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Swim England National Award ‘means so much’ to diver Andrea and para-swimmer Will

Diver Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix said being presented with the Swim England Spirit of the Commonwealth Games Award ‘means so much’.

The 18-year-old won two gold medals and a silver during her debut Commonwealth Games at Birmingham’s Sandwell Aquatics Centre.

She triumphed in the Women’s 10m Platform and also topped the podium in the Mixed 10m Synchro alongside Noah Williams.

It’s proved to be a year to remember for Spendolini-Siriex, who also won silver in the Women’s 10m Synchro alongside Lois Toulson, and then went on to claim five medals – including two golds – at the European Championships in Rome.

Spendolini-Sirieix was unable to attend the Swim England National Awards ceremony as she was in Canada for the FINA World Junior Diving Championships.

However, in a recorded message, she said: “Thank you so much Swim England for this award – It means so much to me.

“Obviously the Commonwealth Games was not only an amazing experience but I learned so much from the competition about myself, about my diving and I’m so proud of the team that went with me.

“Again this year was very difficult but with the help of my coach and my full team, I was able to get stronger and learn a lot more about myself.

“This year, I have got the Junior World Championships to finally close the book on my junior career and I’m so excited to start next season and keep on training.”

Perry ‘elated’ to received ‘unexpected’ award

Will Perry's acceptance speech at the Swim England National Awards

Para-swimmer Will Perry also received the Swim England Spirit of the Commonwealth Games Award after ‘embracing every aspect’ of Birmingham 2022.

Perry swam up a classification in his only race of the Games – the Men’s S7 50m Freestyle final – but said the experience was something he would never forget.

He said: “To win an award like this especially for the Commonwealth Games is hugely elating.

“I’m really surprised but thrilled at the same time – it’s completely unexpected.

“I will never forget that roar coming out [at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre]. 

“My parents were there, it was the first time they had watched me since 2019, so that was extra special.

“It’s something I will never forget – it was unbelievable and it makes me excited now just thinking about it. 

“I’d gone from Tokyo where there is no crowd to 5,000 in your home country. 

“I don’t think I’ll ever experience anything like that again.”

Perry’s nomination said thanks to him, the Team England squad ‘was better in every aspect’ 

He was ‘central to the atmosphere and culture’ of the team and provided ‘endless support’ to everyone when they were in action.

Perry was quick to praise his coach at the time, Andy Sharp, for helping him achieve his Commonwealth dream.

He said “I’d like to thank my coach at the time – he was phenomenal in getting me to the Commonwealth Games.

“So if I could thank one person, it would have to be him. Obviously the staff and the team but if there was one person to stand out it’s him.”