Young swimmers from Caister and Martham making a splash in the sporting world

Grace Leech and Honey Harvey, young swimming champions from the Yarmouth borough

Grace Leech and Honey Harvey, young swimming champions from the Yarmouth borough - Credit: Archant

Two young swimmers have set their sights high after qualifying for the British Championships - but are hoping someone might be able to help with sponsorship.

Honey Harvey, 13, and Grace Leech, 12, train six times a week, getting up at 4am to swim at the University of East Anglia (UEA) pool in Norwich before school and giving up most weekends to take part in competitions and galas.

The youngsters, who are members of the UEA City of Norwich swim team, are pursuing their sport with passion but the girls' families say growing costs are putting pressure on their plans.

It costs £220 alone for top of the range swimming costumes, as well as fuel, hotel expenses and competition entry fees.

'I'm a single mum and the costs add up,' said Honey's mum Sally Mobbs, of Caister.


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'I work as a mobile hairdresser and I work as much and as hard as a I can. But while most hairdressers might be able to work until 6pm, I'm finishing at 3pm so we can get to the UEA to train.

'In the next few months we're going to Luton, Sheffield and Stratford and we have to stay in hotels. A lot of it is going on credit cards but that's obviously not ideal. I've written a few letters but I don't know where to start.

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'A lot of the parents are dedicated - and the girls love it. Honey never complains. But there's no getting away from the fact it's an expensive sport and the higher the level, the more costs are involved.'

Grace's mum and dad, Katie and Ian Leech, of Martham, work full time too.

'It's fantastic that they're competing at this level but it does get expensive,' said Katie, a financial advisor at Great Yarmouth High School.

'We've started to look into possible sponsorship but, like Honey's mum said, it's hard to know where to start.'

In January, the Flegg High School student - who, like Honey, is in the top ten fastest 12 to 13 year old swimmers in England - will take part in a training programme in Somerset. She was selected to take part after impressing at the nationals.

'Swimming is her life and she absolutely loves it,' said Katie.

'We're really lucky because the club is great, they are a really good team. And we wouldn't be where we are without the brilliant coaches.'

The girls are trained by Alex and Karen Pinniger. Alex coaches Gorleston Paralympian gold medallist Jessica-Jane Applegate.

n If you think you could help sponsor Honey and Grace, email lauren.rogers@archant.co.uk

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