‘Molly showed so much promise at RASCALS’

EVERYTHING GOING SWIMMINGLY: Rascals pair Hannah Jones and Molly Renshaw have both retained their county championship titles.
EVERYTHING GOING SWIMMINGLY: Rascals pair Hannah Jones and Molly Renshaw have both retained their county championship titles.

At the age of 20, Molly Renshaw is no stranger to performing on the big stage.

She first burst on to the national scene five years ago as a 14-year-old to take 200m breaststroke bronze at the British Championships in Manchester.

Since then she has gone on to medal at ASA National Championships, British Championships and European Junior Championships and competed at World Championships.

A bronze on her Commonwealth debut for England at Glasgow in 2014, a silver at the European Championships then a domestic title in 2015 all followed.

Now she is set to become an Olympian.

A silver medal at the British Swimming Championships meant an anxious wait to see if she would qualify, which she did through the BOA’s consideration process.

And this summer will see her continue to fulfill the potential she showed signs of more than a decade earlier as a member of Ripley Amateur Swimming Club And Life Savers (RASCALS).

Club chairman Tom Parr said: “She’s a year younger than my eldest son. He joined RASCALS at nine and already there was an eight-year-old that people were saying ‘oh my word, look how well she swims’.

“You would watch her swim and be able to see that she’s got a lovely stroke.

“It wasn’t very fast then but she was still way ahead of everyone. They’re all in split seconds of each other now but then there was a gap and you could see there was talent there already.

“I first saw her swim before she got in to the Derbyshire squad (Derventio eXcel). You could see she was getting more out of each stroke, she was smoother and more efficient than the people around her.

“There were others putting a lot of effort in but not getting as far along in the pool.

“We see a lot of swimmers and some go on and do tremendously well, but every now and then one knocks you back and you think ‘goodness me’. That was spotted by people within the club.”

And he said Molly was a good role model for the club’s younger swimmers to look up to.

“She was very quiet and relaxed around the pool,” he added. “I’m sure there was a lot of pressure underneath that but it all seemed to be taken in her stride and you see the results from someone who was calm.

“You can sometimes see people who are very wound up and don’t really achieve. Yet she seemed to have the measure of it and did what she needed to do.

“When you get someone like that in the pool it encourages the other swimmers, particularly younger ones, to emulate her. A few years ago we asked her to present the trophies at our presentation evening and she did.

“It was great to have her there. It really does motivate everyone around the place.

“It shows that the faster your movements doesn’t always mean the faster you will go. If you get them right and the strokes as precise as you can, then you’ll go faster, so she is a great example for us.”