THIS is the face of one of the brightest young swimming talents in the country. Thirteen-year-old Sophie Sweet, from St Ives, has been collecting medals for fun since she was eight and tore through the field at a local club meeting at Wisbech last weekend

Sophie in action in the pool

THIS is the face of one of the brightest young swimming talents in the country.

Thirteen-year-old Sophie Sweet, from St Ives, has been collecting medals for fun since she was eight and tore through the field at a local club meeting at Wisbech last weekend.

The young prodigy took part in an incredible nine events, winning her four solo disciplines with ease and helping her St Ives Swimming Club team mates secure enough relay points to win the event.

Her coach Clive Tuke said: "Sophie is undoubtedly a fantastic talent and local swimming is now really too easy for her and she is looking more and more to the national stage."

Sophie was so dominant in her events she left the opposition swimmers trailing and even slowed down to disguise the ease of her victory.

Sophie, who attends the St Ivo School, currently holds the Cambridgeshire record times for the 100m backstroke, 200m backstroke, 100m breaststroke, 200m breaststroke and 100m freestyle disciplines.

She also holds the fourth fastest time in the entire country for the 100m backstroke and claimed a bronze medal in the event at the recent National Championships held in Sheffield.

Sophie's coach continued: "Sophie is a wonderful talent with a great attitude and fantastic potential.

"Her performance at Sheffield was extraordinary given that she was both younger than her competitors and had been training only a quarter of the hours.

"We are a relatively small club compared to others and for Sophie to be competing so strongly against bigger clubs is superb.

"She is such a talent she must have an eye on the 2012 Olympic Games in London."

Despite her success, Sophie is entirely reliant on her family and coaches to support her financially through her training and competitions.

Sophie's Mum Emma said: "The financial and time costs involved in supporting Sophie's swimming are astronomical. I've taken on overtime and extra shifts to help out.

"We all support her as a family, especially her Grandad Chris who is fantastic, but the cost does run into thousands and we can't afford to take holidays because of the time Sophie devotes to swimming.

"Swimming is her life and we will always support her but we hope her great potential and ability will attract a sponsor that can help meet the costs.

"We'd be delighted and very grateful to hear from any individual or business that might be interested."

INFORMATION: If you are interested in sponsoring Sophie, contact Emma on 01480 461849.