Ambassador for Speedo Australia, national record holder for 16 years Backstroke, Bronze medallist at Junior Pan Pacific Championships, Australian National Gold medallist, Leon’s achievements are endless. Now let’s get to know him!

Knox, ’18

Hey Leon, it's so nice to talk to you.

Yeah no worries!

Congratulations on everything. So you like coming first?

Yes of course. Who doesn't??

Let's get to know you a bit: favourite subject at school?

Chemistry

Biggest role model?

David Bowie

Fondest memory at Knox so far?

Being a swimmer, CAS swimming has to be one of the highlights so far. For a night of racing over half the school come to watch us battle it out with other schools like Trinity, Barker and Waverley. Standing behind the starting blocks with 800 people from your school chanting your name is an experience I will never forget.

You're a strong believer in balancing your time between different aspects of the school life - could you elaborate a bit on why?

I think it’s good to give everything a go to see what you enjoy and what you don’t. I also think balancing your time equally will allow you to develop skills for a wide variety of things in the future, keeping your options open.

As a competitive swimmer, have there been times when you couldn't hang out with friends because of swimming commitments?

Yes definitely. I train around 7 times a week on average and have to miss out on a lot of things I would enjoy doing too. But I just have to keep the big picture in mind and just acknowledge that I have to makes some sacrifices in order to achieve my goals. Likewise with studies, you need to simply invest / sacrifice more time if you want to do well.

Are you a procrastinator?

Definitely, but I’ve tried very hard to fix the problem. When I study I always put my phone in the other room, and also I try to avoid using music no matter how tedious the workload can get. I also take small 10 minute breaks every block of 45mins so I don’t get too burnt out by the end. The breaks really help me get through big assignments.

How do you deal with disappointment?

So for swimming specifically, I just use it as a reason to get back into the pool and train even harder. I’m quite competitive and I hate to lose but I have to tell myself that within a few months it won’t really matter.
I also try to apply my swimming mentality to my study. So I always note where I went wrong, and I acknowledge that there generally isn't an easy way out. Hard work will almost always get you better results, just like with training.

Finally, ONE MESSAGE you'd give to yourself 3 years ago (hey guys, get ready take notes!)

To not quit playing saxaphone and to even pick up another instrument.

I regret giving up music all the time, and it’s too hard to start again now especially with the increased workload.

Awesome. It's been an amazing interview in showing me that attitudes in swimming specifically can be applied to all different areas. Thanks Leon.

You're welcome!

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