'The Golden Couple'

Sascha Kindred and Nyree Lewis, otherwise known as the 'golden couple' of disabled sport, are two of Great Britain's most successful paralympians of the last decade, amassing 20 Paralympic medals between them including an amazing 8 golds. I am the brother of Sascha and am tracking their progress from Athens 2004 to London 2012. Read about their journey to Paralympic Glory here!

Sunday, January 14, 2007


Hello there and a happy New Year to you all! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year and have not broken too many of your New Year resolutions already!

Apologies for not writing until now but as you can imagine it’s been a pretty hectic festive period with lots going on as well as being a busy start to the year at work again. Although busy, it’s been surprisingly much easier to settle back into work than I thought it would be which is good. I think much of that is down to setting a couple of new years resolutions myself which I’m currently still sticking too (although early days yet!) and the thought of so much that is ahead for 2007.

So much, that this weekend I went down to my mothers as I’m not sure when I will next get the chance in the coming months. Sascha and Nyree were also there as they were flying off to Macau in China on Saturday for a three week training course with the British Paralympic Association. It was lovely to see them just before they flew off again and I managed to ask them a few questions about the trip and also their time off at Christmas:

How was your Christmas?

N: Absolutely lovely! We didn’t have to get up at 6am or swim 4000km every day! (laughs).

S: Yeah, it was great to be able to relax as we have trained so hard throughout the year as all the team do. Just before Christmas we took a holiday to Las Vegas as we’d been meaning to go back there. That was great and Beatrice (Mine and Sascha’s mother) was able to join us out there too, along with you (Timo), and Beatrice’s friend. We all didn’t have very much money, but we had a great time there anyway.

N: Following that Timo joined us for a couple of days in Hereford and we enjoyed a Christmas meal out with Emma (coach) and some other people we’ve met since moving to Hereford. After that, my family came to stay for a few days and then after they left we just enjoyed a bit of piece and quiet before returning to training on January 3rd.

What was that like? You must have struggled a bit at first?:

S: Yes, we always do but it doesn’t take us long to get back into the swing of things. It was incredibly hard to get up on that first day though!

What tends to be the training routine after some time off? Does the coach start you off gently or is there no sympathy if you eat too much turkey and chocolate!?:

N: No, luckily our coach is good and began gently with the aim to get our fitness back up first. Of course when I say gently, it’s still pretty hard compared to an extra three hours in bed!

And what are your times like at the moment?:

(Both Sascha and Nyree laugh)

S: It’s been three week’s sine we swam. I’m sure our rivals would want to fast forward to Beijing now as we’d struggle to win a medal! Of course that will improve though. It usually takes us about 2 - 3 weeks to get back into shape so we will be swimming as normal again in Macau.

Speaking of Macau, when are you flying out and what is it in aid of?

S: The British Paralympic Association have picked eight swimmers to fly out to Macau in China who are most likely at this point to go to Beijing in 2008. It will give us all an idea of what to expect in Beijing when we go there next year, giving us a chance to get a feel for our surroundings, the water, the temperature, etc.

How long do you go for?:

S: We head out on the 13th of January and return on February 5th.

N: Yes, it is just the swimming team for the first week, and then for the last two weeks the BPA will send out athletes from other sports too.

So whom are the other eight and how well do you know them?:

N: The others going are Matt Walker, Natalie Jones, Liz Johnson, Emma Cattle, Claire Cashmore and Rob Welbourn. It’s a great mix of experience and youth and we all get on superbly as we’ve all been away together before and always support one another.

This may sound like a stupid question, but why now? Why not just before Beijing?:

S: Well, we will be having a holding camp in exactly the same place for a couple of weeks running up to Beijing 2008 so it’s more to do with getting a feel for the place now. The earlier we prepare, the better prepared we’ll be.
Timo: When you return, when will be your next competition?:

N: We have the British Nationals in March and then the World Cup in May. As we’re now just over a year away from Beijing 2008, these events will be very important and we won’t want to let our rivals get the better of us at all. It’s important to remain focused, continue getting good times, and to keep winning.

Timo: Is there anything else coming up?:

S: Well, we have athlete and coach reviews in February which is where our director, Tim Reddish and head coach Lars discuss the last year with us and our daily coach Emma Patrick. It will also be a good chance to talk about 2007 and our goals and it will be very important as we have to show UK Sport that we are still doing the work to warrant the Lottery funding that we receive.

N: Yes, and we also have the Hereford Council Sports Awards in February too. We haven’t been to them yet as we only moved to Hereford last year so it will be interesting to see what they are like.

Well, good luck in Macau and see you when you get back!

Sascha and Nyree will be sending updates from their training and stay in Macau soon. Watch this space!


  • At 9:18 PM, Blogger Zoe said…

    Hi Sascha and Nyree

    Glad to hear that you had a good christmas and new year, so did I even if I got back in the pool on new year's day. (it was my choice!!) As I thought the chances were that it would be quiet so I would be able to get my head down and do a good hard session! (which it was, quiet!!) I hope that you enjoy your training camp in China.

    Zoe Cain


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