July 23 2014 Latest news:
Will Piper, Sportsbeat
Thursday, July 3, 2014
European Championships beckon for Marren
After locking herself away for GCSE revision, Hornchurch disability swimmer Amy Marren insists she is ready to blow the cobwebs away in style at next month’s European Championships.
At 15 years old, Marren has the difficult job of balancing her blossoming swimming career with her studies at Hall Mead School.
But so far the teenager hasn’t let that slow her down, qualifying for the London 2012 Paralympics before leaving last year’s World Championships with four golds and two silvers.
This year has proved slightly trickier as her GCSEs have taken centre stage, but having seen off that challenge Marren is now ready to turn her attentions to her continental rivals next month in Eindhoven.
“This season has probably been the hardest season that I’ve had so far,” said Marren, who is a member of Romford Town Swimming Club. “I’ve just had my GCSEs and it’s been hard balancing revision and training.
“Even though it’s hard work I have enjoyed it, the start of the season went really well and now we’re on the more technical part of the season and I’m looking forward to the European Championships in five weeks time. It’s just a case of fine tuning now.
“It’s my first European Championships and I’m just going there to continue my development and gain experience. Obviously every international competition leading up to Rio 2016 is going to count so I’d be happy with some strong swims and some personal bests.
“Rio was always the main aim and anything that I’ve done before that has been a bonus – London 2012, World Championships, European Championships and the Worlds again next year. As long as I keep enjoying it and as long as I keep fit and healthy I’m just going to keep chugging on.”
Not long after the Eindhoven waters have settled Marren will be able to relive some of her happiest memories as she looks to star once again in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
This time it is for the 2014 National Paralympic Day, a free, fun, family festival that celebrates the success of Britain’s disabled athletes while also providing a range of sports, music and cultural experiences - such as wheelchair basketball, rowing and dancing - to inspire the next generation of youngsters.
“I think National Paralympics Day is a great event because not only does it raise the profile of the Paralympics, which has come a long, long way since London 2012, but it also gives people an opportunity to meet their role models and heroes,” Marren added.
“It’s probably one of my favourite events of the year. You can meet the athletes, take part in the give-it-a-go sessions and it’s just a great day to get an understanding of what Paralympic sport is and what we try to promote, which is that there is no boundaries for disability athletes; you can do anything if you put your mind to it.
“I’d say it’s a massive honour to be involved in National Paralympic Day. Never in a million years would I have ever dreamed that I would be a Paralympian, so to be involved is something that I’m absolutely over the moon about.”
■ National Paralympic Day will be celebrated on Saturday August 30 with a day of Paralympic sport and disability arts in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. To buy tickets for the Paralympic sport, log on to axs.com/national-paralympic-day. #NPD2014 is supported by Spirit of 2012.