Lauren Goes For Glory

ANDREW McGILL andrew.mcgill@archant.co.uk A TEENAGER from Sawtry is on the verge of becoming one of the youngest ever swimmers to compete in Paralympics. Lauren Steadman, 15, is this week competing in trials to earn selection as part of the Great Britain

ANDREW McGILL

andrew.mcgill@archant.co.uk

A TEENAGER from Sawtry is on the verge of becoming one of the youngest ever swimmers to compete in Paralympics.

Lauren Steadman, 15, is this week competing in trials to earn selection as part of the Great Britain team to go to Beijing later this year.


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Lauren, who was born without her lower right arm, is due to compete in freestyle and backstroke events as she looks to earn a shock place in the GB squad.

Lauren's mum Sharon Steadman said: "Her original target was a place in the 2012 Paralympic swimming team but she has progressed so quickly that she has an outside chance of making the 2008 squad.

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"She is in great form at present and we are hoping that continues through the trials."

Held at Ponds Forge in Sheffield, the Paralympic trials began on Monday and continue until Sunday.

Last month Lauren warmed up for the trials in fine style when she picked up a host of medals and personal best times at the Disability Sport England Junior National Championships, also in Sheffield.

The Sawtry ace picked up four gold medals, six silver and was handed the U18 swimmer of the weekend award for her efforts.

Her gold medals came in the 50m and 100m butterfly, 50m back stroke and as part of the East of England relay team. She set seven personal bests and was also elected captain of the Eastern Region team.

Lauren has only been swimming competitively for two years and attends Kelly College in Devon, a specialist centre to help her development in the sport.

Liz Brew, part of the coaching staff at Kelly College, said: "Lauren has done fantastically well. She is determined and has already set so many records that we are very hopeful she will be able to qualify for the Paralympics."

Lauren, who was named BBC Cambridgeshire disabled sports personality in 2007, is a member of Huntingdon Piranhas Swimming Club and part of Mid Beds Swimming Squad.

INFORMATION: Follow Lauren's progress in Sheffield at www.britishswimming.org and look out for next week's Hunts Post to discover how she fared.

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