Amanda is our amazing team captain, responsible for pulling together our record-breaking relay teams. But she is also an extraordinary swimmer who has dominated masters swimming for decades.
Amanda learnt to swim in the wonderful outdoor pools in Surrey, but started off as a diver with Ruislip Northwood, which was a top diving club at the time. At 13 she came second in the Borough swimming championships and decided to switch to swimming, soon training with a local club as well as making the long trek to Crystal Palace for 50m training 3 or 4 times a week. She took a few years off from swimming after university, when she tried her hand at water polo for Richmond, but she was soon back competing in the pool. It was again the late Dave Mace who, thirty years ago, persuaded Amanda to join Spencer.
Amanda has held breast stroke world records and won four world championships, and currently holds National Records in (almost) 3 countries – GB, Spain and Catalunya. She claims, however, that her favourite event is 200 backstroke, as it is “much, much easier” than 200 breast! Amanda has swum most of her PBs over the age of 40, and some over the age of 50. One of her favourite memories is winning the 280+ 4×50 medley team in a new world record at the 2016 Europeans at the London Aquatic Centre with her beloved team mates Janet, Di and Jean.
Amanda’s current target is the European 3k Open Water in Lake Bled, Slovenia in September, which will be quite a challenge given her views on open water swimming. “I don’t like salt water, waves or jellyfish. I won the 3k Open Water at the French Nationals in the Med one year which had all three (the waves came from the support boats!) and that was my one and only OW competition….so far.”
Amanda sets most of her own swim sessions and often trains at the public sessions in the Aldershot Army pool. You have to feel a bit of sympathy for any young army guy who thinks he is really fast and pushes off in front of Amanda….or maybe not! Her current favourite swim set is 2x8x100 on 2 min, swum as 100 fly, 50 fly/50 back, 100 back, 50 back/50 breast, 100 breast, 50 breast/50 Free, 100 Free, 50 fly/50 Free, with the second set faster than first set.
Outside the pool Amanda works in new product development at GSK. She complements her swim training with tai chi and yoga. And she also devotes some of her free time to her Spencer team captain duties, for which we are all very grateful.