A “whatever it takes” attitude has helped a 13-year-old swimmer from Dubai secure a highly sought after swimming scholarship at Mount Kelley, one of the UK's top sporting schools.
UK-born Jade Blake, who until recently attended Jumeirah English Speaking School, was awarded the scholarship after excelling at the English National Championships this summer.
The talented youngster, who was pipped to first place by just one millisecond in the Championships, will now leave Dubai, JESS and Hamilton Aquatics behind to focus full-time on the sport that she loves in pursuit of her ultimate dream to reach the Olympics.
2017 has been an incredible year for Jade, who also took home a 2nd place award in the Under 14 Fittest Teen category at the 2017 UAE Teen Sports & Fitness Awards; just deserves for the devoted and passionate swimmer, who has trained daily since the age of 8 years old.
When asked about what it takes to gain such success, Jade explained that there was no secret recipe, "Hours of training every week, dedication, and hard work".
Jade also believes that, despite having to get up early and sacrifice time with her loved ones, the satisfaction of achieving her goals makes all the hard work worth it:
“It is hard to dedicate to a sport like swimming. I've been training really hard with Hamilton Aquatics for the past 2 years, so I have missed out on spending time with my friends and going to fun events, but it was worth it because I have now achieved a huge goal at the English Nationals and will be getting a scholarship at Mount Kelley,” said Jade proudly.