Lucy has high hopes for School Games

JEDBURGH swimmer Lucy Hope insists her Aquatics Centre experience could give her the edge over her rivals at the Sainsbury’s School Games next month, writes Nick Atkin.

The 15-year-old competed at the Olympic trials last month, where she was a whisker away from securing a Team GB berth for the European Junior Championships in Antwerp this summer.

She was just 0.21 seconds off the pace in her 200m backstroke semi-final, but put the disappointment behind her by reaching the final in the Eindhoven Swim Cup earlier this month.

Now the Kelso Amateur Swimming Club member intends to use her time competing against the best in the country in front of a large crowd at the London 2012 venue to her advantage at the School Games.

“I was down at the Olympic trials in London and that was easily the biggest event I’ve ever taken part in,” said Hope, who also competes in the 100m backstroke.

“I think having been there before could help me when I compete at the School Games. I’m not really nervous about it now; I’m more looking forward to it. Maybe I can win gold if everything goes well for me.”

Hope has been training hard ahead of the competition, undertaking four sessions a week with Borders Performance development coach Alex Jordan.

She was crowned double Scottish Schools champion for the second consecutive year in January, and is hoping to add the School Games title to her mantelpiece.

“I am pretty pleased with how well I have done and because of that confidence is pretty high ahead of the School Games,” she added.”

The Sainsbury’s 2012 School Games is being held in the Olympic Park and other venues from May, 6-9 with school-aged elite athletes competing across 12 sports. Visit www.2012schoolgames.com for more information.