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  'We live and train in Oz'
Updated 18 February 2004, 14.23
Lewis Owens (l) and Michael Rock (r)
Lewis Owens and Michael Rock are both top young swimmers. They used to live in the UK but moved to Australia to get better training.

They tell us what it's like living and training on the other side of the world.

Lewis: Over here every day it's lovely and sunny so it makes a lot of difference. In the mornings you get up and see the sun, whereas in England it's drizzly rain - it's a lot easier.

Michael: It's a huge advantage for me. I train here in a 50m pool. Back home I was training in a 25m pool. So I'm more used to training in the distance I'm competing in.

Lewis Owens
Lewis thinks their training is "just unbelievable"
Lewis: We've been here for about two and a half months now, and the training we've done is just unbelievable, it's doubled in a matter of weeks. I feel my training's definitely improved, but this weekend we've got a competition coming up so we'd like to see how we do there.

Michael: I've increased my training, but we haven't competed much. But I've done one of my personal best times since coming here.

Lewis: Sometimes it's very tiring. The commitment we're making is very hard. Sometimes when you get up you think: "Oh I've got the gym, then swimming, then school, then swimming again." But there are up-sides. In England I was training til 10 o'clock at night and was expected to get up at 4.50am the next morning. So in that way the time we get to train is a lot better. We work a lot better because we're more rested.

Positive vibe

Michael: We live so close to the pool, there's less travelling, which means we get so much more rest. It's not so much of a chore coming here. There's a very positive vibe.

Lewis: The whole of the school is very sporty. Their first 15 rugby team is treated like gods, their rowing team, their swimming team. They love their sports here.

Michael Rock
Michael gets respect
Michael: Everyone in the school respects your commitment to the sport. It's very sports orientated.

Lewis: I want to take it as far as I can, maybe one day get an Olympic gold medal. I think that's what everyone wants.

Michael: It's set us up for a great career in swimming. It's improved our fitness, our technique, everything. There's access to such good facilities and teachers.

Lewis: If I'd stayed in the UK, in a year or two I really feel I wouldn't have improved anymore. And unless you improve, you fall out of the sport. So coming here really makes me go on to the next level, so I can compete higher and better.

Michael: It's just so different. Here I'm training with loads of great swimmers who want to do the same as me in the sport. It's so easy to motivate yourself in that environment. It's good for me. I've got access to such better facilities. I like the UK though!


 

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