Jacqueline Freney ,19, of Skennars Head is training in anticipation for the paralympics in London in August.
Jacqueline Freney ,19, of Skennars Head is training in anticipation for the paralympics in London in August. Cathy Adams

Athlete hard at work

THE past couple of weeks have been tough for Skennars Head-based swimmer, Jacqueline Freney.

She's been in Thailand, but it wasn't for a holiday.

Freney is a member of the Australian Paralymic Committee's swimming shadow squad, and is preparing for the London Paralympics.

Her recent trip to Thailand was for "two-and-a-half weeks of pure, full-on training".

"We went over there and just trained really, really hard," she said.

"It was about us getting out of our normal routines and getting out of our comfort zones. For me it was really good to have the opportunity to train with different coaches."

Freney - who has cerebral palsy - says swimming is in her blood, and she is the third generation of her family to swim competitively.

"Ever since I was little I've been around the pool," she said.

"My grandfather was a swimmer and coach, and so is my dad.

"My dad (Michael) is my coach and at the moment I'm Australia's leading female paralympic swimmer.

"At the trials in Adelaide in March, I broke the world record in the 100m freestyle S7 category.

"I'm getting really excited about the London Paralympics because the hype is really starting to build now."

With the event fast approaching, Freney is determined to stick to an intense training schedule.

A typical day involves a morning training session from 10am until midday, followed by a two-hour gym session and then another two-hour session in the pool in the afternoon.

"I love the routine," she said.

"I'm actually lucky starting my day at 10am - if you live and train in the city, you would have to start at 4.30am.

"That's the best thing about my family running the Evans Head Aquatic Centre and having my dad as my coach."

 

FANTASTIC FRENEY

First international competition was the 2007 US Paralympic Championships.

Won three bronze medals at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics.

Took out two silver medals at the 2010 World Championships.

Named 2012 Ballina Shire Sportsperson of the Year award on Australia Day.



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