Niamh Robinson heads out to the Gold Coast

Grace Cole is proud to have sponsored Niamh for several years now and we are delighted that she has made it to the Commonwealth Games 2018 held on the Gold Coast, Australia.

Before Niamh jetted out to Australia with the Isle of Man swim team, we had a rare opportunity to sit down with her and find out a little more…..

How has Grace Cole’s sponsorship helped support you getting to the Commonwealth Games?

Grace Cole's sponsorship has been a huge help in many areas, since returning from the Commonwealth Games in 2014, the money has been used to pay for numerous physiotherapy appointments, competition entries/accommodation, new training/competition costumes and a couple of swim camps which have allowed me to train in warm weather, a massive plus for any athlete to have the opportunity to do.

Unfortunately, in January 2017, I suffered a shoulder injury.  I was advised to reduce my training and competing to allow time for my injury to repair.  Without the support from Grace Cole, these tests would not have been done as quickly, which would have slowed down my recovery tremendously.

Just days before Christmas, I received the news that I had been successful in my application and had been selected to compete once again for the IOM at the Commonwealth Games - I was absolutely delighted and such an honour to represent the Island at such a prestigious event.  I have worked extremely hard, especially over the last 18 months through injury and the issues it brings mentally, however, I returned to the pool determined to do well.

There is no doubt that without the support of Grace Cole, that I would not be in Australia now, for that, I am really grateful (as are my parents).  Thank you.

What are your favourite Grace Cole fragrances and products?

I have quite a few fragrances that I like depending on my mood and mindset.  My absolute favourite is the Vanilla Blush & Peony.  I love the sweetness and femininity which is great after a long day training. The Travel Sets are amazing!  They are easy to grab and take with me in my hand luggage when I’m moving around the country or travelling overseas for competitions.  I always have a small bottle in my bag and luckily for me, the set is available in my favourite Vanilla Blush & Peony fragrance.

Which Grace Cole products wake you up and get you set up for a day of training or an important race?

The Grapefruit, Lime and Mint fragrance is perfect for waking me up at 5am ready for a training session!  It's sharpness instantly wakes me with its fresh Grapefruit and refreshing Lime scents, followed by the coolness of the Mint.  The soothing bath and shower gel is a regular accessory in the shower!

We imagine you spend a lot of time in the water, which products do you feel help moisturise and protect your skin?

I am continuously in and out of the water, so my skin does tend to dry out and suffer. I always have a Body Butter and a Hand & Nail Cream with me at all times in my bag.  At the moment, I have the Vanilla Blush & Peony.  These two products are an absolute godsend and keep my skin revitalised and moisturised, plus the fragrance is amazing.

Which products and fragrances do you use to relax?

After a long day, I like the Nectarine Blossom and Grapefruit bath soak.  It has a lovely smell and I feel revived and completely relaxed when I get out of the bath.  It leaves a wonderful aroma in the bathroom!  The rest of my family also like this fragrance and we do tend to use it by the bucket load!

Which products will you take with you to the Commonwealth games?  Does she have any other essentials other than GC products?

I have packed a Vanilla Blush & Peony Travel Set which contains a Hand & Nail Cream, Bath & Shower Gel, Body Lotion and Body Mist.  I have also packed several products in both the Nectarine Blossom & Grapefruit and Grapefruit, Lime & Mint fragrances.  I don’t need any other essentials, these cover me for every eventuality, except for the sun cream!

Can you give us an insight into a typical day in the life of Niamh?

At Mount Kelly School, my typical week consists of 9 sessions in the pool, along with 3 land training sessions.  My busiest days include: Waking at 5am, ready to walk down to the gym where I do a 1-hour session prior to continuing down to the pool.  Here I train for a further 2 hours prior to getting changed quickly, and walking back up to the school for breakfast.  At 8.30am I start school, finishing at 3.30pm.  At 4pm I am back at the pool for a further 2 hours training.  Some days, I stay on to help with the junior swimmers.  I get back to my room around 9.30pm, complete my homework and then I get to relax for a short while before lights out and start it all again the next day.

How did you get into swimming?

I attended parent and toddler sessions at our local baths in Darwen at a very young age, in fact from the moment that I was able to!  Here, the teacher - Cath Medd encouraged the little ones to paddle as soon as they could.  By the age of 3, I was extremely competent in the water environment and was swimming unaided, so my parents enrolled me into the Council run swimming lessons programme.  I continued to progress and at the age of 6, I was moved to Pioneer 79 Swimming Club.  Both my parents were competitive swimmers, so they knew that if I was to continue and start competing, that I needed to be at a club where I would be given the opportunity.  From this point I continued to excel and was competing at a National Standard from the age of 11.  The support given to me throughout my swimming career from friends, family and Grace Cole has been staggering.

What are your goals for this year?

This year is obviously a big year for me, which started with a competition in Geneva in January, where I did extremely well, returning with 2 silver medals and a bronze.  Followed by the big one, the Commonwealth Games.  I am really excited at competing here, but not looking forward to having to swim the backstroke leg of the Medley Relay as the pool is open air and has no roof to follow.... so, I’m a little worried that I might swim zig zagged through the length of the pool (laughs).  I have been working hard on this and I’m confident I have now mastered this!  In 2014 at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, I managed to qualify for 2 semi-finals, so here’s hoping I can do the same, if not better in Australia!

After the Commonwealth Games, I will be competing at various open events, taking part in a swim camp in Lanzarote in July, before I 'hopefully' qualify for the Nationals which take place at the end of July in Sheffield.  After this competition, I’m not too sure which events the school will be taking part in, however at the end of the year, I will hopefully be once again competing at the Winter Nationals.

At the 2018 Commonwealth Games, I have entered the following races:

50/100/200m Breaststroke

100m Butterfly

200m Individual Medley

4x100m Medley Relay (backstroke leg)

This is the first time EVER that the Isle of Man has been able to enter a female relay team, so by taking part, I will be making a little bit of history!!