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Paralympic swim hopeful gets backing

PUBLISHED: 10:10 07 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:42 30 June 2010

A YOUNG swimmer with hopes of competing in the Paralympics has taken another step towards achieving her dreams.

After just three years of swimming, Jessica Jane Applegate, 13, has been signed onto a programme geared towards pushing those talented few with real Olympic prospects after shining at recent swims.

A YOUNG swimmer with hopes of competing in the Paralympics has taken another step towards achieving her dreams.

After just three years of swimming, Jessica Jane Applegate, 13, has been signed onto a programme geared towards pushing those talented few with real Olympic prospects after shining at recent swims.

However, the prospects of the Gorleston girl and Oriel High School pupil, who has a range of conditions including autism, learning difficulties and dyslexia, are dependent upon her getting the funding she needs to compete.

Jessica, who trains with her coach Andy Walker at Lowestoft and Oulton Broad Swimming Club, was backed by mother Dawn, who expressed her pride and gratitude to people like local businessman Spencer McCormack.

She said: “He generously funded this event for Jessica and has given Jessica free use of Bwells gym and a personal trainer to help her on her way to the top.”

Jessica has also been helped on her journey by donations, including £2,012 raised by Caister Golf Club earlier this year.

The money will now help her take part in the unfunded scheme, called the ASA East Region Talent Programme, which requires regular trips to national swims that often cost up to £500 each.

Dawn, 36, added: “It's great she's got on the talent programme, and if she does well over the next year she could move onto the international programme and the British swimming team.”

“However, we could always do with funding her dream in any way possible; I just think she's a local girl and it's nice to support someone who can focus and excel in something like this.”

Jessica was spotted for the programme after breaking four regional records in a Sheffield competition last month, which involved swimmers from as far away as Brazil and New Zealand.

Those interested in helping Jessica can email john.owens@archant.co.uk .


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