Jazz's advice to stay motivated
Representing Great Britain at the Olympic Games Rio 2016
Double Olympic Silver Medallist in 400m & 800m Freestyle from Rio 2016
Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist and Championship record holder.
British Long Course Record Holder in the 1,500m Freestyle and Short Course Record Holder in the 800m
European Record Holder in the 4x200-metre freestyle relay at the 2009 World Aquatics Championships
4 time European Champion and Championship Record Holder.
Take a look at the journey Jazz has been on throughout her swimming career, the highs and lows and everything in between in her own words.
Jazz's love for water started at a young age, as a toddler she recalls visiting the local pool with her dad. He would launch her into the water, before she was even able to walk. Jazz was a natural and she was soon enrolled into the local swimming club, Tigersharks!
"I was quite an athletic child and although I tried other sports… it was always swimming that felt like home. As I grew older, I progressed through the squads and this is where I found my love for racing! I have many fond memories of my time at Tigersharks swimming club… my lessons in the pool, the friends I made and the support of all of the coaches." Phil Millard, Head Coach, would be the one to give Jazz the confidence to believe in herself and what she could achieve in this great sport.
"I progressed to the British Nationals at aged 11 and although I wasn’t the fastest in my age group, I was determined to train harder and be the best. Finally in 2004, I won my first gold medal…that was it, I was hooked! But, the next step was about to take me out of my comfort zone.
At the age of 16, I made the very tough decision to move to Swansea, one of the British National Training Centres. This gave me the opportunity of more training hours and the chance to work with a coach who specialised in distance swimming. I learnt to take care of myself and juggle my increased pool training with college work. It was one of the best decisions I made in my career and I can’t thank Swim Wales and Sport Wales enough for their support."
"In 2009, I gained selection to my first ever GB Senior Team and headed to Rome for the World Championships. I was one of the youngest members of the team, aged only 18. This was going to be the race of my life, a 4 x 200m relay alongside my more experienced and successful teammates. Although I remember feeling nervous, I was focused and ready to race. I climbed onto the blocks and was prepared to give it my everything. Being part of this relay final was something I will never forget and walking out to a full arena was an incredible experience. My time was 2 seconds faster than I have ever swam and we came away with a Bronze medal. For my first World Championships as a Senior swimmer, to come away with a Bronze Medal was an amazing moment and I just wanted to live that feeling over and over again.
This was just the start of my Senior swimming career… from winning medals at the Commonwealth Games and British Nationals, to qualifying for the World Championships in Shanghai. In 2011 I was diagnosed with Glandular Fever and despite a plague of illness I then had a chance to qualify for the London Olympics in 2012. I was determined not to miss this great opportunity and although I managed to achieve the qualifying time finishing in 4th place, it was only the top two swimmers who were selected to represent GB. Devastating..."
"Professional sport isn't easy. Pushing your body to the limit everyday, keeping fit/healthy and not really having much of a social life isn’t for everyone. I was still disappointed to have missed out on my dream to represent Great Britain at the London Olympics and I decided to take some time out of the water. It was at this point that I had my tonsils removed… something that had been causing me a lot of pain and discomfort, could this have been the root of all my illness problems? With a lot of support from family and friends, I made the decision to return to the pool… no expectations, just to give it my all and see what happens?
Starting the season off, I knew it was going to be tough returning to training after a 3 month break. This had been my longest time out of the pool since competing at national level. My hunger for success grew like never before and I knew I had far more to give to the sport. My first session in the pool was incredibly tough, it felt like my arms were burning and had bricks tied round them… every metre hurt! My hard work paid off and I qualified for the World Championships in Barcelona 2013. Unfortunately, it was another 4th place, I took the result to heart… but, I picked myself up to focus on the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow 2014."
"I put in a great block of training (75km per week on average) and was selected to represent Wales at the Commonwealth Games, Glasgow in 2014. Then, from nowhere, my coach informed me he was relocating to Australia! I was devastated as he had been my coach for 7 years and it was only 3 months until the start of the Commonwealth Games. To maintain my training programme, I made the decision to join my coach in Perth, Australia for a period of 6 weeks. On my return to Swansea I continued to train with a stand in coach, as training with somebody new so close to competition could have a detrimental effect on my performance. It was tough. Sometimes I would be the only one in the pool… but I wasn’t going to let anything get in the way of my dream of winning Gold.
In the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, I won a gold medal in the 800-metre freestyle and a silver in the 400-metre freestyle. I became the first Welsh female swimmer to win a Commonwealth title since Pat Beavan at the 1974 Commonwealth Games. This memory will be something I will never forget."
