Harriet Rogers is back to her best after a rocky few years

·3-min read
The sprinter swam for Darlington Swimming Club until the age of 16 and then moved to Newcastle where she had a two hour commute to training before settling at Stockton

Harriet Rogers travelled all over England just to find a home to swim - and she's finally found it in Stockton.

The 17-year-old trained at three different clubs in the space of a year after a disrupted training period during Covid but has finally settled at the northeast club.

And with a silver at the European Junior Championships in Rome last summer, Rogers is hoping her now stable training programme will help her dominate even further on the international stage.

"I never thought I would move clubs but then I moved to three within the space of a year," said Rogers, who has been selected to be part of the Team England Futures programme with Commonwealth Games England and SportsAid. .

The sprinter swam for Darlington Swimming Club until the age of 16 and then moved to Newcastle where she had a two hour commute to training before settling at Stockton.

And the constant moving didn't impact her swimming in the best way.

She added: "I swam one of my fastest times at Darlington and then I stayed around that time but didn't really get better. Over lockdown when people weren't allowed to train, because of the pathway I'm on, I was able to train at the National Centres and stuff.

"That just completely disrupted all my swimming. As part of different clubs I was on different programmes and it can take up to six months for a programme to take effect and by that point I had been on five different programmes so my training was all over the place.

"It was quite hard keeping my confidence up and being motivated to keep going. I was staying in hotels which made it harder and I was doing online school work which I think all had an impact on my swimming."

The Team England Futures programme will see over 1,000 talented young athletes and aspiring support staff given the opportunity to attend the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, watch live sporting action and take a first-hand look behind-the-scenes.

The programme seeks to better prepare athletes to deliver medal-winning performances as either Team England, Team GB or ParalympicsGB debutants at future Games, while also giving support staff a first-hand look at the opportunities they could be presented with, as well as challenges they may face, at a multi-sport competition.

With an international bronze on her belt during a period of training turmoil, Rogers has showed promise for a future of success in the pool.

And the Stockton swimmer continues to look to Olympic champion and fellow freestyle sprinter Anna Hopkin for inspiration and to reclaim her love of the sport.

She said: "Anna Hopkin is a big inspiration as she does the events that I do. But also, she took a break from swimming and then came back to it and she's one of the older swimmers of the team.

"It shows that there's no rush, you don't have to be making it when you are 16, 17, 18, she's just come on and is now on the Olympic team.

"So it's not panicking myself that I have to be making it already and there's work to be done. I think she's one of the big ones that I'm looking up to."

Commonwealth Games England has appointed SportsAid to lead on the development, management and operational delivery of Team England Futures at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. You can find out more about the programme by visiting https://www.sportsaid.org.uk/partnerships/team-england-futures/.

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