Swimming at the London Olympic Pool

Following their qualifying round at Stamford earlier in the year, Harry and Helena travelled to London on Saturday to compete at the  IAPS National Finals held at the London Aquatics Centre. They qualified from over 4600 competitors from 285 schools across the length and breadth of the country and amazingly both achieved the 3rd fastest qualifying time in their respective events.  With an early start for the Girls'competition, Helena stayed overnight in London to ensure she was fresh for the big event.  Helena was competing in the youngest age category and coped extraordinary well with her nerves considering the venue!  Harry was competing late afternoon in the Boys' competition and this was his second National Finals, having competed as an U10 last year.  We were delighted to see them both qualify from their heat for the Final, ranking them in the top 10 nationally for Prep Schools. A huge well done to Harry and Helena for representing St Hugh's; they were super ambassadors for the school. Many thanks to Miss Ward who gave up her weekend to join us at this event and support Helena and Harry. 

Harry's experience

This year, the boys’ competition took place in the afternoon, so my family and I travelled to London to meet Mrs Felton and Miss Ward at 3pm.  We met outside the London Aquatic Centre on a cold and windy afternoon in June.

During my warm up I got used to the cold pool and it felt special to know that it was the same pool that Olympians were competing in, during the London 2012 Olympics.

The 50m pool was split into two 25m pools for this event.  This meant that there was a competition pool and a cool-down pool and we sat next to the diving pool where Tom Daley still trains.

I was in the second heat of U11 Boys’ 25m Fly.  I was in Lane 5, the one next to where all the famous swimmers were in the Olympics (Michael Phelps, Ellie Simmonds and Adam Peaty). I didn’t swim as fast as I did in the qualifier due to a mis-judged last stroke, but made it into the final by the skin of my teeth.

While waiting for the finals to commence, I walked around the pool and saw someone from Mr Ward’s next school among the other competitors. The finals came around quickly.  I had another warm up (which actually made me colder) and made my way to the blocks.  This was it……

Helena's experience

On Saturday I swam in the IAPS final at the London Olympic Pool and I reached the final coming 6th in U10 25m breaststroke. At first I was a bit scared by the venue, but I really liked the pool although it was very cold! It was fun seeing all the other competitors and it was a great experience, I want to qualify for next year and try and improve.