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Masters swimmer Casson honoured at Swim England National Awards 2018

Sophie Casson said she was shocked to win the Swim England Performance Athlete of the Year award for Masters as she’d had taken a rest in 2018.

But the rest proved to be more of a help than a hindrance as Casson set a new European record at the Swim England National Masters Championships in October.

Carnforth swimmer Casson clocked 17:02.39, an improvement on her personal best by 18 seconds, in the Women’s 30-34 1500m Freestyle.

At the time, she said: “I wasn’t expecting to go quite that fast – I was really pleased.”

“The award is a little bit of a shock because I’ve had a bit of a rest. It’s not been quite as intense as last year.

“But sometimes a rest does you good, and you achieve more being rested than when you’re all out.”

Casson has been swimming competitively for 24 years and said: “Masters swimming seems to have grown tremendously in the last few years which is very positive to see.

“It offers a next step to senior swimmers who don’t want to stop doing what they love.”