going to pass very quickly and then we’ll be on the plane. We’re all really looking forward to Europeans – all the routines are really improving and we can’t wait to go and see how we do.