My 2016/17 season ended with an incredible experience - competing for Team GB at the European Youth Olympic Festival. The whole GB team met up on Friday 21st July at Bisham Abbey for kitting out, team building and educational sessions. After a training session at Hillingdon the following day, the swimmers met up with the rest of the team at Heathrow to fly out to Budapest.
Beset by delays, we arrived late and exhausted at the Olympic village in Gyor. Sunday was a time for settling in, training and then in the evening, taking part in the Opening Ceremony. Parading with the GB team in front of 20,000 people, with one of my fellow swimmers carrying the Union flag, was an unbelievable experience.
Competition at the games was incredibly tough with some phenomenal performances from young Russian, Hungarian and Italian athletes. The entire team of 16 GB swimmers, comprising the elite of British Swimming, found acclimitatisation difficult (queuing in the athlete village for food with 2000 others, with some interesting menu options being one such example). I competed in four individual events with finishes of 15th (200m freestyle), 16th (800m freestyle), 18th (400m freestyle) and 21st (200m butterfly). We concluded our week with a reception at the British ambassador's residence in Budapest.
Since the games I have competed for England South at School Games in Loughborough. Early October, I compete at my fourth National County Team Championships, representing Somerset. This is at Ponds Forge, Sheffield. I will be back there in December for the National Winter Meet, after competing in a couple of meets at a Millfield in October (Super series) and South West Region winter championships (November). 2018 is going to be a big year - GCSEs!!!! In the pool, I will be competing at Antwerp (January) then the Edinburgh International Meet/British Championships (March), where my goal is to try to gain GB selection for the European Junior Championsips in Helsinki (July).