Cerys Snelling, from 101st Church Crookham Scouts in Odiham district, has been swimming since 4 years old. A long time member of the Scout movement, she’s been trying new things since 6 years old. Her first taste of synchronized swimming came at age 7.
After recently taking part in a regional Figures competition she won gold, becoming regional champion in the Under 12s age group. Not content with this, she went on to compete nationally coming 7th solo, 4th as a duet and taking home the gold as part of a team of four.
Life as a artistic swimmer involves a lot of training, dedication and motivation. So how does she find time for Scouts? Apparently quite easily as it’s been so much fun and played such a big role.
“I love Scouts, and have always enjoyed it since I started in Beavers when I was six. It enables me to take part in activities I wouldn't ordinarily get to do such as climbing, camping, outdoor cooking, archery, the list is endless! I have a different set of friends from those I have at school and swimming, which is great. Scouts allows me to switch off from school and training and just have fun and learn new skills. I would recommend Scouts to everyone.”Cerys Snelling
Some of the biggest lessons learned from Scouts have applied just as much in swimming. It taught her to never give up, work well as a team and not be afraid of failing. Picking herself up and trying again has been the most useful. And that is not even mentioning the skills and experiences that she says are too many to mention.
Her parents too are proud of her achievements:
“Cerys has worked relentlessly hard over years, training in a pool up to 15 hours a week, plus land training for strength, stamina and flexibility. During the recent lockdown when she couldn't get in a pool, she upped her land training to ensure she didn't fall back in her progress. She has truly earned the Gold medals.
Scouts has been instrumental in developing her as a young adult. It's provided her with an outlet to meet a variety of different people and learn new skills that she will have for the rest of her life. It has provided her with an 'escape time' from training, where she can switch off and just have fun with a completely different set of friends.”
Scout volunteer Des Rivers from 101st Odiham said:
“Having moved up to Scouts during the Covid lockdown, Cerys was always fully engaged and actively taking part. This was even true when activities were over Zoom and other Scouts lost focus. With the return of face-to-face meetings, she demonstrates all the core values to be the perfect Scout. She puts her heart into every activity we do.
For a young woman with a very promising sporting future, she somehow finds capacity and energy putting 110% into Scouting. Putting into practise teamwork and compassion instilled from synchronised swimming, she encourages others to raise their game.
With such a mature outlook, it's good to see that it's not at the detriment to her other interests. Balancing School, Scouts and Sport; I am proud to have her as part of 101st Church Crookham Scout Troop for which she is a great ambassador in all we do.”
Text by Steven Osborn.