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No pool? No problem for these Loughborough swimmers

The lockdown period has brought many challenges to all athletes involved in sport, but what if your essential training venue – in this case, a swimming pool – has temporarily closed its doors?

Loughborough trio James Wilby, Abbie Wood, and Marie Wattal have each shown resilience and creativity outside of the water, as they spoke to the University as part of its #TrainatHome campaign.

James Wilby – Wattbike, weights and a DIY bench-press

Two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist, James Wilby has taken to a homemade bench-press, static cycling, and even found some time to spare for a spot of DIY.

“Loughborough’s pool and gym provide some of the best training facilities in the world so now we’re in lockdown it’s certainly been difficult. I’ve been loaned a Wattbike, a rack and a bar and some high-quality weights…I’m fortunate and without these, I would be completely lost not knowing what to do,” he explained.

“Just under a year ago I moved into a new house, so I’ve been getting stuck into a lot of DIY projects, building things and taking on a bit of woodwork.

“The best thing to do now is to maintain and stay steady as going hard now may compromise us in the future. Being in a good place once we’re back in the water and having the ability to bounce straight back into it so that in twelve months from now, towards the final stretch of the Olympic Games, everything is absolutely as you’d want it to be.” 

Marie Wattel – from Loughborough to the French Alps

France international Marie Wattal headed home and switched Loughborough for the French Alps.

“I’m in the French Alps with my parents as I wanted to head home so I could be with my family. The weather is a bit better than Loughborough too!” Marie said.

“I’m still trying to stay to three workouts a day – running 5-6km every morning, followed by a home gym session with a pull-up bar, and then cycling in the afternoon. When you’re swimming, you’re never alone so I’ve got my sister here with me.

“My goal this year was to make an Olympic final and now I’m thinking I may be better placed next year as it’s another twelve months in the bank. Hopefully, once I get back in the pool, I will be mentally fresh and 2021 will be the big one.”

Abbie Wood – staying focussed in Derbyshire (without taking a dip in the local reservoir!)

Loughborough swimmer Abbie Wood still has her sights firmly set on Tokyo.

“I’m currently based in my hometown of Buxton and we’ve been sent a weekly plan by our coach. The bodyweight circuits we do on a conference call all together so that’s been really fun,” she said.

“I’m still technically doing ten sessions a week but it’s difficult not having a pool and I’m definitely not going to swim in the reservoir in Buxton!

“You’ve just got to take it in your stride as everyone is going through the same thing…Tokyo being delayed for a year is a bit annoying, but I’ve just got to think I have another year to prepare and build yet more momentum.”

Loughborough University’s #TrainatHome campaign looks at how its elite level athletes are adapting their training schedules during the coronavirus outbreak. With new content and interviews released every few days, athlete videos can be downloaded in full by visiting HERE.

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: 20/75

Loughborough University is equipped with a live in-house broadcast unit via the Globelynx network. To arrange an interview with one of our experts please contact the press office on 01509 223491. Bookings can be made online via www.globelynx.com

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2019 QS World University Rankings, University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2019 and top in the country for its student experience in the 2018 THE Student Experience Survey.

Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 4th in the Guardian University League Table 2020, 5th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019 and 8th in The UK Complete University Guide 2020.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.

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