Simon swam competitively as a child and a student, winning a medal in the British University championships swimming for Loughborough. Like many swimmers, he got bored of competing in his early twenties. He moved into triathlon, although eventually his legs told him not to run so frequently. He enjoyed the open water swimming, even though the start could be a bit of a bunfight and he still enjoys cycling when the weather is good.
When it was announced that the 2016 European Masters championships were to be held at the London Olympic Pool, he decided that this was too good an opportunity to miss, and he joined Spencer as an out of town member. He has now got the swimming bug again, and he also competed at the 2017 World Championships in Budapest – finishing in the top 20 for 200m backstroke. He is currently training for the National Championships in Sheffield in October, and has increased his racing with that in mind.
Simon was always competitive, choosing backstroke as a child because he knew that was where he would always beat his club-mates. He still swims backstroke, but is also now enjoying the freestyle events, particularly 100m and 200m.
Simon is lucky that his local pool is the 50m pool at Aldershot Garrison. He works (as a software developer for a business travel company) five minutes from the pool, so he tries to swim there every lunchtime during the week and also on Sunday mornings, putting together his own “short and sharp” swim sets. He does therefore face the disadvantages of training in public sessions. “I’ve trained most of the Army triathletes to recognise me and move out of the fast lane when I’m there, but there’s always one person who thinks it’s a good idea to get in the fast lane because there’s only one person in it.”
Simon’s other target for this year is to swim 365 miles and he is currently 2 miles ahead of that target. Whilst swimming a mile a day might sound manageable, he is worried that he might fall behind if he does not find a pool on holiday.