Halstead Swimming Club

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Lizzie Simmonds


Lizzie has recently retired from a 12-year sporting career representing Team GB and British Swimming. At the age of 14, Lizzie won 5 gold medals at the European Youth Olympic Games, and over the following two years stepped up to win 6 European Junior gold medals. She qualified for her first senior team at 15 years old, and her first Olympic Games in 2008, aged 17, where she finished sixth in the 200m backstroke. Lizzie went on to be twice crowned senior European Champion, as well as winning a silver medal at the 2008 Short Course World Championships, and a silver medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Alongside her debut in Beijing, Lizzie competed at the London Olympic Games in 2012, achieving a fourth place finish in the 200m backstroke. She is the current British Short Course Record Holder for the 100m and 200m backstroke. Lizzie is now an active member of the British Olympic Association Athlete Commission, bringing knowledge and expertise to Team GB athlete support programmes and promoting athlete welfare across the high-performance system. She is passionate about using her experiences from elite sport to help young people develop and thrive, and she has many years experience mentoring young athletes and running masterclasses and workshops, both in the UK and internationally. 


Andrew Willis


Andrew has also recently retired from a long and successful career representing Team GB and British Swimming. Frimley-born, Andrew first served notice of his talents in 2012 by qualifying for the Olympic Games, finishing eighth in the final of the 200m breaststroke. He finished fourth at the 2013 and 2015 World Championships, and won a bronze medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, again in the 200m breaststroke. In 2015, Andrew won 200m breaststroke bronze at the Short Course European Championships in Netanya, before bring a silver medal home from the Short Course World Championships in Windsor the following year. At the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, he finished just outside the medals with a fourth-place finish in the 200m breaststroke, 0.08 seconds off bronze. In addition to focusing his attention on his efforts in the pool, Andrew also took responsibility as an athlete representative at this year’s Gold Coast Commonwealth Games – ensuring the younger members of the team were prepared for the event, and passing on his experience as a senior athlete. Whilst at Bath University, Andrew completed a degree in Chemical Engineering alongside his training commitments.


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