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Scholars busy during 'lockdown'.

Unfortunately, just before 'lockdown' Joy Eze had been contacted by UK Athletics to begin the selection process to represent Great Britain at the European Championships. Although disappointed, it has made her even more determined to work hard to gain G.B. selection in the future.

Joy has kept up with her training regime, albeit with some changes and modifications. Working with some basic equipment in the local park and school field, she has managed (with the help of her younger brother) to do some useful strength and conditioning work. More recently Joy has been able to do 1:1 training with her coach, who is very pleased with her fitness. In fact Joy's speed data suggests she is running at just over 19 m.p.h. which is faster than last year. This is very promising for when competition re-starts.

Double European gold medal swimmer Nick Pyle has not been in the pool for 3 months. He has maintained his fitness mainly through power walking, but is missing training with other members of the G.B. team at Stirling University. Nick is back home in Heaton but is keeping in contact with his coach and physio on-line. The heart rate monitors that he is fitted with feed data back to the team in Scotland, who check his progress. With Scotland having different 'lockdown' rules to England, Nick thinks the earliest he'll not get back in the water is 22nd June.

Since returning home, Nick has also joined on-line sessions with Newcastle Swim Team and has been involved in Q. & A. sessions with junior swimmers. He added: "I've also enjoyed having all my meals made for me!"

Commonwealth swimmer, and Olympic hopeful, Emily Large, says that, "Strangely, I've actually enjoyed the 'lockdown." She's taken to the roads and was regularly cycling 45-50 km in the evening, after her weights training at home each morning.

However, this all came to an abrupt stop recently as Emily received the invitation from British Swimming to join a unique group of elite swimmers who were allowed to train together in Bath. Emily has moved down to stay there temporarily and said, "One week in, I'm loving the pool more than ever." Emily's attitude, as always, is very positive and considers that the postponement of the Olympics may be advantageous as it now gives her another year to improve.

Since pools were closed, Ellen Stephenson has taken to swimming in the sea (once!). She has been working on her core strength and cardio fitness and using an exercise video called Fitness Blender on YouTube. Walking and interval running with her mum and dad has also featured in her exercise routine. Ellen has also enjoyed taking part in Newcastle Swim Team and Down Syndrome Swimming weekly Zoom sessions. Some have been about swimming and some are more fun sessions when she's been able to chat with her coaches and friends.

Like every other swimmer, Ellen can't wait until she gets back in the pool, if only for the fact that it will be a lot warmer than the North Sea!

Prospective Olympic archer, Alex Wise, has had to come to terms with having his dreams dashed of being in Tokyo this summer. From thinking that he was preparing for the Games only 4 months away he had to accept that he would have to wait 16 months for his dreams to come true.

During 'lockdown' Alex has taken the opportunity to step back from the intense programme of training and competing at international level. The rest has clearly not done him any harm. In his first 70m shoot for months he scored a personal best score (as this photo shows). Not bad for someone who has been taking it easy!

Skier Emma Peters started the 2019/20 season in February by gaining her first European Cup podium position in Switzerland. Further successes in World Cup events helped Emma to improve her World ranking to 26th overall. Unfortunately, the Corona virus pandemic brought her competition season to an early end. Emma has been able to capitalise on the 'lockdown' period to rest, recover and rehab from the competition season, having recently fractured her sternum.

Using gym equipment lent by One Take Fitness in Gateshead prior to the 'lockdown', Emma has been able to maintain her dry land strength and conditioning sessions from home with help from Northumbria University, TASS and GB Snowsports. Emma has found that adapting to the ‘new normal’ has been more emotionally challenging than physical as she has missed catching up with friends and family.

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