When Bromley Swimming Club captains Ellen Scholes and Theo Haslam took up the sport eight years ago, neither knew they would be destined for this summer’s British youth championships in Sheffield.
Both are aged 16 but have very different stories about how they swam their way to the national championships.
Scholes always trained hard, managed a few county qualifying times when she was 13 and at the age of 14 achieved all of them.
Inspired by her success, Scholes and her coach David Court, designed a special programme with short-term goals and benchmark times she would need to attain over a two-year time period in order to take her to nationals this summer.
She explained: “At 14 I decided the nationals was something I really wanted to do.
“I worked as hard as I could and improved my strokes.
“My coach has been a great support for the past two years.
“I do land training and exercise band work every day. I got my national time in the 50m breaststroke, I am so pleased.”
Scholes won a silver medal in the 50m breaststroke and a bronze medal in the 100m breaststroke at the London regional competition in May so heads to August’s Sheffield competition full of confidence.
Meanwhile, fellow Bromley SC member Haslam is also in fine form.
Tall for his age, he quickly moved to top squad by age 10 and has been ranked as one of the top five swimmers in Kent county since 2010.
In March he powered his way to become Kent’s top swimmer for his age group at the county championships.
At 14, Haslam had his first taste of nationals.
He competed in the 100 metre butterfly semi-finals at Pond’s Forge in 2012 but last year the 15/16 age group qualifying times proved too tough for then 15-year-old.
This year he has trained hard to build his confidence on a season of strong racing leading up to the 2014 summer national competition.
Haslam said: “My training is going well.
“I work out in the gym and run two or three times a week. I want to make the Olympic trials for 2016.”
Haslam broke the London regional and Kent county records for the 50m and 100m freestyle, earning two gold medals, as well as breaking the Kent county 50m butterfly record at the London regional competition in May.
The double-gold London champion will compete in the 50m and 100m freestyle races at the British national youth championships in August.
Head coach David Court added: “Bromley prides itself on how we cater for both early and late developers to achieve high standards of success.
“Ellen and Theo demonstrate how their hard work and dedication to our programme have produced good results.”
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