Congratulations to Brooke Weston sports teacher Miss Barber who has qualified for the Masters World swimming championships in Canada. Her fast freestyle in recent competitions has meant that she eligible to take part at Montreal this summer.
She has been in the sport for around 15 years and trains with Northampton swimming club; alongside many who have won titles in previous world championships.
The biennial competition will take place from 27th July to 10th August with competitors aged from 25 to over 100. Organising body FINA says that it ‘actively promotes fitness, friendship, understanding and competition through swimming, diving, water polo, synchronised and open water swimming.’
Ms Barber said: ‘I still swim in county championships, Midlands and Masters, which is for people who are older or else retired professional swimmers. I swam my qualifying time at a Masters event a couple of weeks ago and, even though I will be younger at the time of the event, the competition rules mean I will be eligible to compete in the 25 – 29 age group.
I plan to compete in all the front crawl events which will be 50m, 100m, 200m and, possibly the 400m. I am also entered into the Individual Medley, which is one length each of butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and front crawl. My personal best for freestyle is 50m in 28.2 seconds in a 50m pool.
‘I try to swim two mornings a week before school and average three weekday sessions as well. My success is down to the fact that I really enjoy swimming and being competitive definitely helps. We have 30 people in our squad and there are five Masters among them, including a world champion in three breaststroke events.
‘You swim in your time category and then, whatever time you record will be compared to people of your age. The 25 to 29 group tends to be the most competitive as they are younger people who have continued their training through university and beyond. With swimming you have got to have a lot of self-determination to be able to swim 140 or 150 lengths at a time and it is always about beating your personal best.
‘I will enter other UK competitions before the world championships, but they will definitely give me something to aim for. You cannot go into something like this half-heartedly so I need to fit as much swimming as possible around my work schedule over the coming months.’