It certainly has been a successful start to the year for our Unity College swimming teams and individuals. Two of those successful sporting students include Year 12 Students Mikayla and Lily, who qualified for the 2018 Commonwealth Games Swimming Trials. They both travelled to the Gold Coast to compete in the Trials. Mikayla raced in the 200m & 400m Freestyle events and Lily competed in the 100m Butterfly event. We managed to catch up with the girls to find out a little more on their achievements and training.
How much training was done for the event?Mikayla: I train all year round so preparation for this started months ago. I train 9 sessions a week and the sessions are between 2 - 3 hours, some days I train twice a day, in the morning and then again in the afternoon.Lily: I train 8 swimming sessions a week (Monday afternoon, Tuesday morning & afternoon, Wednesday Afternoon, Thursday morning & afternoon, Friday afternoon and Saturday Morning). Plus three gym sessions per week, it's a pretty hefty load. How long have you been swimming competitively?Mikayla: I started swimming competitively from 5 years old when I used to compete at club nights with my club.Lily: I did learn to swim as a little kid for a short amount of time (until I could swim independently). I then took up competitive swimming at age 10, and have been swimming ever since. How do you find managing time between school and swimming?Mikayla: It is really hard sometimes especially now the workload is a lot more at school. I just try to manage my time as best I can and use every spare minute of my day to try and keep on top of my school work.Lily: It's certainly tough having such a large work load from both, swimming and schooling. Setting academic goals for my myself often keeps me motivated to complete school work at high standard. I'm also super competitive and want to achieve the best out of myself in and out of the pool, I'm actually probably more competitive with my grades at school then I am at swimming. What were the results of the trials and how did you find the whole experience?Mikayla: I was racing in two events the 200m Free and 400m Free, unfortunately I tore a ligament in my ankle less than a week before the trials. I still wanted to race and to be able to experience competing at this level so I still got in and raced the 200m free but my ankle still wasn’t right and unfortunately I had to pull out of the 400m Free. I wasn’t able to swim the time I wanted to do in the 200m free but was still happy I got in and raced. The whole experience was great just being able to compete at that level.Lily: I had shoulder surgery last year, so although my results a trials were not a personal best time; It was the fastest I have swam since my operation. My coach was quite happy & of course happy coach = happy swimmer :) The experience was incredible, and I'm grateful to have experienced such a significant event within the swimming community at such a young age.What are your future plans for competitions and life after school?Mikayla: I want to continue competing at a national level after school and also go to University to study either marine or paramedicine. My next upcoming competition is age nationals end of April in Sydney.Lily: My next major competition is Australian Age Nationals in Sydney late April. I am competing in 6 events and am aiming for a podium finish in my pet event the 100 butterfly. I am not 100% sure yet on where my life will take me after grade 12, or whether swimming will still be in the picture. I'm a highly inquisitive person and will probably find myself studying something along the lines of political science or behavioural science, as these have been something I enjoy learning and reading about in my spare time. My dream job is to be a Cognitive Neuroscientist and I think after grade 12 I see myself working towards achieving this goal for the next phase of my life.
We thank Mikayla and Lily for their time, we all very proud of them for working so hard to achieve their goals.
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