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Former South Lincs ace hoping to play her part in Team GB Olympic glory this summer

Former South Lincs Competitive Swimming Club ace Melanie Marshall is hoping to play her part in bringing more Olympic glory for Team GB this summer.

Marshall is heading to Tokyo as part of their coaching staff for the delayed 2020 Olympic Games which are now taking place this July after the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of last year’s planned staging.

The 39-year-old – who is currently the Loughborough National Centre head coach – has guided world record holder Adam Peaty to Olympic glory and countless other titles after a sensational career herself.

Melanie Marshall.
Melanie Marshall.

She won seven Commonwealth Games medals and also appeared twice at the Olympics before forging a successful coaching career and working with Britain’s top swimmers.

Marshall joined the Spalding-based South Lincs Competitive ranks after spending a number of years at Boston and believes that grounding played a crucial role in her achievements both in and out of the pool.

Speaking to Swim England, she said: “Club swimming is like going to the university of life in so many ways.

Melanie Marshall as a youngster with South Lincs Competitive Swimming Club.
Melanie Marshall as a youngster with South Lincs Competitive Swimming Club.

“There is so much interaction, you learn to compete, you learn how to face disappointment and how to work as part of a team.

“It makes you disciplined and you get stuff done before everyone else is awake. You learn so much through a swimming club.

“It gets you off your iPads and makes you physically active – it’s such a positive experience.

“You get the club T-shirt and you are part of a team. From a health perspective, you will live 10 years longer as you are conditioning your body at a young age to be fit and healthy.”

Adam Peaty.
Adam Peaty.

The coronavirus pandemic has currently curtailed all club competitions across the country, with the South Lincs Competitive swimmers last in action in November.

But Marshall is hoping that brighter times are on the horizon and is urging young swimmers to stay positive after a stop-start year.

She added: “Swimming is like riding a bike – it’s still in there.

“You have to be positive and look at what you have got and not what you haven’t got. You will always get it back.

“Youngsters must stay active, stay physically healthy and fit and (when pools reopen) they can get back to it straight away. You might come back even better.”

Marshall – who has also represented the City of Lincoln Pentaqua Swimming Club – moved to Loughborough University to further her career.

Her domestic and international achievements blossomed and led to appearances at the Manchester and Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 2002 and 2006 and the Athens 2004 Olympic Games before retiring after the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

She also won three World Championships medals and five European Championships medals in both long and short course competitions before turning to coaching where she hopes to use her experiences to guide others.

Marshall added: “Coaching is so important because I would be nowhere without the support that I received. My coaches taught me so much and gave me so many opportunities.

“My first club and coach took time to teach me how to swim a really beautiful freestyle.

“I did not have all the attributes required but they taught me a really good technique and I had really good, excellent coaches who took time to help me out.

“That’s helped me in my coaching career as well. I have been lucky to be around a whole host of amazing coaches and you learn what you would like to keep in your coaching.

“I have had a front row ticket to some of the world’s best coaches and I feel really privileged to have worked with these people.”

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