Libby Murphy has just been named Junior Swimmer of the Year at the 2018 Swimming Counties Manukau Prize Giving. But the talented athlete has more than one string to her bow – she also played a lead in our recent production of Oliver. She aspires to one day perform in the West End and swim at the Olympics.
Training five mornings and two evenings a week is no mean feat for a 14-year- old, especially when you add school work and rehearsals for a lead in the school production to the mix.
Libby Murphy, in Year 10, trains 11.5 hours a week in the water and an extra hour on land. This year she won a gold medal in the 100m butterfly at the NZ Age Group Champs and was picked to represent NZ at the Australian State Champs in October.
Libby hopes to keep improving her times in the pool and one day represent New Zealand at the Olympic Games. She also hopes to perform on stage at London’s West End.
Swimming has not only given her the chance to be part of a team and be a role model for younger athletes, but has taught her discipline and how to manage her time, she says – good preparation for juggling Oliver rehearsals.
“Whenever I wasn’t rehearsing for the show, I tried to get my homework done and swimming was mostly before school, so it didn’t interfere with everything else.” At school she loves history, and appreciates teachers being flexible with her demanding schedule. “They support me even when I’m struggling with a topic and are very understanding when I miss school because of my sport and performing,” she said.
ACG Strathallan principal Danny O’Connor said Libby was a great role model for other students at the school and the fantastic year she was having reflected the hard work and dedication she had put in. So how did it feel for Libby to be named Counties Junior Swimmer of the Year?
“It felt amazing, trying so hard all year, and it finally paying off.”