Libby receives Team GB call up
23 November 2021
Libby Taylor admitted she almost quit synchronised swimming – but now she has received a call up to the GB World and European squad.
Libby left Priory two years ago but said the teachers at Priory, especially Head of PE and Sport Mr Bullock and Head of House Mrs Bullock, helped her to continue her sport.
“I have competed in synchronised swimming since I was eight but practised since I was six,” said Libby, 17, who is a member of Salford Synchronised Swimming Club.
“I have been part of the GB youth squad and travelled to Slovakia but I was finding it hard during Year 11 at Priory and almost quit. The teachers here were very good at keeping me focused and then we had lockdown and, to be honest, I got bored and realised I needed a focus. It helped me re-find my love of synchronised swimming.
“I attended tough four-day trials at Bristol, which is the centre of synchronised swimming. It was gruelling with land-based tests such as press-ups and pull-ups and then swimming lengths of fly and front crawl. I think about 60 people applied for the trials and had to send a video in. They invited 35 to the trials and then five were selected there for the GB squad. I got an email and I could see I was one of the five and was so pleased.
“I do love synchronised swimming. I watched the finals at the Tokyo Olympics and it was amazing. It has become more of a theatrical show since I started doing it.
“I would love to take part in the Olympics but I am taking it one step at a time at the moment. I am taking A-Levels in Business, PE and History at Runshaw College and then there are programmes at Bath and Bristol University, which include training for the Olympics. I will see how the next year goes before I make any decisions.”
Mrs Bullock said: “It’s amazing to have a GB competitor from Priory and we are so proud of Libby.
“When she was at Priory, we helped her all we could to pursue her sport as a lot of her training was at 4am in the morning. Saying that, she was never late for school and always set a strong example.
“She did find it hard in Year 10 and 11 as she tried to balance her sport with studying and other distractions of teenage life. We noticed she wasn’t as bubbly and we could see it was affecting her so we made sure we offered encouragement and praise and any help we could. Thankfully she didn’t quit and all her hard work, determination and perseverance has paid off with her first call-up to the GB squad.
“At Priory, we make sure we support excellence and encourage the individual talents of our pupils and it’s lovely to see them get their rewards.”
As yet, the venue for the World and European Championships haven’t been decided but Libby will now attend training camps.