Siobhan is such an inspiration to young swimmers

September 07 2016

YOUNG swimmers are “buzzing” over Olympic silver medallist Siobhan-Marie O’Connor’s success, say two of her childhood coaches.

Keynsham Swimming Club coaches Thelia Beament and Lynne Bartlett celebrate Siobhan-Marie O’Connor’s Olympic success

YOUNG swimmers are “buzzing” over Olympic silver medallist Siobhan-Marie O’Connor’s success, say two of her childhood coaches.
The 20-year-old from Bitton took second place in the women’s 200m individual medley in Rio last month, setting a new British record of two minutes 0.6 88 seconds in the process.
While there were celebrations across the country at another medal to add to Team GB’s haul, the achievement was greeted with particular pride in her home village, which put out banners praising her achievement,  and at Keynsham Amateur Swimming Club where Siobhan trained as a youngster and still takes part in annual galas and events when her schedule allows.
And KASC coaches Thelia Beament and Lynne Bartlett, who each trained Siobhan in the pool at Keynsham Leisure Centre, say her achievement could inspire other local swimmers to follow in her wake.
Lynne said: “I am sure that some of KASC’s top national swimmers now have their eyes focused even more intently on achieving that ultimate goal that Siobhan's example has shown is possible.”
As well as future swimming stars, the club also helps a number of young triathletes and modern pentathletes to hone their skills in the pool for future competitions.
Lynne added: “Siobhan is a great example to our swimmers, she has remained a keen member of KASC and is happy, when her schedules allows, to swim for us, even taking part in our yearly club captain’s gala, swimming a few races for each team. She is not only a great swimmer but she is a ‘down to earth’ girl also. Her appearances at the club are a massive inspiration for our children.”
The swimmer’s success could also bring hope to those suffering from chronic bowel disease, as she achieved her Olympic dream despite being diagnosed in 2012 with ulcerative colitis, which causes pain, extreme fatigue and weight loss and for which there is no cure.
KASC is also hoping  that Siobhan’s achievement will introduce more children to the sport and the club has had a number of requests for trials from young swimmers in the past few weeks.