Swimmer nets impressive haul of 12 medals at autumn gala

A swimmer at West Hatch High School, Chigwell, has earned herself an impressive haul of 12 medals at a recent swimming gala.

Emma Richards, 13, won a gold medal, two bronze medals and nine fourth, fifth and sixth-place medals at the London Borough of Redbridge autumn gala at Fulwell Cross, Ilford.

Emma’s best performance came in the 50m backstroke where she struck gold.

Her third place medals came in the 100m butterfly and 100m backstroke.

Emma, a Year 9 student at the High Road school, also recorded several personal best times and six county times enabling her to compete in Essex competitions.

Emma said: “I’m looking to get a few more county times and hopefully two regional times that I’m close to.”

Emma, who lives in Hainault, has been swimming since she was five and is now in the A-squad at the London Borough of Redbridge Swimming Club.

She trains about six times a week, often having to get up at 5am to fit in a training session before starting school.

She said: “The shortest training session is one-and-a-half hours and the longest is two-and-a-half hours. It’s something that I have to do, it takes my mind off things so I find it quite fun.”

Emma hopes to be taking part in international competitions in about two years’ time.