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We can be competitive in Australia

Team England’s Commonwealth Games swimmers are hoping to create everlasting memories in Australia  – by returning home with medals.

Grant Robins, team leader of the swimmers competing on the Gold Coast, says the challenge will be tough Down Under but is looking forward to being competitive at a good Games.

He said: “For us, we are looking at swimming some best times, being competitive, having some really good experiences and then if we do all of those things, I think we can come home with some medals that we can celebrate once we are back.

“Outside of that, we have got some world champions in the team and we have got some new rookies and both of those sets of people are going to learn off each other and support one another.

“That is something else I would want. I want to create one team. We’ve got para-athletes, we’ve got able-bodied swimmers and we are going out there to support one another and I think the more support we show each other, the better Games we are going to have.

“There are some tough swimming nations out there. Swimming is a good sport for Commonwealth Games.

All angles covered

“It will be noisy, there will be 10,000 spectators in the stands and, consequently, because 10,000 people want to watch it there will be some fast swimming.

“So the Aussies at a home Games, end of their season, are going to be swimming fast and also we have got Canada, Scotland, Wales and South Africa.

“We will all be fighting for those medals. Australia have a big team, they’ve got 50 people on their selection policy.  But we will be a big team and be competitive.”

Whatever the outcome in the pool, the Team England swimmers will be backed all the way by a strong support staff.

Grant added: “We have got 18 staff to support the team. A mixture of six or seven coaches and a head coach who is going to lead those in Kevin Renshaw.

“We have got sport science staff, so analysts, nutritionists, strength and conditioning, and that is being led by Di Elliot as the sports science lead. We are trying to cater for everybody’s eventualities and we feel between the coaches and support staff we have got all angles covered.

“I’m fortunate enough to lead the team and we have got Rod Wardle, from Leeds, who is my team manager, and Marie Atkinson who is my assistant team manager – good experienced people who have been to these events before.

“It’s a real strong back-up team.”