Swim­ming suc­cess is in teen’s blood

Teen beats five of her own PBs

The Western Star - - FRONT PAGE - PHOTO: MOLLY HAN­COCK

SWIM STAR: Jemma Jones, 15, is prov­ing to be a nat­u­ral in the pool. She re­cently knocked over her per­sonal bests and is keen to keep get­ting bet­ter.

SWIM­MING: Jemma Jones is like a fish in wa­ter when she grace­fully dives into the Denise Spencer Me­mo­rial Pool for her daily train­ing rou­tine.

The 15-year-old Roma State Col­lege Year 10 stu­dent is mak­ing waves in the pool re­cently, af­ter suc­cess­fully beat­ing five of her per­sonal best times at a re­cent swim­ming car­ni­val in Spring­sure.

Jemma be­gan swim­ming at the age of four, heav­ily in­flu­enced by her strong swim­ming fam­ily.

“My aunty went to the Com­mon­wealth Games and got 10th over­all for the 100m but­ter­fly and my fam­ily was all re­ally into swim­ming and my mum wanted me to con­tinue it and I did and now I have come this far,” Jemma said.

“I went and com­peted in Spring­sure last week­end and swam five per­sonal bests and have just been work­ing on beat­ing those times and beat­ing my times and re­ally push­ing my­self.”

Af­ter hav­ing a sea­son off from swim­ming, Jemma de­cided it was time to get back into the pool af­ter mov­ing from Black­all to Roma in Fe­bru­ary.

With a strong but­ter­fly and breast­stroke, Jemma is train­ing hard in prepa­ra­tion for the Dalby swim­ming car­ni­val this week­end.

“If I swim well at a car­ni­val I try and beat that time at the next car­ni­val and keep in­creas­ing my times,” she said.

“For breast­stroke I swim it in 39 sec­onds and for but­ter­fly about 36 sec­onds both for 50m.”

Jemma said her Black­all coach, Daryl Turner, was a big in­flu­ence to achiev­ing her times.

“I want to thank Daryl Turner for all his hard work and ded­i­ca­tion to help­ing me get to where I am,” she said.

Aside from spend­ing hours in the pool, Jemma plays net­ball and touch foot­ball, a busy sched­ule for the teen to main­tain.

“This week I have trained Mon­day, Tues­day morn­ing, Wed­nes­day and Thurs­day,” she said.

“I got up 4.45am the other morn­ing, be­cause we live out of town, to train at 6am. I then go to school. They are long days but worth it in the long run.”

This week­end Jemma will step out­side her com­fort zone and com­pete in the 800m freestyle.

Jemma’s fa­ther, Shane, is a mas­sive sup­porter of her re­cent suc­cess and hopes she can make the Queens­land Swim­ming Na­tion­als.

“I re­ally would like to see her qual­ify for the Queens­land Cham­pi­onships in Bris­bane but I think we might be out of time, so it will def­i­nitely be a goal for us next year,” he said.

“I am re­ally proud of all the time and ef­fort she has put in. Jemma has done a lot of hard work to get where she is to­day and has done a great job to be swim­ming PBs in such short amount of time.”

Denise Spencer Me­mo­rial Pool man­ager and Stacey’s Aqua Stars Swim School owner Stacey Rober­ston said Jemma had done re­ally well re­cently.

“I think Jemma is do­ing re­ally well with her swim­ming,” she said.

“She trains re­ally well and we have a re­ally good squad at the mo­ment and have a good com­bi­na­tion of younger and older kids.

“Some­times the older kids get in with the younger kids to help them and then they have to re­ally fo­cus on tech­nique and that re­ally helps them work on their over­all per­for­mance.”

Rober­ston said when Jemma trained she worked well on times and took on feed­back to the best of her abil­ity.

“I say to her to put in 85 per cent she un­der­stands she needs to swim at that in­ten­sity to im­prove on her times,” Robert­son said.

“We have been talk­ing lately about if you don’t train well you are not go­ing to swim well. I have also been tak­ing pho­tos of them swim­ming so I can show them where they need to im­prove. Jemma takes on any­thing you tell her as a coach and is a plea­sure to have in the squad.”

PHO­TOS: MOLLY HAN­COCK

SUC­CESS: Jemma Jones might be only 15 but she is div­ing into suc­cess with her swim­ming.

All smiles by the pool af­ter smash­ing five PBs.

Jemma is de­ter­mined to do her best in the pool this week­end.

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