Swim England recently revealed its National Junior Squad for the 2020-21 season, with 71 talented up-and-coming athletes joining the fold.
In addition to the recognition that comes with being named to the squad, the swimmers will have the opportunity to attend a number of online camps, with the first one taking place at the beginning of December. Once the current coronavirus restrictions are lifted, the Junior Squad, along with other athletes of all levels, will be able to resume competitive activities.
Among the swimmers named includes Sophie Yendell of Derventio Excel. 18-year-old Yendell is a relative newcomer to Derventio, having left her long-time training home of City of Derby late 2019. Yendell made this year’s Junior Squad in the 50m free, although the 50m fly is the event in which she broke through with a bronze medal in the senior final at the 2019 British Championships.
Another standout swimmer named is Crawley’s Maisie Thornton who will represent the 200m fly on the squad. Thornton took gold in the event at the Winter Regional Championships last year, as well as the County Championships before swimmers’ seasons were cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.
On the men’s side, William Ellington of Millfield was named to the squad in the 200m breaststroke, while Cameron Williams made the cut in the 100m breast. Ellington represented Great Britain at the 2019 European Youth Olympic Festival, medaling twice across the mixed medley and men’s medley relays. Dartmoor’s Williams took silver in the 100m breast individually at the same meet.
Of the 2020-21 Swim England Junior squad, Head of Talent Grant Robins stated, “The selections have been made with inclusion in mind. These unusual times and our method of delivery has also allowed us to be more flexible with numbers and criteria.
“It’s essential in these times that we stay engaged with our future performance potential. Using rankings, both long and short course as well as our event camps, has allowed us to be as inclusive as possible.
“This year has been particularly difficult to select this squad due to the lack of competitions but we believe there is a healthy blend of existing talent and new swimmers who have shown promising potential in the last 12 months.
“The decision has been taken earlier than usual to increase the numbers on our pathway and engage with more swimmers through the online approach.
“We have engaged with more than 600 swimmers and those selected demonstrate the thriving nature of our pathway activities.
“The goal of the online camps is to ensure that the swimmers have the necessary skills and behaviours so that they can look forward to a successful and enjoyable international swimming career.
“We have written specific content to allow each individual swimmer to really think about what it is they need to do over the coming few months so that when racing resumes, they have that edge and can compete with confidence and newly-found racing skills.
“We believe the content and the delivery method is perfect to ensure the soft, technical and tactical enhancements that are needed for them to become stars in the future.”
The junior squad will be led by Swim England talent officers Mike Parker and Richard Blackshaw.
Swim England National Junior Squads
Reid Jones (Plymouth Leander)
Thomas Watkin (Royal Wolverhampton), Reese Housden (Hemel Hempstead), Ned Sharp (Skipton)
Finlay Page (Havant & Waterlooville), Daniel Johnson (Royal Wolverhampton), Daniel Gencas (Barking & Dagenham)
Alexander Hindle (City of Birmingham), Pietro Forconi (Portsmouth Northsea), Joseph Sadler (Nova Centurion)
Ciaran Thomas (Newcastle), Thomas Davidson (City of Birmingham), Daniel Donovan (Guildford)
Joseph Deighan (Millfield), Thomas Sansome (Wycombe District), Joseph Kingsland (Nova Centurion)
Cameron Williams (Dartmoor Darts), William Mitchell (Millfield)
William Ellington (Millfield), George Smith (Ellesmere College), Harvey Freeman (Northampton)
Michael Klimaszewski (Hatfield)
James Hart (Plymouth Leander), Reuben Visda (City of Sheffield)
Jacob Davies (City of Birmingham), Robbie Hemmings (Poole), Samuel Perks (Basildon Phoenix)
Nicholas Skelton (City of Oxford), Ellis Morgan (Wycombe District)
200m Individual Medley
Elijah Kendrick (Shiverers)
400m Individual Medley
Pierce Greening (Cockermouth)
Joshua Weston (Wycombe District), Isaac Dodds (TigersJersey), Matthew Woodhall (City of Sheffield), Jackson O’Rourke (Northampton)
Sophie Yendell (Derventio), Erin Little (Mount Kelly), Eva Okaro (Sevenoaks)
Macy Lawrence (Mount Kelly), Caroline Lewitt (Natare West London)
Abbie Low (Chelmsford), Amy Davies (South Croydon)
Rachel Anderson (Millfield), Beatrice Varley (Teddington), Caitlin Loo (Bracknell)
Fleur Lewis (Barnet Copthall), Chloe Stennett (Chesterfield), Milly Boulding (City of Leeds)
Cara O’Toole (Hillingdon)
Angharad Evans (West Suffolk), Jemimah Berkeley (Tonbridge)
Charlotte Rigg (City of Birmingham), Beth Dennis (City of Peterborough), Emily Surminski (Brompton)
Maisie Elliott (Plymouth Leander), Sara Kalawska (Hatfield)
Maisie Thornton (Crawley)
Pia Murray (Ellesmere College), Charley Jones (Royal Wolverhampton), Tatiana Tostevin (Millfield)
Olivia Butler (City of Bristol), Lauren Bradley-Holt (City of Salford)
200m Individual Medley
Amelia Monaghan (City of Peterborough)
400m Individual Medley
Frances Newe (Dulwich Dolphins), Elizabeth Kingham (Redditch)
Livia Kingsland (Nova Centurion), Merissa Booth (Wycombe District), Amelia Brian (Ellesmere College), Ella Dyson (Wycombe District), Aimee Hood (City of Birmingham), Amelia Rodd (Ellesmere College)