Student is named National Freediving Champion
Thursday, 14 April 2016
Oxford Brookes student Alice Hickson has been named National Freediving Champion after competing in the national championships in Manchester this weekend.
Alice, who is studying Occupational Therapy, took the top spot scoring 163 points after swimming 130 metres underwater and holding her breath for an incredible 6 minutes and 33 seconds. She took the lead by 75 points overall.
Speaking about the competition Alice said: “It was a fantastic competition at the weekend; freediving is such a social sport it’s great to catch up with everyone and meet new freedivers.
My goal is simple; to be the best I can be. Winning the National Championships was amazing but I now want to go on and achieve international freediving success and develop into a top-class mermaid.Alice Hickson, National Freediving Champion
“I’m still quite new to competing so wasn’t sure about how much I should do for each event as I didn’t want to overdo it during the Static then not be able to swim far enough on my Dynamic swim. So it was a good lesson, I decided to do a ‘comfortable’ static then a strong swim which paid off. I’m chuffed to have come first. Now it’s time to step-up the training in time for the World Championships!”
Alice now has her sights set on the Individual AIDA Pool Freediving World Championships in Finland this June and has secured wild cards – a privilege offered by AIDA to the top male and female athletes to automatically qualify for the World Championships – for two competing disciplines; Static (STA), where a freediver holds his/her breath for as long as possible underwater, and Dynamic No Fins (DNF), where the freediver travels in a horizontal position underwater attempting to cover the greatest possible distance without any aids.
Last year, Alice was ranked as one of the top ten people in the world for freediving. She ranked number one for Dynamic No Fins swimming 174 metres – just eight metres off the world record - in one breath and fifth in the world for Static after holding her breath for 7 minutes 23 seconds.
While freediving is popular in countries across the world, it is still a relatively small and unknown sport in Britain, therefore the GB Freediving Team is self-funded and athletes have to find other means of sponsorship. Alice has started a crowdfunding campaign which she hopes will raise her enough funds to get to the World Championships in June. She continued: “It would be an honour to represent Great Britain in Finland this year and to have to the opportunity to try and extend the current national records and maybe even try for a world record.
“My goal is simple; to be the best I can be. Winning the National Championships was amazing but I now want to go on and achieve international freediving success and develop into a top-class mermaid!”
Image credit: Dean Martin 2016