Tuesday 29th January 2008 by C. Freeman
Year 7 and 8 students Lorna Attwood and Jessica Bellew are both keen swimmers, competing for Kettering and Corby swimming clubs respectively. Their training regimes have paid off as Jessica now has over 50 trophies while Lorna practices for 12 hours a week and is due to attend a training camp in Spain.
Both girls agree that it takes a lot of determination and stamina to train regularly, with Jessica spending about seven hours a week perfecting her technique at Corby while Lorna spends six nights a week at both Kettering and Peterborough pools.
Both girls have been swimming for their clubs from the age of eight, having been introduced to the water as toddlers. They enter competitions with their clubs, travelling around the Midlands, as far afield as Sheffield to take part. Lorna has been ranked second in the county for two years running and Jessica was awarded a cup for the Corby club's all-round championship, to go with her numerous shields and other awards.
A typical training session for both girls will mean swimming around 3,000m, generally 32 laps of warm-ups with a further 88 lengths of practice, either perfecting their general strokes or training specifically for one specialist event if they are going in for a competition. Lorna's favourite stroke is breast-stroke while Jessica enjoys front crawl best but she also swims butterfly.
Lorna has previously been to a training camp in Slovenia, but this year she is travelling to Celella in Spain where she will have two daily training sessions in a 50 metre outdoor pool, giving vital experience as the local pools are only 25 metres long.
Both girls devote a lot of time and effort to swimming, but the benefits are worth it. Jessica said: 'It's one of my favourite things to do, it keeps me healthy and I've made some great friends at my club.' Lorna added: 'I've been swimming since I was really little; it keeps you fit and you can enter competitions and meet friends.'