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Ollie Moreton about the Life Changing Swimming Contest

I was 10 years old and I had trained long and hard as a dedicated swimmer to get my hands on what was to be my new goal, be a part of my county team 'Staffordshire' and win the Tri Counties Cup. Although this happened many years ago and other probably more inspiring moments have happened in my life, this was the beginning.

I remember getting the invitation through the post to race for my county and almost punching a hole through the wall in excitement. This was my moment to shine and the chance to make my parents proud. It was 5am in the morning and being 10 years old you can tell I was not good with early mornings.

My eyes squinted as my father drew up the curtains, “Time to race” he said. As we arrived at the pool at around 9am the nerves started to kick in, I was not used to this feeling as very little pressure had been put on me before. I was expected to win my race, this being the 200m Breastroke, not only that but to win by a considerable margin. I remember standing on the blocks with my heart pumping and in my mind just thinking I was my idol Ian Thorpe and act as if he would.

I aimed to psych out the competition and did this by literally staring at them, a little daunting for them I imagine but it worked. I was fast out of the blocks and in the first turn I saw myself ahead of the field. As I came into finish I saw my fellow team mates standing at the end of the pool cheering me on every time I lifted my head, it was a great moment and enabled me to take 1st place and enhanced our chance of winning the cup, which in the end we did. The following picture shows myself aged 10 (the small one at the front).

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