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Inverness down syndrome swimmer aims to make big splash with Great Britain


By Alan Shields


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An 18-year-old from Inverness is making a splash after being called up to Down Syndrome Great Britain's Swim Team.

Matthew is aiming to take part in the DS GB swim team
Matthew is aiming to take part in the DS GB swim team

Matthew McCreadie has been creating waves as he racks up the necessary time in the pool to compete at an elite level.

On Sunday night Matthew competed in a freestyle qualification time trial and now hopes to travel to Portugal for the 10th Down Syndrome World Championships in October.

Although he missed out on making his time on the night, he still has a week to complete it.

Proud mum Susan (58) is delighted with her son's success.

She has taken Matthew swimming regularly since he was a young boy.

And he has tried his hand at many different sports over the years.

Now the Millburn Academy pupil, who is also part of Inverness Swimming Club, is looking to take on other rising swim stars with similar conditions in an even more competitive environment.

Susan said: “He works hard. He's a very determined character and that's paying off for him.

“He's a bit of a fighter is out Matthew.

“He is the only Scottish boy in the team which I think is great for Scotland and the Highlands.

“I took Matthew swimming when he was a baby because I love swimming. He's always been very sporty."

Matthew is aiming to take part in the DS GB swim team
Matthew is aiming to take part in the DS GB swim team

Matthew's prowess in the pool saw him invited for a trial for the GB Down Syndrome team in October in Monmouth, Wales.

And that led to another trip in January to Catterick and then Peterborough for training sessions.

Susan said: "Matthew just so happens to be very sporty. He's played tennis, football, gymnastics, he's played rubgy.

"He's got great hand eye coordination. Not everyone is the same."

Matthew is aiming to take part in the DS GB swim team
Matthew is aiming to take part in the DS GB swim team

And there's no quarter given due to any of the participants disabilities - Susan explained it is taken extremely seriously.

She said: “Disability swimming is very hard. It's very professional

“If you don't do the stroke correctly or make a mistake you do get disqualified.

“It's not easy on these kids.”

But she hopes that Matthew and others like him can be an inspiration for others in similar situations.

She said: "It shows that people with the condition can do these things.

"If Matthew helps another child with a disability succeed - and in may not be necessarily in sport - then that's great."


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