The Kellogg’s ASA Swimtastic Awards 2011 Focus - Monday

With the countdown to the Kellogg’s ASA Swimtastic Awards 2011 well under way, we are going to take a closer look at the nominees for two awards each day.

Today’s spotlight is on the nominees for the Young Swimmer of the Year and the Disability Swimmer of the Year.

Young Swimmer of the Year

David Maxwell– 17 years old from Coventry, West Midlands

  • David is a talented swimmer who is on the England Talent programme. Unfortunately, 12 months ago his swimming career was in jeopardy after he was severely injured on his moped.
  • David’s Coach did not think he would ever be able to go back to swimming, as he was in such a bad state after the accident.
  • However, David’s grit and determination paid off and he made the nationals, achieving a massive PB in the final.
  • After missing eight weeks of school, he also managed to get good grades in his AS levels too.

Beth Hitchen– 13 years old from Middlewich, Cheshire

  • Beth has always enjoyed sport but a diagnosis of immune thrombocytopenic purpura at 11 years old forced her to stop.
  • Beth was allowed to continue swimming and threw herself into the sport, attending all sessions to reach her goal of achieving qualifying times for the Cheshire County Championships.
  • Last year, Beth’s platelet count reached an all-time low and she spent a large amount of time in hospital.
  • Despite this, she continued to train hard and qualified for four events in the 2011 Cheshire Championships.

Charlotte Blake– 10 years old from Peacehaven, East Sussex

  • Charlotte is a registered young carer for both her mum and her sister, yet she still manages to train five times a week.
  • Charlotte helps with household duties but she still gets up early in the morning to train and she cycles to school every day.
  • When Charlotte was in year one at school, she was asked to help the teacher with swimming lessons.
  • She now assists in school swimming lessons, helping the teacher to develop other swimmers.

Disability Swimmer of the Year

William George Martin– 10 years old from Rotherfield, East Sussex

  • Will started learning to swim three years ago and has now achieved his Stage 3 and 50m badge.
  • He has shown tremendous determination when learning to swim, as he suffers from the very rare condition myeloid leukaemia.
  • Will developed a serious bone marrow disease and having been given a 5% chance of survival he required a life saving operation which left him with significant restrictions to his mobility.
  • Although this impairs his day to day activity, Will’s courage and effort have shone through resulting in some great achievements in the pool.

Olivia Story– 7 years old from Carlisle, Cumbria

  • Olivia has been learning to swim since she was three years old and she has become a very confident swimmer.
  • Sadly, Olivia lost three limbs at the age of two due to meningococcal septicaemia.
  • Despite her disability, Olivia is a strong swimmer and it is her favourite sport as she is fully independent in the water.
  • Olivia doesn’t let her disability hold her back, she is very enthusiastic and loves learning new things in her swimming lessons.

Ryan White– 12 years old from Lutterworth, Leicestershire

  • Ryan loves to swim but unfortunately he chose to stop attending swimming lessons, as he felt he could not keep up with the other children as he suffers from the degenerative disease, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
  • Ryan was recently referred to Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People. He fell in love with the hydrotherapy pool and the colourful glass blocks in the wall of celebration, which people buy to support the hospice.
  • Ryan decided to challenge himself and swam half a mile in just under an hour, raising £1,721 for the Hospice.
  • Ryan bought one of the glass blocks, which reads ‘Me helping you for helping me, Ryan White, 2010.’

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