"As we headed towards the next Olympic trials, the overwhelming emotions began to build… I so desperately wanted to be on this Olympic team as it had been a dream of mine for so long to represent GB at an Olympics. Not only did I become British Champion, I achieved the time to qualify. I was now on my way to the Olympics! Gone was the disappointment of my previous Olympic Trials and it was like a huge weight lifted from my shoulders. Now the excitement began…
Standing on the blocks in Rio, I didn't feel the pressure, just the excitement to compete against the best in the World and to give it my everything. I smashed my first heat swim with a best time and I knew from that moment I was ready to race. I had to stay calm and make sure I recovered well for the final… Here it was, the swim I had been waiting for...my final swim. WOW, another best time! This one earned me a Silver Medal. I can’t really remember much about the race, but I can vividly picture the moment when I touched the wall… pure joy! And later that week, I managed to swim my way to another Silver Medal in the 800m Freestyle. My dreams had come true, I had competed at the Olympics and stood on the podium... twice!"
"I have competed in various competitions over the years… there’s been tough times, but there’s also been fun ones. I have been lucky to be surrounded by so many people, who have provided me with an abundance of information, advice and skills.
Although I am no longer swimming professionally, my passion for swimming is still strong… so alongside my role as an athlete mentor for Swim Wales, I am dedicating my time to helping others and supporting them on their swimming journey. This can be from learning to swim, feeling confident or helping to achieve their personal goals.
Swim with Jazz is a bespoke platform that will give you all the tools to help improve your swimming. This will include swim specific physio videos, nutritional advice and much, much more that I have learnt throughout my swimming career. We are a team of World Class leading professionals in sport, ready to give you the best advice and support on your swimming journey.
I want to bring the fun back to your swimming!"
A team of World Class professionals that will be helping you on your swimming journey.
Former Team GB and Welsh Swimmer.
Double Olympic Silver Medalist in the 400m and 800m Freestyle.
Commonwealth and European Champion.
Since retiring from competitive swimming, Jazz has gone on to get her Swimming Teachers and Coaches Qualification. She wants to use her experience of swimming on the British team for 12 years to help others improve their swimming. She is very passionate about sport and to help others on their swimming journey.
Cath Shearer is a Senior Sport Psychologist and Strategic Lead for System Building at Sport Wales. She has a BSc (Hons) in Psychology, an MSc in Sport Psychology and is a Chartered Psychologist. She has worked as a practitioner psychologist for 18 years and has provided sport psychology support to over 20 sports.
In this time, she has been selected to provide HQ psychology support at 3 Paralympic Games and worked as part of a multi disciplinary team at numerous international competitions. In addition, Cath has been part of the HQ team providing psychology support at one Youth Commonwealth Games (Pune), 3 Commonwealth Games (Melbourne, Delhi and Glasgow), and was part of the Swim Wales support team at the preparation camp on the Sunshine Coast prior to the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. She has recently been appointed as Performance General Team Manager for Team Wales at Birmingham 2022.
Tiffany is a Loughborough graduate in sports science and has spent the past two years providing sports science support to British Swimming athletes. As the nutrition intern, she has led scientific studies, developed her own swimming-specific snacks for the athletes and set up a weekly Breakfast Club to refuel swimmers after their training sessions. The Breakfast Club embodies all of Tiffany’s passions by bringing the worlds of sport and food into closer alignment - promoting delicious and exciting food to support the challenging nutritional demands of elite sport.
Since obtaining an Advanced Diploma in Sports Nutrition, Tiffany began The Cooking Yam, which was originally used to share simple, nutritious recipes to the public via social media, but now offers many additional services. As the business has grown, Tiffany has provided nutritional support for the general public and elite athletes, has prepared healthy snack orders for Olympians, and now delivers a variety of nutritional workshops for people of all skill and sports levels. Tiffany’s ambition is to show the world that whether you’re a working parent or a world-class athlete, we should all enjoy nutritious, delicious food - and it’s simpler than we think.'
Jazz was lucky enough to work closely with Ben for the 2 years in the lead up to the Rio 2016 Olympics, which proved to be invaluable for her training.
