Louise Fiddes is only 17, but about to make her senior British debut after becoming the best performing female at the recent para-swimming World Series.
The teenager who is part of the European squad in August earned 4,041 points across the World Para-Swimming World Series, coming out almost 100 points ahead of her nearest competition, Canadian three-time Paralympic champion Aurelie Rivard.
And now the Hatfield-based S14 swimmer is hoping to build on this success as she heads into the World Para Swimming Allianz European Championships in Dublin in August.
Louise Fiddes said: “I’m really excited about being in the Europeans squad.
“Even though I got three A qualification times I didn’t think I would make the team, but it is so nice to see my name on that list with some really great swimmers.
“At Sheffield my 100m breaststroke event was my favourite as I got a PB by two seconds.”
It was this form that led Louise to top the table of women’s performances in the World Series and has given her confidence to go up against more experienced team mates at the Europeans.
She added: “I feel so honoured to be part of this team because I used to look at Bethy and Jessica and think I wanted to be like them, and now I’m racing against them!
“I would love to medal in the 100m breaststroke – ideally a PB and a medal!
“I’m also excited about being on a team with Ellie Simmonds. She has been so nice to me and given me some useful advice, like always take an extension cable away with me!”
And after Dublin the teenager’s mind is already thinking about the next challenge.
“Tokyo is definitely in my mind and the Europeans are a great step forwards towards it,” Louise commented.
Tracey McCillen, CEO UK Sports Association said “To see a young woman excel in her chosen sport is exactly what we need to see more of. Louise is becoming a role model for other young people. Louise is a world class athlete and is making her mark on the world of sport and in so many other ways. We need to see more young women in sport, aswell as more young people with learning disability in the spotlight. Good luck Louise and long may your success continue.”
The World Para Swimming Allianz European Championships will take place at the National Aquatic Centre in Dublin from August 13 to 19. More than 550 para-swimmers from 37 countries are set to take part.
It will be the first ever major international para sport event to take place in Ireland.
With thanks to British Swimming