A Day in the Life of Shannon Motha

Tuesday 4th June 2013

Shannon Motha, U4, who has achieved three national swim times, shares with us the reasons why she loves swimming and her typical day.


What do you enjoy most about swimming?

I swim for a club called Abingdon Vale. I swim because I love it, mostly the competing part not the training part. You get to meet and race with all kinds of people. Swimming gets you fitter and tests you mentally and physically. Everybody goes through points where they just want to give up, including me, but going through pain is worth it and that’s the only way you can get personal bests and achieve good outcomes. You have to push yourself to the highest limit possible. Sometimes I swim because it helps me think and solve problems; I find it calming.


When did you first learn to swim?

I first learnt to swim in Sri Lanka when I was very little in our pool in the garden. I wouldn’t go into the pool without my armbands so to get me in the pool, my mum told me there was a snake behind me and I jumped in. I started to swim competitively when I was 9 years old.


Describe your typical day

I train 9 times a week with 2 gym sessions. I do 14 hours of swimming a week. The only day I don’t swim is a Sunday.

On Tuesdays, I get up at 4:30am and then I leave the house at 4:45am. My mum has to get up and drive me there so it is a big commitment for her as well; she inspires me to keep on going. It takes about 30 minutes to get to Radley Boys Swimming Pool by car so I have a cup of tea and a cereal bar on the way. We get into the pool at 5:30am and training then finishes at 7:00am. Once dressed, I have to go home quickly to brush my teeth and pick up my school stuff and I generally have a chocolate milkshake and 2 croissants for breakfast on the way home.

I normally arrive at school at approximately 8:25am, if there is no traffic, and then I go straight to lessons. At the end of lessons, I leave school at 4:15pm and go home where I try to get as much homework done as I can. To give me energy, I will have a piece of toast before leaving home at 6.00pm to get to Abingdon Swimming Pool. We have to leave fairly early because my brother starts swimming at the exact same time but at a different swimming pool. I get into the pool at 7:00pm and train for an hour and then I go into the gym to take part in training programs. I normally end up finishing at about 8:50pm and on the car journey back, I have dinner in my thermal pot and another chocolate milkshake. I drink milk to get rid of the lactic acid waste, so it helps my muscles repair quicker. We get home at 9:30pm, at the earliest, and if I have any homework that I haven’t done, I will sit down and complete it before having a shower and going to bed.

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Shannon Motha