Top award for dedicated young swimmer
A YOUNG swimmer from Yate has won a national award for her dedication to the sport.
Talented Jessica Swales, who turns ten today, was able to start celebrating early when she picked up first prize in the Disability Swimmer of The Year category at the Kellogg's Swimtastic Awards in Sheffield on Saturday.
The St John's Mead schoolgirl was presented with a trophy at a ceremony attended by the stars including Paralympics double gold medalist Ellie Simmonds.
Jessica, who has cystic fibrosis, has been an active member of Southwold Swimming Club for three years.
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She told The Post: "It felt brilliant to win the award and it was amazing to meet my heroes.
"I met Ellie Simmonds and it was amazing because I absolutely love watching her on TV. She let me hold her gold medal. It was incredible."
Jessica was nominated because of her courage and dedication to her sport, despite her condition imposing a strict routine which includes taking up to 25 tablets a day.
Jessica's mum, Louise, who nominated her for the award, said: "Jessica has such strong will power to overcome the hurdles she faces every day suffering from cystic fibrosis.
"She a real inspiration and hopefully her story will show others who have the same condition that swimming is an excellent way to stay strong and active."
The Mohamed family from Horfield came second at the awards after being nominated in the Family of The Year category. Mohamed and Nura and children Zakaria, 14; twins Yaxya and Xamza, 13; and Hamdi, five, picked up their award on Saturday too. Devoted parents Mohamed and Nura are committed to keeping their children swimming – even though lessons alone cost more than £1,000 a year.
The awards were organised by the National Swimming Association.