Nadine was not a keen swimmer as a child, as she thought she would “drown and die”. She did manage to get her swimming badge when she was 6 years old, but only once her mother told her that, if she got the badge, she could leave the swimming club. The next session, she had the badge and moved onto martial arts! In her teens she began to show a bit more interest in swimming, and remembers a holiday in Germany where she asked the lifeguard at an open air pool to teach her freestyle, which is still her favourite stroke.
Always a keen athlete, her love for swimming grew, and a few years ago she decided to create an endurance swim adventure, swimming 200km along the Danube. Her thinking was that if she swam that far, it had to improve her swimming! She completed the event over 10 days non-stop but then needed a break from swimming, feeling a bit traumatised.
Having moved to Barnes last year, Nadine decided to investigate swimming clubs. She joined Spencer in April 2017 and now trains with us two or three times a week. She loves swimming in good company and from her first session she was hungry for more – “lovely people and a coach who makes so much sense, and is always coming up with something new”.
Her first competitive meet was at Crawley in January, where she had to guess at her entry times, entering 2.30 for the 200m freestyle. She knew that this was a bit optimistic when she swam 3.20 in the last training session before the meet, but she held her nerve in a fast heat and, with her Spencer teammates cheering her on, swam her own swim. She now laughs about the mess up and sees it as a lesson learned for the next time. Her current aim is to try to enter six meets this year, and then to decide which events feel good and where to work to improve her times. She also keeps up the open water swimming at Shepperton Lake.
Outside of the pool, Nadine works as a performance coach and trainer and as an operations manager, focusing on the training and development sector. She is also a writer and currently working on her second book.