KRISTINA NEVES says that the key to any future and sustained success is to enjoy her swimming again, upon making her return to the sport.
The 19-year-old made her competitive return last weekend at the Island Championships after three years out, having walked away from a sport she says that she ‘hated’ when she made that decision.
Already she is back on the pace sufficiently enough to have earned a clutch of consideration times for next year’s NatWest Island Games in Gotland, which will be her second if she competes.
Her sole Games in 2011 – at the age of 14 – saw a brilliant six individual gold medals, as well as two silvers and five bronzes in the Isle of Wight.
However, she explained how she is gradually upping her workload and is not as yet planning to train as hard as she did before that retirement in 2013.
‘When I gave up, I was doing around 13 hours of training per week and I was finding it too difficult to juggle everything. It got to a point where I hated swimming really,’ she said.
‘But three years later, I have started to really miss the sport and now, having been working for three years and therefore better able to judge how to balance stuff, I decided to come back because I wanted something to aim for again.
‘I am only doing around six hours per week of training now, though, to see where my pace is at after so long out and how I perform, which has gone slightly better than I probably expected.
‘My times haven’t been too far off of my personal bests, which is pleasing, so there is something to build on now and to move forward with.’
- More in Tuesday’s Guernsey Press.