British Swimming Selection Trials 2021
The Olympic Trials (as they’re more commonly known) is the pinnacle of domestic swimming and the highlight of many swimming careers. However, the national showcase event this year will be completely alien, compared with ‘normal’ years. Over the last 13 months swimmers have had to contend with the global Coronavirus pandemic, resulting in unwanted breaks from the pool, interruptions in training and an obscure government decision to prevent over 18s to train with their clubs in controlled environments, but can train with complete strangers in public sessions.
The two representatives from Richmond Dales, Thomas Flower and Faye Rogers are a product of 10+ years of consistency, grit, hard work, application, and enjoyment. As well as being representatives of Richmond Dales, they are also representatives and products of the Northumberland & Durham County. Both swimmers are two of only a handful of swimmers from N&D that have decided to and been accepted to compete at this years’ Olympic Trials.
Back in February and March when I sat down (via Zoom, of course) with Thom and Faye, I had absolutely no idea what they would decide to do, what they wanted to and whether it was even feasible for them to compete (given at that point, we didn’t have a date to return to pool). We removed early-on potential fitness out of the conversations, and we focused purely on the opportunity the event presented them with. We talked about the unique situation of a covid impacted Olympic Trials and as much as performing best times and making finals was the absolute ideal, the conversation became more about accountability and challenge for these young adults.
In an ideal world, there would have been no covid, and the swimmers would have trained consistently in the 13 months that preceded Trials. However, we all know that nothing is ever ideal, and (in particular) high-performance sport, preparation is never, perfect!
Thom and Faye understand that best times are unlikely; but they go with their best intention to commit, learn and probably most importantly, enjoy the opportunity they have been given. Over the past two-and-a-bit weeks they have been training in open air pools in London, with only this week, being allowed back into an indoor facility!
Competing in this adapted and rigid format will better shape them as maturing athletes and adults, and it gives them the opportunity to always be able to say they raced at the Covid Olympic Trials, and gave everything they could.
From everyone at Richmond Dales, we wish Thomas and Faye the best of luck!
Friday 16th April (from 10am) – Faye, 200m Butterfly and Thomas, 100m Freestyle
Sunday 18th April (from 10am) – Thomas, 200m Freestyle
British Swimming Live Stream – British Swimming – YouTube