Ruta is Plymouth College’s golden girl!
Published: 31 July, 2012
The world is in awe after seeing Plymouth College pupil and top
swimmer, Ruta Meilutyte, 15, claim Olympic gold in the 100m
breaststroke last night. The Lithuania sensation was visibly
shocked to beat a world-class line up of experienced athletes.
With her times steadily improving since she came to Plymouth
three years ago, Ruta fully joined the Plymouth College/Plymouth
Leander elite swimming programme a year ago and has been slowly
making a name for herself on the international swimming circuit
But it was Sunday morning's Olympic heats that really made
everyone sit up and take notice when she knocked two seconds off
her PB to be the fastest qualifier for the semi-finals. An
even quicker time in the semis saw her break the European record
and claim a spot in the final. Despite the distraction of a
false start, Ruta stayed focussed and powered her way to Olympic
Ruta is part of the school's elite swimming programme, which
attracts the top young swimmers from around the world. The
school has its own 25-metre indoor pool but the recent opening of
Plymouth's £46m Life Centre just across the park means that the
swimmers can now train in a state-of-the-art 50-metre pool.
As well, a specialist boarding house at the school provides
specific welfare, dietary, academic and medical needs of the
athletes. The house has its own physio room and teaching
staff visit in the evening for additional academic support.
"It is still sinking in that Plymouth College has an
Olympic champion in Ruta!" said Plymouth College Headmaster, Dr
Simon Wormleighton. "We are so incredibly proud of her and the
euphoria felt cross the school community will be here for a very
long time. Ruta has now taken a very significant place in the
school's history. We are looking forward to seeing her swim
again in the freestyle alongside fellow pupils Jamila Lunkuse and
Jade Howard, as well as Tom Daley in the individual 10m platform
"To have four athletes from the same school competing in an
Olympics Games is absolutely phenomenal and we are taking pride in
the knowledge that Plymouth College has played a massive part in
helping these young athletes to achieve their dreams."
The school's reputation for mentoring and supporting top
athletes goes way beyond the swimming programme and it boasts a
60-strong elite athlete family of day and boarding pupils, which
includes modern pentathletes, fencers, rugby and basketball
players, as well Tom Daley and other divers.
The school does all it can to ensure its athletes can perform at
world level in the sports arena but at the same time achieve their
academic goals. It provides a unique environment that offers
top sports people like Ruta the flexibility and support to do well
But the elite athletes form just 12% of the school community and
the environment in which they thrive translates itself to all parts
of the school - it is very successful in economics and
business studies with the school winning 11 national competitions
in recent years and getting the top mark in the country at GCSE, A
Level and DipFS on a number of occasions in this subject.
Equally, performing arts takes centre stage with a thriving number
of music ensembles and school productions that would give a
professional theatre company a run for its money.
Enrichment is the fabric of life at Plymouth College with
something for everyone and the school makes the most of being in
such a beautiful part of the country with the moorland and coastal
landscapes of Devon and Cornwall close to hand. Its ethos is to
embrace individual talents and to encourage success and instil
confidence across a broad front.