Talented Titans Swimmer Talks About School Life, Training and Boarding at Ellesmere
Wednesday, 12 December 2012
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From the early years, Llawen Rossel-Smith had dreams of becoming a swimmer and emulating her heroes of the pool which include 200 metre Breaststroke Olympic Silver Medalist Michael Jamieson. Llawen started swimming at the age 10 in her family home town, Beddgelert, North Wales.Her dreams started to become a reality after Jon Pardoe, Director of Swimming at Ellesmere, spotted Llawen in a local competition and invited her to Ellesmere for an Academy Day. Llawen loved the entire day and from that moment decided that Ellesmere was the school for her, she said "The school was unbelievable, everyone was so friendly and there were so many opportunities academically and in sport that I could get involved with".Llawen joined Ellesmere in year 9 at the age of 13 when she was offered a scholarship at the school and as far as commitment goes Llawen has bags of it. Her day starts at 6am in the morning swimming for an hour and a half before breakfast and heading off to lessons. After school Llawen will complete another session in the pool or take part in some additional fitness programmes.The Ellesmere College Titans swimming programme was established in 2008 to coincide with the opening of the College's new pool and the academy has swiftly become a centre of swimming excellence in the heart of the North Shropshire countryside. Students have enjoyed impressive successes at County, Regional and at National levels. The program that includes strength and conditioning, sports science and medicine, as well as swim camps at the Race Clubs in Florida and Majorca, is an impressive commitment which means elite swimmers board at the school.Llawen is part of St Aidan's boarding house and really enjoys it; "It's lovely and like a second home, my housemother and housemistress are so nice and they really make me feel at home. My swimming training is based around my school work so boarding at Ellesmere is perfect and there is always plenty of time to do my prep. The class sizes are small between 14 - 15 pupils which makes it easier for teachers to teach and to support us with our studies" said Llawen.Llawen's ultimate goal is to qualify for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow 2018 before which she aims to progress to national level and achieve yet more success at the British Gas National Group and Youth Championships. Alan Bircher, Head Coach said; "The Titans swimming academy was set up so that we can have swimmers like Llawen involved. Ultimately we are here to help each individual achieve his or her dream. Llawen has great potential and as long as we progress her in the right way she will not only reach her goals but I believe surpass them. After disappointing results from the British Swimming team this summer it makes me believe even more so in what we are doing, we are providing an elite program from an early age and this will ultimately produce world class swimmers."