Sunderland College student Pru Hubbard has brought home a bronze medal after competing at the Swim England Artistic Swimming National Championships.
Pru, who studies Sports Coaching and Development as well as being part of the college’s Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS), helped City of Salford Synchronised Swimming Club win their first Technical Team medal in five years in September.
The 17-year-old, from Whitburn, also placed in the top 20 in the Technical Solo event, the pinnacle of competition for age group swimmers across the country.
Due to the pandemic this year’s Championships were held virtually, with swimmers competing their routines in their clubs’ home pool and submitting videos for judges to score. The top 12 routines in each event will now progress to to the virtual showcase, which were streamed via the England/Great Britain Artistic Swimming Facebook page.
Pru said: “The competition was a very high standard and to take the bronze is an excellent achievement. I am delighted with my own individual and the team’s contribution to winning the bronze medal, which highlights how hard we all worked at the Championships.
“Most of my training has been land sessions via Zoom which was very strange as I am used to working closely with my teammates in Salford and 90% of my training was water based.”
The former Whitburn Church of England Academy pupil took up the sport when she was five and has been competing for almost 10 years, winning numerous medals including two golds and two bronzes at the North of England Multi Regionals Championships and three golds in the North of England Championships.
Pru has excelled as a student-athlete at Sunderland College, taking on several opportunities to develop her skills including taking part in the Coaching and Leadership Academy which helps young people progress into a coaching, teaching or sports leadership role, as well as assisting with college events and completing a work placement at a local leisure centre.
Her determination and commitment saw her nominated for the Association of College’s Student of the Year award, while she has also secured a part-time job as a lifeguard, using her talents in the pool to help others. In September she trialled for the Senior GB team, making it to the final 30 athletes and hopes to retrial in the new year.
Pru added: “My main focus going forward will be prepare for next year’s British Championships while looking at TASS universities with Carl Jones at Sunderland College who can support me to progress in the sport I love.”
Sunderland College is a TASS dual-career accredited provider, which enables talented student-athletes to reach their potential in education while achieving success in sport.
Carl Jones, Sunderland College’s TASS Dual-Career Coordinator, said: “Pru is an outstanding individual who has fully embraced the student-athlete process since joining us last year.
“She came to us as an exceptionally talented synchronised swimmer and has continued to make significant progress, not only within her sport but also in her studies where she is performing admirably.
“We are proud to support Pru as she works towards both her career and sporting goals.”
TASS student-athletes have access to strength and conditioning coaches at Martin Nugent Elite Performance who take their training to the next level. Pru has worked closely with the team at Bede Campus during her time out of the pool, in addition to training with Team GB coaches, Boldon Community Association and Gateshead Synchronised Swimming Club.
“Martin Nugent added: “Pru has worked fantastically well in the gym and her success has come as no surprise; her work rate and attitude embodies the professionalism that is needed to make it to the top.
“We look forward to continuing to develop her skills, knowledge and behaviours ready for when Pru takes to the national stage once more.”
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