Alice takes national swim crown

ALICE Tennant has become Deben Swimming Club's first ever National Champion after winning the 100m Butterfly event at the Scottish National Age Group Championships.

By Sefa Atay

ALICE Tennant has become Deben Swimming Club's first ever National Champion after winning the 100m Butterfly event at the Scottish National Age Group Championships.

The 14-year-old was accompanied by her parents Neil and Claire, Alice travelled to Glasgow for four days and also won a bronze medal in the 100m freestyle event.

“As a father I'm obviously very proud. I'd also like to thank Deben and Ipswich High School for Girl's for their support”

Her performance at the National Championships caught the eye of the Scottish National coaches and negotiations are underway for her to join the Youth Development set up. Coach Ian Cotton believes she has the potential to be very successful.

“She is extremely talented, probably one of the best swimmers this club has seen, and I'm proud to be her coach. Hopefully she will join the Scottish National Youth Development team in August and begin work towards the 2010 Commonwealth Games”

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The tournament was held in Scottish half-term which is at a different time for English schools which meant Alice had to miss a few days.

“The school have been very flexible in allowing Alice days off school in order for her to attend these competitions. Without this support she wouldn't be able to achieve what she has”

The fact that this was an 'open' Championship meant competitors of any nationality were able to compete, thus making the achievement even more impressive.

“I was pretty nervous over the opening two days but after that I felt fine and it was great to come home a winner”

It seems Alice is making a habit of breaking records as she recently became the first female in the history of Deben SC to swim 100m freestyle in less than 60seconds.

She began competitive swimming at the age of 10 and, despite having represented England Schools and Suffolk at Cross Country, has now devoted herself to swimming. She wakes up at the crack of dawn every Tuesday and Thursday to start training at 5.30am.

“It's not easy being a swimmer. She has to train as often as possible and that means getting up early before school. She is now beginning to prioritise events so she'll need as much pool time as possible”

Alice remains fairly calm despite the recent events: “It's great that after all the hard work that I have achieved this. It's always nice to get the best out of yourself and I think I've done that so far”

The future looks very bright for Deben's finest young swimmer who is dreaming of the 2012 Olympics: “First I'd love to be part of the Commonwealth games and if I can then the Olympics in London would be amazing”

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