The road to Rio - Lauren Boyle
Many of you may know Walker & Hall as a family-owned and operated business however a little known fact is the community groups, organisations and people that Walker & Hall sponsor and support. One of those people is Olympic swimmer Lauren Boyle.
We caught up with Lauren as she prepares for the Rio Olympics….
What are you training for now?
I’m currently training for the World Champs in Kazan, Russia, and the FINA World Cup in Paris. These run from 2 – 16 August and the World Champs is the pinnacle event for swimming in 2015.
How do you prepare for an event?
For elite swimmers training is year round. To prepare for a big event I focus on fine-tuning, looking to improve in areas that can make a difference. It’s about being ready to compete on the day. I like to have a mentality that I’m doing everything I can to be at my best.
What’s your typical day like?
Typically an early start for a two hour swim. Later in day after some rest another pool session with weights training added in somewhere.
What is your main goal for this season?
This is a non-Olympic year so my goal has been to put myself in a very good position in the World rankings. My goals are quite personal to me but I guess “continuous improvement” is always to the forefront with me.
Most interesting/inspirational person she has meet or someone you’d want to meet?
My sports career got underway when I went off-shore to university. And in the NCAA system I was surrounded by very high achieving people. Over the years a couple of my coaches have given me the most inspiring attitudes to life. But among fellow swimmers, Natalie Coughlin (USA’s 12 time Olympic medalist), stands out. I was a teammate of hers at Cal. Natalie has shown me what the mix of vision, real hard work and engagement is.
Tell us about your Walker & Hall sponsorship and how it helps you.
I like to think the brands I’ve been associated with are strong and reputable. Walker & Hall fits the bill for me. I love their quality, I love that it’s family-owned with 100 year history. I know the Walker & Hall story because I’ve received lovely gifts from there over the years.
Partnering with one of New Zealand’s iconic brands is an honour for me, it really is. Interestingly when the company first approached me I’d just moved to the Gold Coast to train, which meant higher costs– it’s huge to have Walker & Hall behind me. In swimming I’m not in lucrative sport, so it means heaps to me to know I can put more into my preparation than I could otherwise, just because of Walker & Hall.
But most important the company has committed to support my journey to Rio; that gives you confidence. As a proud Kiwi I am so happy to represent a brand that was grown in New Zealand and stands for quality product!
You spend a lot of time away from New Zealand, do you have any special keepsakes that you have to remind you of home?
Interesting you ask me that - my Dad gave me a pair of diamond earrings (from Walker and Hall!) just before I left for my first Olympic Games in 2008 (Beijing). He picked them out without me, so that was a risk but this present has become extremely precious to me - swimming in the Olympics had been a goal of mine for a decade prior. I always wear these earrings and they are a reminder of the support I have from my family and they connect with home.
Favourite place you’ve been to so far?
Being a pro swimmer has the perk of seeing many great cities of the world. I am lucky to travel a lot. I recall a short holiday I had in Berlin which seemed like a great city. In 2012 I went to Istanbul for the World Short Course Championships – that place was a buzz, but perhaps not a place to stay too long. So yes Berlin or maybe Istanbul.
When you get a break from swimming what do you like to do?
When I’m not swimming I need to be outside in the fresh air or just chill. There’s gardening, reading or making things. I’m into making cards, sewing, pottery even a bit of DIY building!