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Ranjuo hopes National Awards success will help increase number of male artistic swimmers

Swim England National Award winner Ranjuo Tomblin hoped his success would help increase the number of male artistic swimmers in the country.

Tomblin was presented with the Artistic Swimming Breakthrough Athlete of the Year Award at the University of Birmingham’s Great Hall.

He won a solo silver medal at the LEN European Junior Championships in Alicante – and followed that up with a bronze in the Mixed Technical Duet with Beatrice Crass.

Tomblin said: “It’s amazing.

“I feel so honoured to be able to be nominated for this award and I appreciate the coaches and my whole support system for helping me to get here.

“It would be amazing to have more male swimmers to help grow the sport and I hope that my performances can help that. 

“It would be great for both male and female competition and just the sport as a whole.”

“Training is tough after joining the performance centre, but I know it will all be worth it in the end and I’m really enjoying it.

“Thank you to my coach Paulo Basso and all my other coaches. 

“I couldn’t do any of this without them and to my family as well who have put so much time in driving me up and down the country.”

‘I couldn’t believe it’

Rising water polo star Harriet Dickens said she couldn’t believe it after discovering she had won a Swim England National Award.

The 17-year-old was the top scorer at the EU Nations Cup and also represented her country at the European Championships.

At club level, Dickens was part of the City of Manchester team which was crowned British Water Polo League champions in 2021-22.

She was also the top scorer and MVP at the Swim England U19s Girls’ National Age Group Championships – and scored two goals in the final to help her team to the title.

Dickens said: “I’m really pleased to win the award and when got the email through I couldn’t believe it.

“I always look forward to competitions and having a chance to compete in the higher age groups at national level just gives me more experience for when it’s my own age group.
“And then, hopefully, when it comes to my age group I can hopefully be one of the leaders in the team to help us place highly.

“Throughout the next year, I’m hoping to train for Europeans and keep improving and building the team.

“I’m looking forward to competing with the national league as well and I’m looking to continue doing well in that.

“Water polo’s a really fun sport that not many people know about it and I love it.
“So I hope that people think about taking up the sport and give it a go.

“I want to thank my coaches Izzy Howe, Theo and Andy. Andy’s been my coach at school since the very start whilst Theo and Izzy always help me so much at Manchester.

“Theo letting me join the women’s squad a few years ago really helped me progress my game and Izzy always helps me out by giving me little tips in the water as a teammate, captain and as a coach in the junior age groups. 

“They’ve all been so important to me so thank you to them.”