Current pupils Archie (S6) and Katie Goodburn (S4) are excelling in the swimming pool and looking forward to a bright future. Archie and Katie spoke to Gary Heatly recently about their swimming journeys, what drives them to keep striving to improve and how their training fits around busy school schedules!
Our Deputy Head Boy Archie is currently preparing to represent Team GB at the European Junior Swimming Championships in Kazan, Russia, from 3-7 July and will be the only Scottish athlete at the World Junior Swimming Championships in Budapest this August, as well as completing his final exams. His younger sister Katie, who recently turned 16, broke her first Scottish Age Group record competing at the Scottish Schools' Swimming Championships in P7 and, more recently, claimed the Scottish Junior Record in the 50m Breaststroke event.
Archie explained how their love of swimming started: “Katie and I have always been sporty and we were lucky enough to be members of Drumsheugh pool when we were younger, which had a trapeze and rings across the pool so that was great fun! I then moved to Warrender Baths Club aged eight to continue my development path.
"In P7, whilst swimming for the school, I broke my first Scottish age group record in the 50m Freestyle and that was probably when I really thought ‘let’s stick with this and try and get somewhere with swimming’. Over the years I have trained with older and faster swimmers, giving me the opportunity to push myself. I look forward to that challenge continuing when I leave school this summer and go to Loughborough University to study Chemical Engineering and train at the National Swimming Centre.”
Archie has trained with Kostas Kalitsis at Warrender for the last four years and while most of his competitive swimming is with the club, Archie said “I have loved representing the school in the pool when I have had the opportunity. We have inter-school meets which are good fun as it is brilliant to represent your school with your friends.
“We have always taken the Scottish Schools’ Relay event very seriously and Stewart’s Melville College have been National year group champions for the past 7 years. We are hoping to finish on high in our final year at the competition in June! SMC also goes to the Bath Cup in London where we compete against some of the best swimming schools in Britain and in the last few years we have had some fantastic results. This year was a particular highlight as we won gold in both the relay events, returning to Edinburgh with two trophies and setting two new meet records.
“SMC has always been extremely supportive helping me balance academic work and swimming and I have loved the experience of being a Deputy Head Boy this year. Looking back on my school swimming career, it has been an amazing experience, with the Bath Cup a real highlight for me and hopefully we have left a legacy for some of the youngsters to continue.”
One of those talented younger swimmers coming up through the ranks at ESMS is Archie’s younger sister Katie.
“My swimming this season has been going extremely well and like Archie, I was lucky that when I joined Warrender there was a good group of competitive swimmers around and we all moved through the age groups together,” she explained about her own route into the sport. “It has always been a positive thing to have an older brother who is succeeding in the sport to be able to look up to and ask for advice.”
Recently, like Archie, Katie was at the British Swimming Championships in Glasgow and there she broke a Scottish Junior Record in the Open 50m, finishing fourth in the whole of Britain. “That exceeded my expectations, I was really happy with my performance,” she said.
“In terms of school swimming, I have always loved getting the chance to represent the school. I’m also a member of the MES 1st XI Hockey team, so combining sport and schoolwork can be quite a challenge!”
“Last year at the Bath Cup I was the youngest in an older team and we won a gold medal for the first time at that event. This year, our slightly younger team did well to get a silver in the Medley Relay event. I’m hopeful that we will keep the same team for next year and we can do even better. Competing with your school friends and to swim in the Olympic pool in London is amazing.”
As well as the British Championships which were in April, Katie has already represented Scotland this year back in January in Geneva, too.
“It has been a great year so far and in June I will be heading to Barcelona with Scotland to compete in the Mare Nostrum event,” she said. “In terms of longer term goals, I am aiming to qualify for next year’s European Junior Championships and follow in Archie’s footsteps as well as just continuing to enjoy my swimming.”
We wish both Archie and Katie the best of luck as they continue to excel in the pool.
Article by Gary Heatly