Zimbabwe’s swimmer, Sarah Hawgood, speaks to SSN. In this interview the talented student athlete speaks about her recent achievement at the Troutbeck Open Swim . She also shares her remarkable story of how she became a swimmer and how she has kept her momentum as a great athlete.
SSN: So you just won the Troutbeck Open Swim for the third time in a row! How does that make you feel?
Sarah: I’m on a high. It’s unbelievable that Kirsty Coventry did it and to actually be in the footsteps and watch her swim and then go faster is amazing!
SSN: So tell us who is Sarah Hawgood?
Sarah: I’m just an average Zimbabwean girl who goes to Arundel. I do Maths,Biology and Phys Ed. Hopefully one day I can go to the USA and study Sports Science and become my physiotherapist.
SSN: When did you start competing and how did it all start?
Sarah: I had my first competition(as far as I remember) at the age of six. I was actually born with a hip disability so I wasn’t allowed to play any other sport. The doctor told my mom that the only sport I could do was swimming and my sister was already in club swimming.
SSN: So can you now do other sports?
Sarah: Yes I actually really enjoy running!
SSN: What is your biggest accomplishment thus far?
Sarah: I would say it was the Troutbeck Open Swim probably because that’s where I had the most fun.
SSN: What would be your greatest achievement?
Sarah: Being associated with the British Olympic Swimming team and being a sports doctor or physiotherapist for that team and going with them to the Olympics.
SSN: How do you set your goals?
Sarah: Generally what I do is I look at what it would take to meet that goal, how hard I would have to work and then I don’t over-think it because generally when I over-think I talk myself out of doing it, so I just set it and then do it.
SSN: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Sarah: My biggest inspirations are my friends and the people around me. They are the ones who keep me happy. They keep me going. I have friends at swimming training that keep me inspired because they are just as good if not even better than me. When they see that I’m down , they are there,they always have my back. I think that’s where I get my biggest inspiration.
SSN: So I know you go to a very academic school and you are a prefect there, how do you juggle all that with your busy swimming career?
Sarah: I think a lot of that is time management. Once you get used to your timetable, it’s very easy to just get into that rhythm. I also find that the more time you spend complaining the more time you waste.
SSN: How much time do you spend training in a week?
Sarah: At peak training I would say about 17 hours.
SSN: What was the best advice you were ever given?
Sarah: This is going to sound very cliché but not to give up.Obviously I’ve had those tough times when I feel I don’t want to do this anymore but it has always been my mom who tells me that phrase.
SSN: Anything else you would like to share?
Sarah: Sport is so much fun if you do it for yourself.If you do it for anyone else or for extrinsic value like money and trophies it almost loses it’s core essence. If you do sport for yourself and just for the pure enjoyment then you will accomplish a lot more.