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Young swimmers excel at National Junior Para-Swimming Champs

Over the weekend, more than 100 young swimmers from across the country competed at the National Junior Para-Swimming Championships hosted by EFDS and Swim England.

Alice Tai, who won gold and silver at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, was there to cheer on the athletes.

During the course of the two day competition, swimmers aged between 10 and 18 years old competed in the short course event. Many medals were won across various events and personal bests were beat.

Colchester’s Ellie Challis broke a British record in the SB2 50m Breaststroke event.

She said: “I feel really good about beating my own British record. However, my biggest achievement was knocking 10 seconds off my personal best in the 50m Backstroke.”


Just enjoy it

Paralympic medallist Tai said: “It’s really nice being back here at the Quays in Southampton. I remember having my first ever meet here back in 2010. It was the very start of my journey.

“To be able to host events like the National Junior Para-Swimming Championships with so many young para-swimmers is really important. It makes everyone realise there is a community within para-swimming and these young swimming hopefuls are experiencing their first steps into that.

“My advice to these swimmers would be to just enjoy it because nobody can take that away from you.”

It gives me a chance to show what I can do

Ellen Stephenson, one of the competitors from the weekend said: “My Saturday afternoon swimming went much better than the morning as I wasn’t using all my power but overall I’m happy with my performance. I came away with four S14 group bronze medals and two personal bests.

“It’s really important to come to events like this one as it gives me a chance to show what I can do. I’ve also really enjoyed meeting other people. It was really good meeting Alice Tai. She gave me some really good advice and encouragement.”