Local girls are making their international debuts in Israel

Amelia Monaghan and Rachel Wellings in their Team GB kit.
Amelia Monaghan and Rachel Wellings in their Team GB kit.

Three local swimmers are currently in Israel taking on the best in Europe.

City of Peterborough Swimming Club (COPS) pair Amelia Monaghan (14) and Rachel Wellings (17) and Deepings Swimming Club’s Isabel Spinley (16) are in the 37-strong GB team competing in the European Junior Championships in Netanya over the next five days.

Isabel Spinley.

Isabel Spinley.

Monaghan is the second youngest member of the team and will be celebrating her 15th birthday two days after she returns from the five-day championships next week.

For all three girls it’s a first ever Team GB call-up.

Monaghan is swimming 100m and 200m breaststroke and 400m individual medley, Wellings the 50m, 100m and 200m backstroke, and Spinley the 50m, 100m and 200m butterfly.

The girls are competing against 52 other countries at the Olympic Pool, which is part of the Wingate Institute, Israel’s National Centre for Physical Education and Sport.

The girls received their call-up following a combination of attending England Talent Pathway camps over the past year and also achieving stand out times and top four placings in their disciplines in the Spring British Championships.

Head coach at COPS, Ben Negus, said: “ Rachel and Amelia have been with COPS since Mini Squad. Jo Elder, the Mini Squad head coach, started them on this journey from a tender young age and it is fitting that as Jo retires she sees them both achieve this fantastic honour.

“They train so hard day in day out and are great examples to all the swimmers at COPS.

“We wish them luck as they enter this next stage of their sporting pathway.”

Monaghan and Wellings both said their international call-ups were unexpected.

Monaghan said: “I was at Arthur Mellows in my maths lesson when one of my friends from another club texted me as the team had been leaked onto Twitter.

“The whole process from then to receiving my Team GB kit has felt like Christmas. This really is a dream come true.”

Wellings said: “An email was sent to my parents while I was in a lesson at The Peterborough School and she texted me with the news. I was so completely surprised I was laughing and crying both at the same time.

“My goal is to enjoy the whole experience, learn from it and set new PBs.”

Deepings head coach Lynn Chapman said: “I am proud of Isabel for producing some excellent swims at the British Championships and gaining selection for the Europeans.

“Deepings is a small club but Isabel has shown what is possible with hard work and dedication. She is an inspiration to all of our swimmers.”

Wellings and Monaghan had their first international swims yesterday and both did extremely well in their opening heats.

Wellings smashed her 200m backstroke PB with 2.15.3 to qualify for the semi-finals while Monaghan won her 400m individual medley heat by five metres.