Water babe Rachael is ready for the Games

Letchworth GC student Rachael George is ready to swim for Team England at the Commonwealth Youth Games in India next week. Former Highfield School pupil Rachael, who turned 18 in July, is competing in the 50m, 100m and 200m freestyle events and the team r

Letchworth GC student Rachael George is ready to swim for Team England at the Commonwealth Youth Games in India next week.

Former Highfield School pupil Rachael, who turned 18 in July, is competing in the 50m, 100m and 200m freestyle events and the team relays in Pune, starting next Wednesday (October 15).

A 15-strong squad of England's next generation of elite swimmers are ready to take on the best young swimmers from around the Commonwealth.

The event will see 71 countries battling for honours across the nine sports.


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GB head coach Nick Juba explained the benefits of competing at the Games and the importance of overcoming threats from the likes of Australia.

Juba said: "This is the third time we have competed at the Commonwealth Youth Games and I think that the competition offers a great opportunity for youngsters that have not had the chance to compete internationally before.

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"The girls we have in the squad are quite strong and some of them have had international experience but most of the boys are competing for the first time internationally.

"The team is an unusual blend but I think it will work well.

"Our biggest competition will come from Australia, Canada and Scotland.

"Australia are very strong at youth level and Canada really stood up to be counted at the Olympics and the recent tri-nations and they are emerging as a strong swimming nation. Scotland have promising male swimmers that should challenge us too."

This year's Games will see the British contingent living for the first time in an athlete village environment and with a total of 1,300 athletes competing, this will be the biggest assembly of under-18 sporting talent at an international sporting event.

Juba added: "The Commonwealth Games in Delhi are coming up and most of the girls on this squad should make it on to that team and any multi-sport experience they can get before then is vital.

"They will be in a village environment and will mix with all of the other sports and this can only be beneficial for the athlete's future development."

Rachael is currently on the British Swimming World Class Development and London 2012 squads.

She has been swimming for Hatfield Swimming Club from the age of eight and is coached by GB head coach Juba.

On returning from India, Rachael will be moving to Nottingham Trent University to continue her studies and swimming career.

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