As a child learning to swim, Jo loved achieving badges and certificates. Her older sister, Nicola, always had more and she wanted to beat her. Nicola turned professional and swam in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, and Jo followed in her footsteps.

Jo was born in North Yorkshire and attended Richmond School. She has had an illustrious swimming career, having completed at three Olympic Games: Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012. At the first of these, she was just 17 years old, and from this point on, she quickly established herself as a major force in international swimming. At the most recent of these, she finished seventh in her 400m freestyle heat in a time of 4:11:50 and was also part of the British team that finished in fifth place in the 4x200m freestyle relay.

She has had much international success over the course of her career, winning silver, bronze and gold medals for performances in various major competitions like the Commonwealth Games and the European Championships.

One of her standout achievements amongst these many medal wins was a silver medal in the 2006 Commonwealth Games for the 400m freestyle events. She then won an Olympic bronze medal two years later in Beijing, and then in 2009 she set a new world record in the 400m freestyle (long course) in a time of 4:00:66, beating her British rival and reigning Olympic gold medallist Rebecca Adlington in the process!

Another highlight of 2009 for Jo was winning silver in the 400 metre freestyle at the 2009 World Aquatics Championships, where she again finished ahead of Rebecca Adlington. She then went on to claim a bronze medal in the 4×200 m freestyle relay and a silver medal in the 800 m freestyle – the most medals that any British swimmer has ever won in a single world championships!

Giving back to sport:

Joanne says that her two biggest influences are Nicola and her coach Dave McNutty. She wants to be a positive influence on others and looks forward to working with us. She also says she would consider joining the police force after retiring from swimming, which she would enjoy and which would enable her to give back to the community.

Joanne has delivered a number of courses and programmes as an athlete mentor for the Trust.

Competitive record

Olympic Games

2008 Beijing – 400m freestyle – Bronze


World Championships – Long Course

2009 Rome – 800m freestyle – Silver

2009 Rome – 400m freestyle – Silver

2009 Rome – 4x200m freestyle – Bronze


World Championships – Short Course

2008 Manchester – 4x200m freestyle –Silver

2008 Manchester – 400m freestyle – Bronze


European Championships – Long Course

2010 Budapest – 4x100m freestyle – Silver

2008 Eindhoven – 4x200m freestyle – Silver

2006 Budapest – 400m freestyle – Silver

2010 Budapest – 4x200m freestyle – Bronze


European Championships – Short Course

2003 Dublin – 400m freestyle – Gold

2005 Trieste – 400m freestyle – Silver

2006 Helsinki – 400m freestyle – Bronze


Commonwealth Games

2006 Melbourne – 400m freestyle – Silver

2006 Melbourne – 4x200m freestyle – Silver

2010 Delhi – 4x200m freestyle – Bronze