Belgrade-bound Beki set to shine for EnglandBy Adam Lee
August 05, 2009
A GCSE student from the Holt is hoping to push her way into contention for the 2012 Olympics GB synchronised swimming squad when she competes in the Comen Cup this week.
Beki King, 15, from Woosehill is one of the up and coming stars of British synchronised swimming, and will be representing the England Development team in the most prestigious junior tournament in Europe in Belgrade.
The trip is the culmination of three years training with the Development squad, and a recent increase in funding has allowed the team to travel to the Comen Cup for the first time.
The competition will be a stern test for the England team, a squad of swimmers that acts as a feeder for the junior and senior GB squads.
Beki is part of Reading Royals synchronised swimming club, and will be competing in Belgrade alongside Reading teammate Katie Clarke.
Her mother Mary, who teaches at the Carnival Pool where Beki trains, believes she was always destined for a life in the water.
“She learned at the Carnival Pool as a ‘duckling,’ part of the mother and toddler group when she was two,” said Mary King.
“She spent too much time underneath the water scaring the teachers and not enough on top, so it seemed she was best suited for synchronised swimming.
“She loves the water and she’s always been a water baby.
“When she first started it was more of a hobby, but it’s a big part of her life now.”
After joining Reading Royals aged seven, Beki has gone on to achieve great success in the sport.
She has earned sponsorship from Wokingham Council, which allows her free use of the Carnival Pool outside of public hours, as well as free use of the gym there.
Beki has been in the top three of her age group since she was 10, and in last year’s national championships, took a gold medal in the duet event, a silver medal in the individual and a bronze in the team event.
And the Comen Cup, which begins today and ends on Sunday, will be the last major competition Beki can compete in before she moves up an age level.
Although England go into the competition with high hopes, Russia or Greece are expected to perform particularly well there.
“It’s going to be tough because they are a very very junior squad and have only been training since March,” said King.
“Next year she’ll be going for junior GB, and although she may just be too young for 2012, she’s set her sights as high as she possibly can.”
Should Beki decide to continue her future in the sport, it will require a huge amount of dedication.
The 2012 Olympic GB squad are already undergoing a rigorous training schedule.
“She’s supposed to be doing 20 hours a week training so she’s filling every other day with training,” said King.
“There’s also lots of training outside the pool as well.
“It’s is nothing to be sniffed at.
“They have to train very very hard and it’s very difficult at her age because they have to give up so much socially.
“It’s tough to keep up that level.
“We want her to complete her education and would like her to do her A-Levels and if she can manage the two combined then that is the ideal plan.
“She wants to go as far as she can – hopefully the Olympics.
“The 2012 Olympics might be unrealistic at the moment because the squad have been training together, but things change and people can drop out so nothing is set in stone.
“It’s very tough for those girls because they literally have to eat, sleep and drink synchronised swimming.”