Lauren Heads For Paralympics

A TEENAGE swimming sensation from Sawtry is celebrating a call up to the biggest disability sports event in the world. Lauren Steadman, just 15, has been named in the Great Britain squad for the Paralympic Games in Beijing later this year. Lauren, who swi

A TEENAGE swimming sensation from Sawtry is celebrating a call up to the biggest disability sports event in the world.

Lauren Steadman, just 15, has been named in the Great Britain squad for the Paralympic Games in Beijing later this year.

Lauren, who swims for Huntingdon Piranhas, was born without her lower right arm but did not let that stop her recording the necessary qualifying times at selection trials last month.

The nominations have been made by British Swimming and, when ratified by ParalympicsGB this week, will see Lauren jetting to China in September.


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John Richards, head coach at the Piranhas, said: "This is just reward for all her hard work, her dedication to swimming and her success at regional, national and international level over the last year.

"Lauren's outstanding swimming ability was very evident from the minute she joined the Piranhas in 2005.

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"She is proficient in all four strokes but it is her freestyle ability that has really impressed the selectors."

Lauren attends the specialist Kelly College facility in Devon where she receives expert training to help her development in the sport.

Proud mum Sharon said: "With John's help Lauren has really improved her swimming techniques and we will always be grateful to the Piranhas for giving her such a good start in competitive swimming."

Richards added: "Lauren is an extraordinarily dedicated swimmer and we originally had high hopes for the 2012 Paralympics but her success this year has changed things," Richards said.

"She picked up a 10-medal haul at the DSE Junior National Swimming Championships and won title of under-18 swimmer of the weekend, has made 2008 a reality. We are so proud of her success."

Last year was a pivotal year for Steadman, which saw her win the Kelly College scholarship and accepted onto the British Swimming World Class Athletics Development programme - plus a call-up to the GB squad.

"Lauren has not forgotten her swimming routes and we are delighted that she comes back to train with the Piranhas during her school holidays," said Richards.

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