Bellan House swimmer ranked 15th in the UK
Louie Leggett in Year 6 is currently ranked 15th in the UK along with being in the top 10 swimmers in Shropshire and the West Midlands. Louie swims for Ellesmere Titans, is on an elite swimming programme and is currently part of the age development squad having been offered a trial when he finished his learn to swim programme and after collecting his stage 7 badge.
At age 9 Louie was invited to trial at 'Titans' which meant swimming under trial and assessment conditions 3 times per week for 3 weeks. Previously Louie had only swum for 1 hour per week at ‘Learn to Swim’ classes and this took some adjustment. He was used to spluttering down the pool managing several lengths before flaking out, but his excellent technical ability was spotted by the coaching team rather than his speed.
Going into the trial Louie was one of the weakest swimmers in terms of speed; he isn't overly tall or has big feet or is particularly strong for his age, but he has amazing technical ability. Being very precise with his strokes Louie will not accept anything less than perfection for each stroke across all 4 disciplines of freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly. This sometimes means he is beaten on times against the clock, but his perseverance ensures that he is setting himself up for the future by perfecting his technical ability.
Having been offered a full time place on the programme Louie now trains 6 times per week, Monday to Sunday. His dedication is remarkable. Three mornings per week Louie gets up at 4.15am and travels over an hour to the pool from home where he trains before going to school. He also trains twice each day 3 times per week both before and after school and often competes at the weekends.
Alongside Louie training with Titans he also trains at Oswestry School’s pool with swimming instructor Miss Hannah Noble twice per week; Miss Noble works in conjunction with Louie's coach at Titans to ensure he is managing his development programme correctly. Miss Noble is very technical with her training which suits Louie and she expects him to work really hard in each session providing him with his technical sets to complete each time. Together they are working on further improving his technical development across all strokes.
Louie is looking forward to becoming part of the Oswestry School school swimming team as soon as he is old enough.
Louie currently ranks in the Top 10 for the County in most races. He is in the Top 10 for the West Midlands Region for 1500m freestyle and 400 IM and, after his very first competitive 1500m race (60 lengths) which he raced in November 2017, he was then ranked 15th in the UK.
Favouring distance races Louie wants to develop this area of his swimming. He was awarded Powys County Swimming Champion for 2017 for Backstroke and won gold medal for his old school in Meifod Powys.
Louie has set himself a target of qualifying for the Regional Championships in 400m freestyle, 1500m freestyle and 200 and 400 IM by next year. He thinks that this would be a good achievement for a boy who only finished his stage 7 badge 15 months ago!