James Escolme in Year 11 recently triumphed at the North West summer regionals swimming gala in Liverpool taking home an amazing three gold medals and two bronze medals!
The gold medals were in James’ favourite swimstroke, breaststroke, in the 50m, 100m, and 200m. His bronze medals were won in the 50m butterfly and Individual Medley, which involves swimming 4 x 100m in butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and ending with front crawl. An amazing achievement James! Huge congratulations. (Click to read more about the event here.)
So how did James get to become such a medal-winning swimmer? We interviewed him to dive beneath the surface and find out more…sorry about the pun!
How did your interest in swimming start?
Like most children, I began swimming through swimming lessons at the local leisure centre at five years old. When I was nine I tried out for Kendal Amateur Swimming Club and that’s where it all started. I’ve been swimming with the club for seven years now.
To get to your medal-winning standard how much do you train?
I swim six times a week, every evening during the week for about 1.5-2 hours each session and again on Saturday morning at 6:30am.
Wow, that’s real dedication and hard work and it’s obviously paying off. But with all this time in the pool while also doing your GCSEs, when do you do your homework?
I usually do my homework on a weekend when I have plenty of time, or when I get home on the day I get it.
What GCSEs are you doing?
I’m doing PE, Spanish, geography and business as well as the usual English, maths and sciences.
And what do you want to do after your GCSEs?
I’m staying on at Dallam Sixth Form to do PE, Geography and Biology. After that I might look at applying for a scholarship with swimming in America. I know a previous student called Alex did the same thing.
Back to the swimming. After your incredible success in Liverpool, have you got any other competitions coming up?
The British and English Nationals are in July in Sheffield where I’ll be competing in the 50m breaststroke. I might also get picked to represent the county at the National County Team Championship.
Sounds great James, fingers crossed for selection. As we are located close to the Lake District, do you do any outdoor swimming?
Not competitively, but I do like to swim in the Lakes in the summer. It really opens up your mind and it’s different to swimming in a pool.
Can you tell us who’s your favourite sports person?
Michael Phelps, he’s so inspirational to a whole generation of younger swimmers.
And finally, do you have any advice for other Dallam students who are following their passion, be it sports or something else?
Never give up on something you enjoy, even if you go through a rough patch or someone tells you that you can’t do it.
Thank you James, we wish you the best in your swimming and your studies.