Teenage swimmer Freya Colbert has capped off a season of national and international success by being selected for British Swimming’s prestigious Podium Potential programme.
For 15 year-old Freya, it’s a life-changing opportunity that could ultimately lead to selection for the Olympic Games – either Paris 2024 or possibly even Tokyo 2020.
The KGGS pupil has been on British Swimming’s talent pathway for a number of years but her inclusion on the Podium programme – and associated funding – at such a young age is a giant leap forward.
Freya is one of a group of eight emerging junior swimmers from around the UK who made their mark this summer at the European Junior Swimming Championships in Kazan, Russia and the European Youth Olympics in Baku, Azerbaijan, and have all been put on the road to podium success.
But Freya, who came home to Grantham with five silver medals from the competitions, is keeping focused and not letting her recent achievements go to her head.
“I’m so pleased to have been selected,” she said, “It’s a fantastic honour to have been chosen, and I’m looking forward to all the opportunities it will open up for me in terms of my training. I’m really going to make the most of it so I can carry on learning and improving as much as possible.”
As well as training with Nottingham’s Nova Centurion swimming club six times a week, Freya can also be seen ploughing up and down the public lane at the Meres.
Nova director of swimming Nathan Hilton said: “She’s had an amazing summer. There aren’t many people who operate at that level.
“But it’s not surprising when you see what she does on a day-to-day basis and the routine and overall lifestyle she has to lead to deliver that.”
“Freya is already ranked highly as a senior swimmer in the 400IM, 200 free and 800 free. She learns and develops quicker than her peers, which is why she ends up in front.”
The teenager’s next challenge – apart from studying for 11 GCSEs – is a tough Japanese Development Camp out in Mount Fuji in December with British Swimming, ahead of Olympic trials at the British Championships in London next March.