Tahlia Thornton in year 11 at St Margaret’s in Brisbane’s inner north, has her sights set on making the Australian Olympic Swimming team when she finishes school.

Already making great strokes towards her goal, Tahlia competed at the World Junior Swimming Championships this year. “It was a huge milestone and learning experience for me. I went into the competition ranked 18th for the 200m backstroke and mostly excited about how much I could improve from the qualifying race,” Tahlia said.

Improve she did. Tahlia made it into the final ranked eighth and finished fifth in the world in the Under 17 competition. From Western Australia, Tahlia commenced boarding at St Margaret’s at the beginning of 2019 to advance her swimming career, and says the school has helped her excel in the pool and the classroom. “I train 12 times a week from Monday to Saturday equating to 18 hours of swimming, two hours of gym training and one hour of land training. I’ve been able to keep on top of my school work while training by having regular meetings with my academic advisors and the Dean of Academic Performance,” Tahlia said.

She also says the supportive boarding environment has helped her reach her goals. In 2020, she will co-captain the boarding house with Charleville’s Meg Sarwood. “I want to be a role model for the girls and show them what you can achieve by managing your time, staying committed, and having self discipline and respect for others. I want to help all girls strive for success both in and outside the classroom,” Tahlia said.

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