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I MANAGED to see a few of Sheffield’s bars over the New Year festive period but as you can imagine I wasn’t able to avoid talk of the London Olympics wherever I went.

I didn’t mind at all because it is a massive year for me but all evening my friends were saying: “It’s a big year coming up.” Of course it is and I made sure I didn’t push it too much on New Year’s Eve because I was training on January 2.

I am right back into it now and I am feeling good about what is going to be a hectic year. There is an event every month between now and the Games and so the time is going to fly by.

First up is the National Championships in a few weeks’ time and I am feeling really confident about it because myself and my partner Chris Mears had a great training camp pre Christmas.

We spent three weeks in Australia working on our new dive –four and a half somersaults – which I reckon only four of our rivals will perform at London 2012.

It is the sort of dive we need to take a risk on to give ourselves the best possible chance in London and the camp went really well.

There will be eight pairs in the Olympic final next year and our coach wanted to make sure we had that dive in our routine so that we can hopefully challenge for a medal. There were no big incidents where either of us got it wrong and we are feeling really good about getting it out at the nationals.

While they are important for us the most important thing in the early part of 2012 is the World Cup in Sheffield in February.

So the goal at the nationals is to keep building the confidence with the new dive ahead of the World Cup, the European Championships and then the Olympics.

Being out in Australia getting ready for what is going to be the most amazing year of my life was fantastic.

We spent a week in Sydney and it rained all the time but then we spent two weeks training in Adelaide and had a hotel right on the beach.

Part of our daily routine was spending an hour on the beach doing what the British do best and catching some rays – honestly, we were under orders.

Ahead of a cold winter in the UK the thinking is that an hour of sunlight every day will boost our immune system! There will be no sunbathing now though as I am back in full training up in Sheffield and getting ready for a big year.

To celebrate 15 years of support for British Swimming, Kellogg’s is offering a ‘Free Kids Swim’ on 30 million packs of cereal to encourage families to take the plunge together. Collect a voucher on pack and take it down to your local participating pool.

For more information, visit www.kelloggs.co.uk/freeswim