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Lockdown helped to increase Olympic hopeful Chloe Golding's confidence

As part of the Swim England #YourMembershipCounts campaign, we have been finding out how our clubs and members have stayed engaged with their sport, coped with the challenges of 2020, and their hopes for the future.

Olympic hopeful Chloe Golding has said she is feeling more confident in the water now after making strides on land during the national lockdowns.

The 22-year-old City of Manchester swimmer said: “I surprised myself with how well I improved on land and this has given me more confidence coming into this season.”

Golding’s ultimate goal is to make the Olympic final in the 200m backstroke at the Tokyo Olympic Games next year, a feat she is hoping to achieve by swimming 2:06 at the Olympic trials next spring.

Her training schedule would usually consist of nine swimming sessions and four gym sessions per week.

Although she was unable to access a pool for roughly four months, Golding said: “I was able to focus on different things that I may not have been able to do so if I was in the pool.

Enjoying different types of training

“So, I have added new things to hopefully improve on reaching my goals.”

Golding took the opportunity that lockdown presented to focus on other types of training.

She admits that the “novelty” of the lockdown wore off after time but stresses that, at first, she felt very positive about the situation.

“I actually really enjoyed it at first, different ways of training were a nice change,” she said. “I was given a lot of support by my strength and conditioning coach, Lewis Fox.

“Doing some open water swimming was also really nice as I was able to swim but in a completely different and exciting way.

“Although it was great to try new activities, I did miss swimming a lot and realised how much I love it.

Support around her

“I moved back in with my parents at the very beginning so it was nice to spend time with my family.”

Golding expressed how she felt supported by not only her family but also her club during this time period.

She said: “We had group workouts twice a week as well as team meetings and activities.

“I really missed my team and working hard with them so this gave us a way to interact and continue to motivate each other.”

As Golding is a part of the Swim England Performance Squad, she was able to take part in activities organised for those athletes too.

Meetings were held each week for all of the team members which Golding said was a “really great” asset to have.