SWIMMING: Wisbech para-swimming star Anya Falkus hoping to make a splash at School Games National Finals
PUBLISHED: 10:18 21 August 2017 | UPDATED: 10:18 21 August 2017
A para-swimmer from Wisbech has been selected to be part of the swimming squad for the 2017 School Games National Finals.
Anya Falkus, who swims for Wisbech Swimming Club, will compete for the England East squad against over 1,500 other young talents over four days from August 31.
The 15-year-old will travel to the Loughborough University-based tournament as one of the favourites, having clocked a personal best time of 32 seconds in the 50m freestyle and being ranked second in the UK for the 100m butterfly.
Anya, who goes to Marshland High School, will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of some of Britain’s biggest sporting stars who have competed at the School Games before going on to senior international success.
Previous competitors include Paralympic champions Hannah Cockroft, Ellie Simmonds, Olympic champion Adam Peaty, heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson, GB sprinter Adam Gemili and fellow Fenland star, Jonnie Peacock.
The School Games are the springboard for future athletes; 56 of the 382 athletes representing Team GB at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio competed at the School Games.
At the event Anya will experience the excitement of competing at the highest level. She will live in a dedicated Athletes’ Village on the Loughborough University campus, take part in an opening ceremony and perform in front of huge crowds.
“During the London 2012 Olympics I was able to meet and train with some of the Paralympic swimmers,” she said.
“If I hadn’t have lost my eyesight I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to compete in a huge sporting event like the Paralympics one day.”
Ali Oliver, chief executive officer of the Youth Sport Trust, said: “The School Games National Finals provide a great opportunity for talented young athletes like Anya.
“Competitors get a real taste of what it’s like to be part of a world-class sporting event at the amazing sporting venues of Loughborough University, and the event is a great way to see our future sporting champions in action today.”