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Paralympian eyes Tokyo Games success after overcoming swimming pool shutdown

Date 23.08.2021

A double-Paralympic medallist has opened up about the challenges of preparing for the Tokyo Games to a group of University of Northampton students.

Northampton swimmer, Ellie Robinson, admitted the pandemic had meant her preparations for Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games had been less than ideal, in a news feature produced by three Multimedia Sports Journalism students.

Watch the interview on YouTube, below.

Sam Boggon, Toby Lown and Ben Chapman shot an interview with Ellie, who won a gold and bronze medal in the 2016 Games, while she was training at Northampton Swimming Club.

She spoke about the frustration she experienced when all UK swimming pools were closed during lockdown, and she was forced to resort to exercising on dry land in the run up to the Games, which begin on Tuesday 24 August.

Ellie said: “It’s been particularly difficult being a para-swimmer because one of the main reasons we swim is that we can’t run or cycle. It’s definitely helped to bring out my innovative side and it’s been a real life-lesson.”

Toby said: “It was an honour to be able to interview someone who has achieved so much in the sporting world. Ellie and the other athletes, along with the club were incredibly accommodating and allowed us to attend a training session under strict Covid guidelines, which was a real eye opener and allowed us to capture the return of the athletes to the pool.

“Covid has hindered Ellie and her fellow athletes as they have had to adapt their training routines and procedures. They had been trying to use the time out of the pool to improve, however obviously this is nothing like being able to spend time training in the water.”

Ben said: “Getting the chance to interview a Paralympian was just one of the many brilliant opportunities we had throughout our degree. To sit down with Ellie and ask her how she’s preparing for an event as big as the Paralympics was an honour and we learnt so much from the experience.

“Due to all swimming pools being shut for such a long period, Ellie said motivation was a key factor and keeping her eyes firmly on the prize of the Tokyo Paralympic Games.”

Ben added: “The Multimedia Sports Journalism degree is so diverse in that you learn so many different types of journalism. The word multimedia really stands out for me, as after the three years, you walk out as a professionally trained journalist with an array of multimedia skills. These include presenting, editing, commentary, interview skills, journalistic law – and the list goes on. I speak on behalf of the three of us when I say the University of Northampton has really given us the tools to kickstart our careers in the world of sports journalism.”