Lowestoft disability swimming star shows off medal haul

Lowestoft disability swimmer Katie Nesbitt won three medals in Brazil in the Paralympic School Games

Lowestoft disability swimmer Katie Nesbitt won three medals in Brazil in the Paralympic School Games and was part of the relay 100mx4 team who got a British record. - Credit: Nick Butcher

She already has a string of medals to her name, and now disability swimmer Katie Nesbitt is making more room in the trophy cabinet.

The talented 16-year-old brought home three silvers from the Paralympic School Games in Brazil, rounding off a hugely successful year.

Katie, who lives on Redisham Close, competes in the S14 category for swimmers with intellectual disabilities and has been touted as one to watch for future Paralympic Games glory.

She will have a few days to relax over Christmas before going back to her gruelling training schedule with the City of Norwich Swimming Club to prepare for her next competition.

'I've got Christmas Day and Boxing Day off then it's back to training,' said Katie, who has her sights set on medals at the Paralympic Swimming World Championships in Glasgow next July.

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But despite her high hopes, Katie, who studies at New Eccles Hall School in Quidenham, never lets the competition get to her.

'I don't find the pressure too much,' she said. 'It just makes you work hard. You set yourself targets and achieve them.

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'I like my coaches and the team's great. I don't think I would ever choose to get up at 4am for training otherwise.

'My dream is to compete in the Paralympics. I'd like to win, but as long as I get a medal it's fine!'

Part of Katie's disability means she struggles with memory, which is where her parents Julie and Richard step in.

Proud mum Julie, 39, said: 'Brazil is the furthest she's ever been from home, not many kids get the opportunity to go to somewhere like that.

'But Katie does struggle with her memory, so we made her a box.'

Inside Katie's box are laminated flashcards to help her remember everything from what to pack when leaving a competition to what race she is swimming.

'She relies on the preparation cards,' said Mrs Nesbitt. 'Otherwise she wouldn't be able to compete. But everyone else at the competition uses her cards to remember what they need to pack too.

'There's never any nasty comments about what she can't do, if she needs support they're all there for her, and she helps them too.'

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