Middlesbrough born swimmer Aimee Willmott is looking forward to the opportunity of being one the athlete representatives on the Commonwealth Games England board, ahead of a home games in Birmingham in 2022.

But before that Willmott is set for one last hurrah before she retires from the sport after the Tokyo Olympics.

“Obviously the Olympics were supposed to go ahead this year and I would have a two-year run in for the Commonwealth Games.” Wilmott said. “But I am really excited to give my thoughts and perspectives and hopefully make this home games from an athlete perspective the most enjoyable and successful home games that we can.”

One of these early leadership roles Willmott has been involved in was being part of the virtual athlete kit panel, where 23 athletes from 17 of the 19 Commonwealth Sports took part in the first discussions for the 2022 kit. This was on the back of the announcement that Kukri would be kit suppliers for Team England for the third consecutive Commonwealth cycle after Glasgow 2014 and Gold Coast 2018.

She added: “As an athlete you are excited to qualify for a team and then the next exciting part is getting the kit.

“To be involved in that process is a really nice moment and to have a little bit of input into the design and feel of Team England as a whole is really special process to be involved in. It is also key to have these discussions as something that you wouldn’t think as a designer in terms of practicality, of competition kit means it’s great to have 20 different athletes inputting.”

Before Tokyo and Birmingham, Willmott will have to first focus on getting back into the pool and recommencing training since the Covid-19 pandemic shut down all swimming training facilities.

She admitted: “You can’t replicate any skills or drills outside of the pool and you can’t really swim in the bathtub. Even the flow pools that some swimmers have got access to just aren’t the same.

“A lot of it is down to the feel of the water which is hard to pick up when you get back in the pool initially as a swimmer rather than the endurance.

“How you move your hands through the water and your body position is a unique skill and part of the sport, which you lose quite quick when you are not in the pool.”

To follow the fortunes of Team England athletes in the lead up to Birmingham 2022 visit www.teamengland.org