Jasmine swims to early success #aspire24/7

Year 8 Jasmine Cadman, who is only 12, has been on the Ripley social media radar for some time with her enthusiastic swimming success as part of City of Lancaster Swimming Club. We talked with her about her successes with the club as part of the #aspire24/7 campaign to promote and celebrate pupil interests outside of school.

  • It is impressive at how dedicated you are at such a young age – the only way is up. It seems to be a really good club for bringing people on as I’ve interviewed other swimmers at your club and they are all doing very well – how are you getting on at Lancaster Swimming Club ?

Lancaster City is a really good club and I’ve been swimming there since I was 7. I didn’t learn to swim there, I learned somewhere more local as I lived near Garstang. Then I moved at 7 and in my first club gala I couldn’t do much as I was only 8 but I did do 1 length front crawl and I got second in that. Considering it was my first race it was pretty good and I was pleased.

  • At what age did you think ‘I’ve got this!’

When I was 9 (that’s when you can start competing). I got 2 county times which is really difficult to get and my Mum and Dad were both really proud. Just before Counties I started getting higher up in the ranking and got quite a few Golds. My favourite gala was at Preston, Darwin Pool.  I won 4 medals – a gold, 2 silvers and a bronze in the same meet. They are my favourite medals as well as they are so big.

  • That’s amazing to get so many medals in one swim meet, you must have been over the moon. What is your favourite stroke or the one you think are best at?

Definitely breast stroke but I am really good at backstroke as I have county times for that as well.

  • What do you have to do to achieve a county time?

Times are recorded over the year. Counties is weirdly spread out on weekends from Jan to March. There are county and regional swim meets. After Counties you have the whole of the year to speed up and they are pretty hard so they set a high bar.

  • What level are you at now?

Regional levels – I had my first regionals this year. I did really well. I think it was a bit different as we were in a 50m pool and we only train in a 25m pool but I already have 6 county times from over the weekend so I’m really happy with that.

  • How often do you train then and do you have to do much travelling?

I do an hour on Monday after school and on Tuesday there is competitive development and I help coach for an hour then I swim for an hour and a half. On Wednesday it’s a hour swim. On Thursday in the holidays I swim for an hour during the day and then on Friday I help for a hour and swim for an hour and a half. I finish with a 2 hour swim each Sunday then I’m back to Monday! Counties and regionals are at Liverpool so we have to travel there on weekends otherwise its practice at Salt Ayre.

  • So you do get Saturday off then!

Yes, and do my homework. Its quite hard to fit everything in but you need to be organised.

  • Tell me about your most recent success

On the weekend before half term holidays I took part in Blackpool Rocks all weekend – that was all day Sat and Sun and I got 5 medals and some really good PBs (personal best), especially in my breaststroke.

  • So what is Blackpool Rocks?

Blackpool Swimming Club host 2 galas every year at their pool – Blackpool Rocks is on just before the summer and Blackpool Lights is when the illuminations are on. They do lots of different races for all ages and it helps everyone get their times up.

  • Does that cover just clubs in Lancashire?

It’s a County thing but there are plenty of counties that join in from further away.

  • Would you like to take your swimming to a professional level?

I think I just want it to be a really good hobby really, I’m not sure exactly what I want to do as I’m only 12. My sister wants to be an Olympian so she’s really focussed even though she is younger than me. She’s 11 and coming to Ripley in Sept. She is really good but harder for her to get County times as her birthday is in December so she is one of the youngest in the year and the County times I would have to get last year she has to try to get them now.

  • What would you say to anyone wanting to get into competitive swimming?

Just go for it really. There will always be a gala that you can enter and even if that’s not what you want to do there’s always the social side. My best friend goes here in Year 10 and another one goes to QES and the Grammar so its great to get to know people from all over and not just your own school.

The thing that strikes us after speaking with Jasmine is how happy she is with her own performance and how much pleasure she appears to be getting out of doing her best. It isn’t always about being the most competitive – it is obvious how much pleasure it gives her to make her family very proud. Well done Jasmine!