Alisha Hawkins being presented with the Percy Mason Trophy Junior Swimmer of the Year by Cheshire County president Mr David Burgham.
Alisha Hawkins, an A-level student at St Nicholas HS in Hartford, made her early mark in swimming with Winsford ASC. She then made the choice 3 years ago to be coached by Richard Blackshaw at Stockport Life Leisure Grand Central. This required a lot of commitment to travel often twice daily between home, pool and school but with great dedication and determination it paid dividends in 2018.
In March at the Edinburgh International Meet, doubling up as the British National Champs & trials for Commonwealth & European champs, Alisha competed with the elite of British distance freestylers. She was a finalist and 4th junior in the 800m; in the 1500m freestyle, 4th overall but importantly getting on the podium as a junior for a silver medal to catch the attention of the GB selectors.
Head coach Richard and Alisha then planned the next move by entering her first open water 5Km in June– the Great North Swim in Lake Windermere. She stopped the clock in just over one hour to finish 9th overall and second in her age group and that was enough to gain selection for the GB team in the European Junior Open Water Champs.
A further open water 5Km swim In Ipswich with the GB team and it was off to Malta to compete against the cream of Europeans in July and a 13th place finish over a daunting 7.5 Km.
Later that month it was back indoors in Sheffield for the British Summer Champs to compete in the 17/18 yrs age group. Results: 400m free 4th, 800m free bronze, 1500m free silver, 4x200m 17/ov girls freestyle with SM team-mates Lizzie Harris, Katie Matts, Holly Hibbott, yes you can guess it, gold and crowned British champions, to complete Alisha’s full set of GSB medals.
Not resting on her laurels, Alisha then went on the Welsh national Meet to go sub 60 secs for the 100m freestyle. From all these performances it came as no surprise that Alisha has been selected for the Welsh Youth Squad and is one of 12 swimmers to attend a senior swim camp in Thailand for 2 weeks in late December/early January 2019.
A worthy recipient of the Percy Mason Trophy as Cheshire Junior Swimmer for 2018.- Alisha Hawkins