BYT: Neha Pillai
PUBLISHED: 16:42 27 March 2017 | UPDATED: 17:09 27 March 2017
Bancroft’s School student Neha Pillai talks about her passion for swimming and breaking an Essex record
Could you introduce yourself?
I’m a year 7 student at Bancroft’s School. I enjoy all sports but my passion is swimming. Recently I won ten Golds, two Silvers and three Bronzes at the 2017 Essex County Swimming Championships. In my strongest stroke, breast stroke, I managed to break the Essex county record for 50m and 100m. My medal tally and race times won me the Top Girl award in the 12 year old category.
Where do you live and what do you like about it?
I live in Loughton. I like it because all my friends live close and it is only a five minute drive to my school.
What was it like winning the Top Girl award?
I was so happy and proud of my achievement. I felt like all the early morning and evening training that I had to attend for the past two years had paid off.
Tell us about your family.
My dad works at NatWest Markets and he leaves for work early in the morning, which makes me happy as I am not the only one who wakes up at that time. My mum is with me always, she takes me for my training early in the morning and evening. My brother studies at City of London School and is preparing to take his GCSE’s next year. My puppy Muffin is 17 weeks old and he is very loving.
What is the most exciting thing that has happened to you over the past year?
Winning Top Girl at Essex was like a dream come true for me .Also last year I was awarded the Young Bancroftian Award when I left Bancroft’s Prep School and that too was a very happy moment.
Who are your biggest influences?
My cousin Newin is my biggest influence. He had an accident when he was 21 and has been wheelchair bound since then. But he never accepted defeat. He finished his degree, got a good job, bought a house and created a happy family. I have never seen him upset, he always lights up the room with his fantastic humour. He came to cheer me while I was competing, and that made me swim faster.
Where do you hope to see yourself in five years’ time?
Hopefully with a couple of National Golds and at least seven A* in my GCSE results.
How do you relax?
Watching Netflix and sleep.
What makes you smile?
My friends and my pet puppy Muffin.
Tell us something about you that may surprise us.
I hate getting my hair wet and yet manage to do that nearly twice everyday when I am at training.