Tigersharks head coach Lesley Leffers, says that the effect of welcoming back Jazz Carlin to her team cannot be understated.
The World, Commonwealth and European medallist returned the pool that she was taught to swim in on Saturday to take part in the Wiltshire Winter league final for Tigersharks, as part of a team event, in which the West Swindon club finished third.
Carlin broke the 200m freestyle Welsh record in Marseille earlier in the month, a day before winning the 400m in 4:05.56, putting her third in the world rankings.
But despite her lofty ambitions, especially with the Commonwealth Games on the horizon, Leffers says that Carlin never forgets where she came from.
“She comes back in amongst us as though she’s never left really, she’s fabulous with the young kids.
“The children love seeing her too. Jazz is a very genuine and nice young lady, she’s laid back, very kind and she puts herself out for us as a club. She never forgets where she started and that’s very important.”
Carlin, now based in Swansea, came back to swim in races far shorter than her specialisms, but Leffers thinks that events like these can help Carlin to continue to enjoy swimming, away from the pressure of international competition.
“She’s under a lot of pressure at the level she competes at, because she does the more arduous events, the 400, 800 and 1500 metre front crawl.
“To come and do a couple of 50m sprints is a bit of fun for her, which she doesn’t get to do so much as part of her programme.”
As well as her performance in the water, Leffers also says that her mere presence is a boost to all those involved at Tighersharks.
“It’s a boost mentally, just to have her back and in the room. She is fabulous with the younger kids, she really is very very good. Again, sprinting is not her thing and sprinting breast or back, as she did on Saturday, is definitely not her thing, but she doesn’t care.
“She comes back in amongst us as though she’s never left really, she’s fabulous with the young kids.”
Leffers hopes that, the relationship between the club and one of their brightest stars, will remain.
She added: “The children love seeing her. Jazz is a very genuine and nice young lady, she’s laid back, very kind and she puts herself out for us as a club.
“When she wins medals at big competitions, she comes back, spends time with the youngsters and will coach the younger ones now and again.
“She’s a very nice young lady and is a credit to her mum and dad and the club.”