8:00am Wednesday 4th June 2014
By Steve Tinniswood
WHEN it comes to asking advice about competing in the Commonwealth Games then Niamh Robinson has to look no futher than her mum!
For just like her daugher, mum Sue was also a talented swimmer and represented the Isle of Man at the 1990 Games in Auckland.
However, despite being a couple of years older at the time – she was 16 when she went to New Zealand – Sue believes her daughter will be better prepared when it comes to being thrust under the spotlight of a major competition.
Sue competed in the 100m and 200m breaststroke and also the 200m individual medley.
By her own admission, her Commonwealth Games dream didn’t quite turn out as she expected.
“When I went, I was the only girl on the team, I was on my own and thousands of miles away from home,” said Sue.
“It all got a bit too much for me and I panicked.”
But Sue believes it will be much different for her daughter – and it will be an experience she will remember for ever.
“But for Niamh it is different.
“For starters she is a lot closer to home and she has experienced nationals since the age of 11.
“So she has been involved in quite a few high profile events.
“The nationals were held in Glasgow in April at the same venue as the Commonwealth Games so she won’t be going to a pool she has not been to before.
“So she has had plenty of pre-Commonwealth Games experience in high profile events.”
The pair also have something else in common.
The team manager of the Isle of Man is the daughter of team manager who was in charge when Sue competed.
“Leonie Cooil is the team manager in Glasgow while her dad Steve was team manager when I went to Auckland,” added Sue.
“It’s quite bizarre really, it is like it has come fully circle.”
Having already competed in a major championship herself, Sue cannot be accused of trying to live her dreams through her daughter.
“Because I have been there, I wanted Niamh to have the same experience,” she said.
“I thought that if there was an outside chance of Niamh doing it then it would be a fantastic opportunity for her to get the same experience that I got.”
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