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Helena Purves is a year 7 student and sports scholar at Wimbledon High School




No sport at school today and so at the end of the day and I go home to do my homework before training that evening. At 5.30pm, it’s time for my two-hour swim session with my club. We do a 1000m warm up in individual medley order, then 90x25m freestyle in ten length sets with a time limit on each block. It is hard. Then we do some relays in preparation for the Surrey Championships. After that it’s the warm down and the end of the session.




I have my games lesson in the morning where we are playing football. We do some drills to work on passing and then play small-sided games focussing on passing accuracy. Finally fifth period is finished and it’s a quick change then indoor rowing training. We do a steady warm up on the rowing machine before finishing with a 500m sprint which I do in 1m47s. After that we do some fun relays for the rest of the session then I get lunch with my friends. At the end of the day I get home, do my homework and then do some circuit training to benefit my rowing and swimming - squats, planks, press-ups, burpees, army plank, flutter kicks, swim start jumps.




Today I have my PE lesson and it is swimming. I am allowed to do my own set so I work on my dives and turns for all the strokes as a warm up. I then do some work on my backstroke roll in my shoulders and kick. After school I rush home to pick up my brother and get my things for swimming and land training. I do one hour of land training and 1.5 hours of swimming.




Today is my rest day and I have a whole pile of homework to do.




Before school is swim squad - another tough session. In the evening I train with my dad for my big row tomorrow. Practising my starts and levelling my split out, I do some work on my drive and find what I want to set my damper/drag factor on. I make sure I don’t exhaust myself as I’ll need all the energy I have for tomorrow's world record attempt.




I do a short warm up this morning to get ready for my world record row attempt at 100m and 500m. I sit ready on the seat and get into my starting position with my screen set for 100m. I am confident I can do this so I push hard. I start with three strong strokes and pull as hard as I can, driving as hard as possible. 100m is a short distance to row and I finish with the time 18.7 seconds - breaking the world record with sweat falling down my head. I am overjoyed. Later I decide to try the 500m record. I am quite nervous as this is a harder distance. I get ready while my dad videos me as evidence for Concept 2 and British Rowing. It’s a very hard distance as it’s all a sprint so I am in pain at 300m. As soon as I finish, I fall off the rowing machine from exhaustion. I finish the 500m in 1m40.7s, breaking the world record again. I am so tired I can barely stand but I am ecstatic.




I lie in in bed until 10am then get ready for an attempt at the world record one-minute row. I do a short 500m warm up and then get ready for a one minute. My dad gets his camera ready as I try to calm my nerves. I level out my breathing as I start pushing on the erg. My dad shouts at me to push faster as I am about to reach my limit, but I only have 20 seconds left. The last ten seconds are the worst but I was nearly there but I break 300m to finish with 306m, breaking another world record. I was exhausted but so happy.