Emily, the competitive swimmer!
Emily first became involved in competitive swimming when she was five, after seeing a poster for team try-outs at her local pool. She was under-aged, since the team was for kids 6 and up, but she insisted and her dad called the coach, who agreed to let her do the assessment test. It took a lot of courage for a five-year old to jump into a pool and swim 25 metres without taking a break, but Emily seemed like she was born to swim. She passed with flying colours and joined the team.
Emily is now fully committed to her competitive swimming team and trains 15 hours a week. She swims 2 1/2 hours before school three times a week, and 2 1/2 hours after school an additional three times a week. "It is hard for me to swim this much and still manage school," she says. However, it seems that the more Emily swims, the more focused she becomes and the better she performs in both school and swimming. "The more hours I put into swimming the more it will pay off as I bring in good results when I compete," says Emily.
All of her training is indeed paying off--she consistently wins her races. She says she is most proud of winning first place in a 100 metre free-style event and in the 50 metre butterfly. Her biggest accomplishment was making the regional time for the 200 metre backstroke. You can see her compete in the video below. See more of Emily's race videos here.
Emily plans to continue training hard so that she can make the regional time in all her events, and become a member of the regional team before she is 15. After that, her dream is to race in the Olympics.
Like most sports, competitive swimming can be expensive. In addition to all the travel expenses, race suits only last about twelve hours in the pool and must be replaced often. Instead of putting all the financial burden on her parents, Emily wants to do her part and raise as much money as she can. After visiting a local craft show, Emily got the idea to sell her Rainbow Loom art pieces. Rainbow Loom is her favourite crafty hobby, and in her spare time she creates intricate bracelets, key chains and other animal pieces to sell. She is very happy about being able to integrate her love of crafting into realizing her dream of becoming an Olympic athlete. This is where Birthday Balloon can help--by giving her a 24/7 craft show. If you'd like to help support Emily you can purchase her art pieces or simply make a donation. Your generosity will not only help Emily realize her dreams but also give her self confidence, an important gift for any young girl!