Leah’s combining talents to succeed

Leah Williams has been gathering a collection of medals and trophies
Leah Williams has been gathering a collection of medals and trophies
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Talented youngster Leah Williams wants to make a splash in the pool and also on the roads this year as she strives to increase her UK ranking.

Holy Cross Catholic High School student Williams, 13, was ranked 27th at Under-13s level in the country for Biathlon last year – swimming and running.

Now she plans to break into the top 10 in 2015.

She is ranked 16th going into this year’s competition.

And, for swimming as an individual sport, she was placed in the top 24 in the country at the National Swimming Championships for her age group.

Williams is determined to improve on this, especially in the butterfly stroke, where she excels.

“It is a big couple of years for me, especially as there have been changes in the National Schools Biathlon Championships which should suit me better,” said 
Williams.

“It is a 100m swim and a mile run this year and I am stronger at swimming.

“Next year it’s a 200m 
swim and one-mile run so hopefully my swimming will help me.

“These championships are in April and I am building up to them.

“As for the swimming competitions, I was ranked 24th in the country for my age group at fly and I want to compete in the Nationals Championships at Sheffield this year and improve my ranking.

“A top ten finish would be fantastic.”

Williams got involved with swimming after going for lessons and found she had a talent for it and she has swum for Leyland Barracudas since she was 10-years-old.

She has competed in the Lancashire County Swimming Championships for all 
strokes and received numerous medals over the last three years .

In January 2013, she was the North Lancashire top 
female in her category and trains for 16 hours a week 
with several early-morning sessions.

However, Williams decided to combine her swimming flair with her talent for running and started taking part in biathlons last year.

Through the encouragement of Leyland Barracudas, she has competed in a 
variety of biathlon events across the country to get her ranking and now is building up to the 
two-sport schools’ championships in April.

Holy Cross Deputy headteacher Alison Rigby said: “Leah trains up to 16 hours per week and, despite being committed to her sports, still maintains her academic studies in school.

“She has incredible potential to go far in the disciplines she has chosen.

“Indeed, she was invited by National Pentathlon to attend training sessions for fencing and shooting during the summer.

“So her potential is recognised by the sport’s governing bodies as well.

“We are proud of Leah and she invests much of her 
time representing school as well.

“She was part of our school team which won the Chorley Schools’ Swimming Championships and was a key performer in our athletics team.”