A talented swimmer at Rydal Penrhos has been speaking about his first experience with a national youth squad.
Zach Speakman, a Year 10 pupil at the school, was part of the Swim Wales squad that competed at the Golden Tour in Nice, France.
The 15-year-old has risen up the national rankings significantly thanks to a series of exceptional performances that have earned him a selection to the set-up.
He said: “It was my first time with the Welsh squad but I really enjoyed the experience and I managed to learn a great deal.
“The coaches said that they were concentrating on our behaviour throughout the trip and how we prepared for each race, and it was great to get to know some of the squad members a bit better after competing against them for so long.”
The pupil also praised the support received from Head of Swimming Maciej Ruszkowski and Director of Sport Allen Boyd, while his work with Rydal Penrhos’ strength and conditioning team has also aided his development considerably.
Zach, said: “Mr Ruszkowski has been great, he is always so positive with me and is always encouraging me to push on even when I do not feel like I am performing that well.
“I am also learning a lot from Mr Boyd during GCSE Physical Education lessons in terms how to look after my body and prepare for competitions in the right way, and Mr (Nathan) Atley has also given me another boost from a school perspective with the strength and conditioning sessions.”
Speakman performed well at the event and was one second off his personal best times in three different races, and he has set his sights on further success as the season progresses.
“The main objective for me is to climb the British rankings, as I am currently in the top 16 in all areas and want to push into the top ten,” he added.
“I am now training six days a week in the lead-up to the Easter Nationals, and the overall goal is to get into the British Summer Championships later this year.”