Homeschool Swimming Athlete
Dylan Arzoni, a homeschool swimming athlete, is an inspirational example of how Wolsey Hall students are utilising the flexibility of homeschooling to successfully pursue their passions.
In addition to being enrolled in IGCSE English Language, Maths, and French, Dylan is also an extremely talented young swimmer. Last year he and his family made a big move to the USA in order to allow Dylan to train with the North Baltimore Aquatics Club’s High Performance squad, which has produced a number of Olympic swimmers, including Michael Phelps.
Dylan continues to keep up with his studies whilst training up to 20 hours a week in pursuit of his dream to someday represent Great Britain in the Olympics. Here, his mother gives us some insight into Dylan’s busy schedule and bright future:
Dylan began swimming competitively at the age of nine. It quickly became apparent that he both loved swimming and had some talent. Between nine and ten years of age he was winning most of his events and making a name for himself at county and regional level in Lancashire.
At the age of ten he changed swimming clubs, from Oldham Seals to Stockport Metro – one of the most successful British swimming programs. At 11 years of age Dylan qualified for the British Age Group Nationals and went on to win his first British Age Group Nationals gold medal. Over the next two years he continued to qualify for the British Age Group Nationals and won a further eight medals.
A big move and a big dream
In January 2013, at the age of 12, Dylan was invited to Baltimore, USA by Bob Bowman, USA Olympic coach and Michael Phelps’ long-term coach. In April 2013 Dylan and his father Steve spent a week in Baltimore looking at the swimming program at NBAC (North Baltimore Aquatics Club). During the week of training in Baltimore Bob Bowman offered Dylan a long-term place in NBAC’s High Performance squad. This was such a huge opportunity that Dylan and his family made the decision to accept the invitation and moved to Baltimore, USA in September 2013.
On 26th September 2013, Dylan started training at NBAC. Currently NBAC’s High Performance squad includes multi Olympic gold medalists Michael Phelps, Yannick Agnel, and Allison Schmitt plus many other of the world’s leading swimmers. Dylan’s goal is to one day represent Great Britain in the Olympics and the World Championships.
Homeschool Swimming Athlete
Dylan has adjusted incredibly well and is loving his time in the USA. He trains six days per week (usually around 20 hours per week, combining pool training with land training). On a typical day Dylan wakes up at 8.30AM and starts his studies at 9.30AM. At 2.30PM Monday to Friday Dylan starts getting his kit ready to go to training. He usually arrives at the pool at 3.15PM and trains until 6.15PM.
Home studying enables Dylan to focus more quality, undisturbed time on the subjects that he has chosen. It also gives him the vital flexibility he needs to fit around his training commitments. He is less tired than he was when he went to school and because he can work more intensively during the day, it means he doesn’t have to stay up late at night completing homework. If he is tired after a swimming competition or early morning training session, he can take a break from studying to have an afternoon sleep.
Being a homeschool swimming athlete has allowed Dylan the flexibility to succeed in his chosen sport. The fact that he can work at his own pace is also a huge benefit to Dylan, who generally gets through work fairly quickly.
The plan is for Dylan to work through his IGCSEs a few subjects a time, to ‘tick’ them off as he goes, rather than take all the exams in one year. He is able to use a school in Virginia as his exam centre as an independent student.