This year I’ve been selected to represent the north west region in the Inter Divisional Championships run by the English Schools Swimming Association (ESSA) in Liverpool. It’s a pretty important competition in the calendar and it’s only three weeks away, so training’s pretty much full on.

Most mornings I have to get up at 4.20am and I’m in the pool by 5am. That’s hard because I’m not a morning person but I’m fine once I’m in the water.  I have a two hour session with other team members of Winsford Swimming Club, then I have to get ready for college.  I also do evening sessions and I compete at the weekends maybe twice a month.

The thing that keeps me going is that if I train hard, I know that I’ll perform well. Our coach says that when you’re behind the block on race day you need to feel you’ve trained as much as possible and worked your hardest. Then you know you’re going to have a good race.

The thing about swimming is that you compete as an individual most of the time. It’s hard work but you do feel pleased when you get a good placing because you’ve earned it all yourself.

Earlier this month I represented Winsford Swimming Club at the Cheshire County Championships. It’s a two day competition in Macclesfield and it’s against swimming clubs from all over the county.

Butterfly is my stroke for competition and I did pretty well – I was second, third and fourth in my age group. I also did two team relays and we came third and fourth. The results were dead close, within parts of a second, so we were all pretty pleased.

My college life is pretty much full on too, with assignments coming in and going out and lots of lectures. We cover so many different aspects of sport – coaching, sports injuries, sports massage, athletes’ lifestyle, technical and tactical strategies.  They all help you to improve your personal abilities and performance and they’re pretty useful to know if you’re competing.

I like the stuff I learn at college and I know the qualification will be helpful in the future when I’m looking for a career outside competing.

Now it’s half term I’m off to Lanzarote with Winsford Swimming Club for a training camp. It’ll be hard work but I’m looking forward to swimming outside and getting some sun. And hopefully there’ll be some downtime! I’ll tell you about it when I get back.