A former University of Wales student at Trinity Saint David will compete in the World Hill Climb Rowing Championships in Portugal this week.
Swyn Williams of Dinas Cross, Pembrokeshire, will represent Great Britain in the mixed pairs rowing competition with her rowing partner Tom Brain of Swansea. This is not the first time that Swyn has competed at the World Championships, as she competed and reached the final in Monaco in 2016, and also in Canada in 2018.
Swyn said: “I’m really looking forward to competing at the world championships again this year. We hope to reach the final. We’re not sure what to expect in Portugal, but we know that as long as we give everything in qualifying we can only hope for the best.
Swyn’s interest in rowing began at the age of 14. She is now a member of the Carmarthen Rowing Club, and although her first love is coastal rowing, she also enjoys river rowing.
Swyn chose to study her course, BA physical education, at UWTSD in 2016.
“I knew I wanted to study something sports related in college. I attended the open day at UWTSD and really enjoyed… the idea of being in Wales near my home and being able to study parts of my degree in Welsh was exactly what that I was looking for at the time.
The course offered a wide variety of hands-on to theoretical work, with constant tutoring support, and Swyn says she couldn’t have asked for better training.
Dylan Blain, Academic Director for Sport, Health and Outdoor Education said:
“It’s wonderful to see Swyn continue to excel in the sport since graduating with her bachelor’s degree in physical education. She was an excellent student and is a fantastic role model for students who play high performance sports alongside their studies. We are all delighted to see her grow stronger since her graduation and look forward to following her successes in the future.
Since Swyn found out she had won a berth at the world championships, there are aspects of her education that have helped her along the way.
According to Swyn: “It has been difficult for me over the years to find a specific structure for my training because we do not have coaches in the world of coastal rowing. Sport doesn’t have any financial support, but studying sport at university gave me a better understanding of how to structure workouts, when to push my body and when to relax. The course definitely developed my interest in a better understanding of the sport.
Swyn now follows a strict training schedule and does nine workouts per week whether on the water, on the rower or in the gym. She also followed an adapted food plan to prepare herself.
While Swyn’s hopes are high for this year’s championships, her dream is to be able to compete at next year’s world championships, as the competition will take place right on her doorstep at Saundersfoot.