It has been all change for Ellie Simmonds so far in 2015, but one thing remains the same ahead of next month’s IPC Swimming World Championships – her will to win.
This year has seen Simmonds swap Loughborough University for the National Performance Centre in Manchester as she turns her attentions towards Rio 2016.
So far Simmonds has not been able to show the improvements she has made since moving north just over a month ago, but all that will change when she arrives in Glasgow for the World Championships, the event getting underway on July 13.
Simmonds is no stranger to the world stage, having left last year’s global gathering with three gold and two silver medals to show for her efforts, not to mention the six Paralympic gongs she has on her CV – including two gold medals.
And while she might be in new surroundings, the 20-year-old insists her motivation and will to win is just as strong as ever.
“There has been a bit of change for me in 2015 in terms of swimming,” Simmonds said. “I have changed my club and moved to the National Performance Centre in Manchester.
“It’s gone well and I am loving training with my team-mates. It’s a great vibe and I have settled in really quickly.
“The World Championships in Glasgow are going to be great. I hope as many people as possible come and support us there. The home crowd is so important and I know they make us all swim faster.
“For the racing it’s going to be really good to see where we are all at ahead of Rio next year. I have some strong competitors and I want to see where I am compared to them. I’m just going to go there and see what I can do.
“It means so much to me to compete in front of a home crowd again and I want to do my best in front of everyone. I really want to swim best times in Glasgow and hopefully that’ll see me on the podium.”
It is no surprise that Simmonds has Brazil on the brain with a potential third Paralympic outing edging ever closer.
And Simmonds admits it is the thoughts of Rio that will be propelling her forward at the World Championships in Glasgow.
“With Rio so close it’s important to get some good results because it really builds your confidence as you begin training for the Games,” she added.
“Rio will be my third Paralympics and I have loved both Beijing and London so I know that Rio will be amazing as well.
“My first focus is to qualify and I know that having everything at my fingertips in Manchester will help me swim my best at our trials.
“To compete at my third Paralympics would be amazing and I think that they will make it really special for us all.
“I want to work hard in training to make sure I am in the best place to compete at that Games.”
To support the British Para-Swimming Team at the IPC Swimming World Championships in Glasgow get your tickets at www.ticketmaster.co.uk/glasgow2015
Image courtesy of British Swimming via YouTube, with thanks.