<strong>WHO AM I?</strong>
I joined a family-run 'learn to swim' class when I was seven and after joining Keynsham swimming club, I really took to the sport. After moving through the groups I was soon competing.
Next up were the regional youth and age-group program at the University of Bath and I trained in this squad for four years with a variety of coaches. I won six national titles and qualified for my first European Junior Championships as the youngest member of the team at 14.
At the Bath ITC (intensive training centre) I became triple European Junior champion and qualified for the 2011 FINA World Swimming Championships in Shanghai. This was my first senior international meet and I made the semi-final in my favourite event, the 200m individual medley.
Top 5 achievements
- Olympic silver medal in Rio (2016)
- 6 x medals at Commonwealth Games, incl gold in 200Im & Games record (2014)
- Commonwealth record holder 200Im, GB record holder 200Im, 100Breast
- World Record 4x100 Mixed Medley Relay (2015)
- Gold & bronze winner at World Champs in Kazan (2015)
2012 was a great but challenging year. In my first Olympic trials, I wanted to make the team in the 200IM as I had done the year before for Worlds. I had a lot of nerves and I didn't know how to handle the occasion. I missed out in that event and both slots were filled.
I thought my Olympic dream was over but focused my efforts on the 100m breaststroke and at the second trials I qualified as the youngest swimmer on the GB team.
Sometimes things happen for a reason and I managed after the heats to be ranked No 1 in the breaststroke in the country which, subsequently, enabled me to swim in an Olympic final in the relay. The disappointment of not qualifying first time round taught me a lot and really toughened me up.
Since the 2012 Games, I have been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis which I'd had for the previous 18 months but went undiagnosed. Since being on the right medication and being able to keep a healthy body and weight, I have felt lots better.
Rio was an amazing Games for me. I just missed out on gold in the 200m individual medley final after setting a new British record.
HOW HAS BEING A SCHOLAR HELPED YOU?
It's been the opportunity of a lifetime. I am very lucky, proud and honoured to have been selected to represent and be supported by Sky Sports as one of their Scholars. It has been amazing to be part of such a great group of athletes.
Sky are such a huge brand in the world of sport so to be associated with them and to have their support with so much to offer is incredible.
Since the programme started, I have become friends with the other Scholars and we are able to follow each other's journeys and share our stories and experiences.
Last year we had cycling day organised by Sky where Sir Chris Hoy taught us how to ride around the track and also delivered a hugely inspiring talk. I feel so lucky to have been there.
I've also been able to improve my interview techniques and communication skills through one-on-one lessons with some of Sky's leading mentors. This is an area, which is massively important in our lives and without Sky's help, we wouldn't have been given this support.
With the financial support, I was able to attend altitude training camps in the lead-up to big competitions, I was able to travel to international competitions and race the best in the world. I had everything I needed to stay healthy - nutrition and supplements - and I was able to buy all the training and racing equipment I needed.
It meant I've been in the best physical state and mental state knowing I had been able to do everything right to get the best performance out of myself.
My mentor is Anna Woolhouse who is a SSNHQ presenter. I have got to know Anna and see first hand the commercial side of sport and what she does. It is so exciting and definitely something I would be interested in pursuing after my swimming career.
Being a Scholar has also boosted my profile which is great for me but also for swimming.
I am very passionate about swimming and I love my sport. I feel very strongly that it is a vital life skill and I would love to see a rise in participation and in more children leaving school with the ability to swim 25m.
I think being associated with Sky gives me a platform to hopefully put my message out there and hopefully inspire some people to take up swimming and hopefully enjoy it as much as I have.