Dr Ben Holliss, PhD
Ben has worked as a Performance Scientist with a variety of endurance athletes over the past decade, including supporting UK Athletics around Beijing 2008, and most closely with British Swimming during the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Cycles. During these years Ben supported swimmers in all events, from 50 m to 10 km specialists, working in close collaboration with their coaches and other support staff, whilst also completing a PhD in applied exercise physiology. Ben now works across multiple sports for the EIS Performance Pathways Team, where one of his roles is to communicate the key aspects of sport science and medicine to the next generation of Olympic and Paralympic athletes, and their parents and coaches. This is with the aim of helping young athletes develop the underpinning skills and behaviours required to give them the best possible chance of reaching their full performance capacity.
Renee is a leading Sports and Eating disorder specialist dietitian with 20 years experience working in clinical and performance nutrition, with Olympic (London, 2012), Paralympic (Rio, 2016) and Commonwealth (Queensland, 2018) teams.
She works with individuals, athletes of all levels and ages, coaches and sports science teams to provide nutritional strategies to enhance sport performance, manage eating disorders and over training.
She is presently working with a number of national governing bodies, including Scottish Gymnastics, Scottish Ballet and The GB 24 hour Running squad.
She is regularly asked to work directly with National Governing Bodies and institutes, high performing and professional athletes that have developed a dysfunctional relationship with food that is impacting their performance, health and career.
She is the best-selling author of Training Food, Fast Fuel books. and Orthorexia, When Healthy Eating Goes Bad
She is the co- founder of #TRAINBRAVE a campaign raising the awareness of eating disorders in sport and dance; providing resources and practical strategies to reduce the prevalence.
In 2019 she collaborated with Dr. Nicky Keay and they have together opened the first Sports Endocrine nutrition clinic in the UK, looking at hormonal profiles in order to optimise health, training and sports performance.
She is on the REDS advisory board for BASES (The British Association of Sport and Exercise Science) and sits on the International Task Force for Orthorexia.
She is on the advisory board for The Be Well Collective, a charitable initiative that aims to bring nutritional education and mental health coaching to the world of fashion models; the women and men that represent society’s aesthetic paradigm yet off camera often face the greatest body consciousness, self-esteem and stress related issues.
Renee has been invited to speak at several high profile events including The European Eating Disorder Society Annual Conference as the UK expert in Orthorexia, Cheltenham Literature Festival, Cheltenham Science Festival, The Stylist Show and Google.
She writes for many national publications and is often asked to comment in the national press. She regularly contributes to radio and TV, including News night, BBC 5 Live and Radio 4.
Rhys is the current lead physiotherapist for Swim Wales, having been part of the GB and Welsh swimming support team since 2009. Jazz has worked closely with Rhys along the years, as mobility was a key part of her programme. Rhys has a BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science, 1st class: BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy and MSc Sport and Exercise Physiotherapy.
Rhys has been to 2 Olympic Games (London 2012 and Rio 2016) and part of the Welsh Team at 4 Commonwealth Games events.
As well as working with Elite athletes, Rhys is currently the Head of Medical Services and Lead Physiotherapist Ebbw Vale RFC and teaching at Bath University – MSc Sport Physiotherapy: Performance physiotherapy modules lead.
Will Foden specialises in strength training and nutrition. He graduated from Hartpury University, UK with a BSc in Strength and Conditioning and an MSc in Coaching Science.
Will's journey started from a young age with the ambition of playing professional rugby and through years of determination and hours of focused training later, he achieved that goal.
During his career, he played at professional academies and Championship level during which time he also developed a passion for Strength and Nutrition.
His aim now is to provide this service to people looking for a long term and sustainable change and performance. He also has the ambition to coach people the parts of performance that he didn’t have as a young athlete and he thinks that every aspiring sports man or woman should have the ability to learn and do.
Over the years, he's educated people about fuelling their performance, health and teaching them how to live life to the fullest, whilst performing at the highest possible level.
David McNulty is Jazz's former coach who guided her on to much success including 2 Olympic Silver Medals at Rio 2016.
Dave is undoubtedly one of GB's most successful coaches, who has guided swimmers to Olympic, World and Commonwealth success during his ten years as lead coach at British Swimming National centre, University of Bath. This includes 6 Olympic medals from 5 different swimmers.
Making his senior international debut as a coach in 2001, where he won a relay gold at the World Championships, David has attended four Olympic Games and nine World Championships.
He has shown his diversity in coaching, being able to coach swimmers successfully in several different events and distances.
He was selected to be part of UK Sport's inaugural intake of the elite coaching programme, successfully graduating in 2016, and was also nominated for British Swimming's Coach of the Year Award in 2016.
He is known for his great character and persona on the poolside.
Take a look at what Jazz gets up to and keep up to date with the latest tips and tricks in the swimming world.