February 12, 2016, by Laura Estrop
BUCS Nationals 2016 – Spotlight on: Rebecca Dutfield
The countdown is on for the 2016 BUCS Nationals, which are only one week away!
Held this year in Sheffield, our UoN teams will be setting off early next Friday morning with high aspirations of BUCS victory. With our amazing current ranking of third place in the BUCS league, we’re eager to hold onto our position! To showcase the talent we have at this year’s Nationals, we caught up with some of our key athletes to highlight their achievements so far. Today we chat to swimmer Rebecca Dutfield.
Let’s start with the basics, where are you from?
I’m from a small village in Berkshire called Cookham, I have lived there all my life. At home, I train with and represent Ealing Swimming Club.
How long have you been swimming for?
In total, I would say I’ve swum for 12 years, eight of those years competitively. According to my parents I have been in or around swimming pools from about three months old, so they’re quite natural environments for me! Once I’d learnt to swim, I joined Windsor Swimming Club at the age of six but I didn’t start racing competitively until I was 10. Since then I have continued to race at a high level, increasing my level of training and racing throughout my teen years. Back in January 2015, I moved to Ealing Swimming Club in west London, because of this move I changed the way I trained and it only allowed me to go from strength to strength.
What was it that made you start?
Both my older brother and sister were swimmers to different levels, also living by the river I think my parents were keen for us all to be able to swim. Growing up I took part in various different sports but swimming was the only one that I truly enjoyed and took a real affinity to. As I improved and was given more opportunities to race and train the whole swimming lifestyle began to appeal to me to the extent that I’ve never really wanted to do anything else.
What is your favourite type of race?
My favourite events are the ones I don’t do that often! I am primarily a middle/long distance swimmer so events such as 400m and 800m freestyle are my strongest. As an extension to the distances in the pool I do some open water swimming. I’ve only ever done distances between 2km and 5km in open water but they can go up to 10km and 25km. 50m and 100m events are always good fun particularly on butterfly and backstroke.
What does a typical week look like for you?
Currently I am taking a break from high performance swimming to reduce the pressure while I settle in at university for my first year, so a typical week looks quite different now to what I was doing last season. Typically in a week I have 12-16 contact hours at University then six training sessions mixed with a couple of gym sessions, so a week would look like this:
- Monday: lectures 9am-3pm; training 5.30-7.30pm
- Tuesday: lectures/seminars in the morning; training 8-9.30 pm
- Wednesday: seminars in the morning; training 3-5pm
- Thursday: lectures 9am-4pm, then I hit the gym before an hour of training
- Friday: I try and fit in a hours swim before my lectures start that morning
- Saturday: Possibly a two hour swim or gym session
- Sunday: I’m a lifeguard at the University Pool so I usually work in the mornings until 2pm, then I train 4-5.30pm.
What’s your greatest achievement so far?
My greatest achievement was definitely winning three medals at last summer’s National Championships. At the British Open Water Championships I won silver in the women’s 5k event. At the English National Championships, I won bronze in the women’s 800m freestyle and gold in women’s 400m freestyle.
Any other titles you’ve won?
I’ve won county and regional titles over the years, made national finals in relays and have been on a couple talent programmes like AASE (Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence and England Talent).
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
Ultimately I hope to qualify as a teacher and teach in secondary schools, so in five years I would like to have graduated and gained a teaching qualification. I am also interested in doing an MA in Education but not entirely sure yet. With swimming, I may return to a high performance level at some point next year but nonetheless I want to remain in the sport either as an athlete or through coaching.
I’ve had a great first semester as part of the University swim team, and am really enjoying studying at Nottingham. I am looking forward to going to Sheffield for the BUCS Nationals next week and I hope to gain some points and make it into the finals!
UoN Sport wish you the best of luck next weekend, Becky!
You can follow all of the action from the BUCS Nationals on our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and also right here as we’ll be updating each regualry throughout the weekend! There will also be regular updates on the BUCS official website and social media channels. Keep your eyes pealed and phones on ready to help us celebrate!