16-year-old Commonwealth Games swimmer achieves outstanding GCSE results – Millfield School

25 Aug 2022

Three weeks after achieving her dream of competing at the Commonwealth Games, 16-year-old Millfield swimmer Jade Phiri has achieved outstanding GCSE results.

Millfield School Somerset Jade

Millfield swimmer Jade Phiri has achieved outstanding GCSE results.

Jade represented Zambia in Birmingham, achieving great success across three different events, finishing first in her Women’s 50m Butterfly heat, second in her Women’s 50m Freestyle heat and third in her heat for the Mixed 4x100m Medley Relay. Jade has balanced her academic studies around her rigorous training schedule in the lead up to the games, and that hard work came to fruition today, as she received six grade 9’s and three grade 8’s.

The young swimmer has thrived in various sports since joining Millfield two years ago, as is encouraged by the school’s muti-sport approach. Alongside her swimming endeavours, Jade is also an accomplished rider, and was selected to represent Zambia in the ACES Youth Championships in Oran, Algeria in March of this year.

In April, Jade travelled back to her hometown of Lusaka, Zambia, for the CANA Zone IV African Swimming Championships, where she competed against swimmers from 14 East and South African countries. Jade won three gold medals, two silvers and a bronze, resulting in selection to represent her country in her first ever Commonwealth Games. Jade was then faced with the task of fitting in a busy training schedule for the Games in July alongside preparations for her GCSE exams, which were taking place only a month before.

Jade said “Knowing that I would be swimming in the Commonwealth Games just a month after my GCSE’s, and making sure that I was still training to the best of my abilities, whilst balancing revising for my exams, was a major challenge. Knowing what to put first in that moment was really difficult, and it was all quite overwhelming. With the help of my housemistress, Emily Tait, and my coach, Rachael Aldington, I was able to put together a two-month plan which incorporated my study, swim and rest time. I personally would feel guilty if I missed a session in order to revise, so my schedule really helped to manage my week and make sure I got enough time in the pool, but also time to focus academically. I’m hugely grateful for all the support I received from my coach, teachers, and housemistress, as I truly wouldn’t have been able to manage such a busy time without all their help.”

Jade’s dedication and commitment bore fruit in Birmingham, and saw her put in impressive performances across all three events for which she was selected. Jade said “The Commonwealth Games was honestly incredible. It’s a competition that I have always dreamt of competing in and being able to actually compete was one of the greatest experiences in my life so far. Being a part of these games, among some of the best swimmers around, was truly out of this world. It was an experience that I will cherish for many years to come as I aim to continue my swimming journey.”

Following today’s fantastic results, Jade will continue at Millfield in the Sixth Form, where she will study Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics A levels. She is also looking ahead to competitions later this year, when she will travel to the CANA Zone 3 Championships in Tanzania in November, before rounding the year off with The Region 5 Youth Games, which will be held in Malawi.