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Commonwealth champions’ message on coping with coronavirus lockdown

Commonwealth champions Aimee Wilmott and James Wilby have encouraged swimmers to keep supporting each other during the coronavirus lockdown.

They have told how they are coping with the restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19 in a bid to inspire swimmers to stay physically and mentally active during this enforced downtime.

Willmott, who won gold at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in the 400m Individual Medley, said it’s vital to maintain contact with friends and team-mates.

The 27-year-old University of Stirling swimmer said: “It’s a totally different world that we are not used to but everyone is in the same boat, in the same position and we have to support each through it.

“There is always someone out there that can help and there are a lot of resources online. It’s important to stay in touch with friends and your team-mates.

“It’s quite difficult at the minute. You normally have a couple of weeks over the summer but it’s not forced time off. You choose to take that rest.

“When it’s forced time off, you’re not necessarily resting as you’re trying to keep fit and active. I try and stay active and have as much a routine as possible. That’s getting me through each week.

“I write a daily diary with a structure and that’s helped me.”

Don’t stress

Wilby, who won an individual gold, silver and bronze in the breaststroke events at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, also urged people to stay positive despite pools being closed.

“It’s a unique situation for sure,” said the 26-year-old Loughborough National Centre swimmer. “But as I’ve tried to say so much in the past, the team of staff at the National Centre are incredible when it comes to helping us.

“Everyone has been communicating how we can best keep active and fit so I feel incredibly lucky to have them support me through this time.

“There are lots of new ways to stay fit – I don’t think I’ve been on a bike this much in my life.

“It’s a frustrating situation for everyone but it’s all about controlling what you can control.

“Doing what work you can at home and keeping healthy both physically and mentally is the key.

“The time to get back in the water will come but for now don’t stress too much about it.”