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Freya Anderson says club swimming brought her ‘out of her shell’

Freestyle swimmer Freya Anderson admits that swimming ‘brought her out of her shell’ as she explained how a club environment helped her develop as an athlete.

The world and Commonwealth bronze medallist, now swimming at Bath National Centre, has reflected upon her first swimming memories, including her first club.

Before reaching club level, everyone learns to swim, and that was Anderson’s earliest swimming memory.

She said: “I remember when I was properly learning to swim, like full on armbands and everything.

“I think at the time, I was quite scared of swimming and I used to try and touch the floor with my feet because I was so tall, so I used to get told off for that.”

After beginning swimming lessons at the age of five, Anderson says she started to swim competitively when she was around 10.

“My first proper club was one back home where I live called Hoylake,” she added.

“When I first got involved with my club, I was doing swimming lessons as just a life skill and I got picked for a trial.

“I remember I had to stay back behind my swimming lessons and go into a trial in a lane with everyone else. I was really nervous, but I got in.”

All in it together

Now, almost a decade later at the age of 19, Anderson has nine international medals to her name – four of those gold.

Looking back at how club swimming influenced her career, she said: “My first club helped me develop as a swimmer just purely by teaching me all the basics.

“They definitely taught me discipline and obviously you have to have discipline to carry on.

“I remember being really shy until I started swimming, so I think it just brought me out my shell.

“They just taught us how to enjoy swimming and once you enjoy it and you start to become more comfortable, then it’s easy to make friends because you’re all in it together I think.

“I think Hoylake has had a big influence on my career. It’s where it all started, it’s where I learned all the basics and, without that, I wouldn’t have been able to progress to where I am today.”