Hereford star Harriet Aldous-Fountain could emulate Olympic golden girl Rebecca Adlington (From Hereford Times)
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Hereford star Harriet Aldous-Fountain could emulate Olympic golden girl Rebecca Adlington
Harriet Aldous-Fountain is the first British national champion at the City of Hereford Swimming Club.
HARRIET Aldous-Fountain is creating a splash after becoming the City of Hereford Swimming Club’s first British champion.
Harriet, from Broomy Hill in Hereford, is the fastest 12-year-old backstroke swimmer in the country and has been selected for an England development day in November.
She won both the 100-metre and 200m backstroke titles at the British Gas National Age Group Championships in Sheffield.
City of Hereford Swimming Club’s head coach, Alex Dallimore, says Harriet is now considered as one of the top young swimming prospects in the country.
“With British swimming’s disappointing performances at the Olympic Games and Barcelona World Championships, the stage is set for Harriet,” said Dallimore. “If she continues her training over the next few years, she could potentially follow in the footsteps of British stars such as Rebecca Adlington.”
Harriet, who is 13 in February, is not the only sporting success in her family - her brother Jack scored 156 runs for Brockhampton Cricket Club last Saturday.
Dallimore, 27, admitted: “At the club, we try to hold our swimmers back from the limelight as long as we can.
“Harriet actually ended the previous season as the fastest 11-year-old in British history and we didn’t say too much about it.
“We wanted to see if she could repeat her success this season - and she certainly has.
“Harriet has to get up to GB junior standard - the Olympic final swimmers in the backstroke were going only about six seconds quicker than her.”
South African-born Harriet has been a member of the swimming club for three years. She also plays cricket for Bartestree and Lugwardine and used to play football for Kidderminster Harriers.
“Harriet’s got the talent, a very good support network with her mum and dad and she works hard,” said Dallimore. “If you work hard, you get the results.”
Harriet, a pupil at The Bishop of Hereford’s Bluecoat School, qualified for a club-record 10 events at the National Age Group Championships. Another Hereford swimmer, 13-year-old Hugo Lemar, gave eye-catching performances in the 100m and 200m backstroke events. Hugo reached his first national final in the 200m, finishing eighth, and scored a personal best in the 100m.
“Hugo has made massive strides forward and I am really excited about what we can do, as a club, in the next few years,” said Dallimore.
Dallimore joined the City of Hereford Swimming Club in October 2010, replacing Lucy Walters.
“The club is now at a level where we are turning heads on a national scale,” he said.
“We have gone from being a developing club to having one of the top age-group programmes in the country. We have now got a group of younger swimmers coming through who can continue to make progress. It’s a very exciting time at the moment.”
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