Foster's offers tips to Jersey's Commonwealth swimmers

- Advertisement -

FORMER Olympic flag bearer Mark Foster has urged Jersey’s Commonwealth Games swimmers to ‘relax and enjoy the moment’ in Birmingham this summer.

The six-time world champion, who carried the British flag at the 2008 Olympic Games opening ceremony in Beijing, has offered high-profile words of advice to the young Caesarean squad following its completion by Team Jersey officials. Four teenagers have been selected for duty at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre next month, with five of the seven-strong swim team set for their Commonwealth debuts.

Foster won eight Commonwealth Games medals for England – including 50m freestyle gold in 1994 and 1998 – after making his debut as a 15-year-old at Edinburgh 1986.

‘Experience is everything for everybody,’ he said. ‘The first time you do anything it is a little bit frightening but the more you put yourself in high-pressure situations the more you learn to cope with it.

‘For me, I remember going to events like that and being around the best in the world. Adrian Moorhouse was there, Andy Jameson was there, Victor Davis, all the best swimmers from Australia, Canada … all of a sudden you feel part of it and it gave me a taste of international competition, which many wouldn’t have got at the age of 15 or 16. Maybe I wouldn’t have made it for Great Britain if I hadn’t had that experience. Maybe I wouldn’t have pushed on to do what I did.

‘At the Commonwealth Games you have got every nation and it means they can send more people. When it comes under Great Britain you’ve only got two swimmers, but when you have Scotland, Wales, Ireland, England, Jersey … there are more opportunities to give experience to potential Olympians and Olympic medallists.

‘When you swim at major competitions, especially multi-sport events when you’re around the best athletes in the world, it is really exciting and for a lot of people, and me in particular, once you’ve got the taste of it you want more of it.

‘Hopefully the teenage swimmers from Jersey will go there and won’t be in awe. They will race the best athletes in the world – Adam Peaty, Duncan Scott, Emma McKeon – and it’s awesome. Events you used to watch on TV, now you’re in it. You feel part of the bigger picture.’

Foster, who broke eight world records and competed at five Olympic Games, added that Jersey’s representatives should not feel weighed down by any perceived pressure.

‘It might sound silly but we all know that when you enjoy what you do, you get more out of yourself,’ he said. ‘They have to have fun and enjoy the moment.

‘It’s very easy for me to say, because I represented Great Britain for 23 years, but sometimes you can get a little over-nervous or over-excited and before you know it, it’s over.

‘The only person you can be is yourself, so just do the best you can. That’s all you can ask of yourself.’

Jack Allen, Lily Scott and Ollie Brehaut had their names added to Jersey’s squad last week – adding to previous selections for Harry Shalamon, Gemma Atherley, Robbie Jones and Isaac Dodds.

Foster is due to visit Jersey later this week to compete in a Celebrity Series golf event at La Moye, as part of the 2022 Legends Tour.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest Stories

- Advertisement -

UK News

Read the latest free supplements

Read the Town Crier, Le Rocher and a whole host of other subjects like mortgage advice, business, cycling, travel and property.