University student Lauren Steadman has spoken of her joy after being selected to compete at the Paralympic Games.
Lauren, 19, who is studying Psychology at the University of Portsmouth, has been named in the British paralympic swimming squad for the London 2012 Games.
She said: “It feels so good to be selected. Representing your country is a priceless feeling but to represent your country at a home Olympics is even better. To have a home crowd cheering for British athletes will be amazing.
“It’s been a massive challenge this year to juggle my swimming career with studying, but the university has been very supportive and I’ve managed to successfully combine both.
“The next few months will involve really heavy training. I have a British Swimming training camp in Mallorca for two weeks, which should be good fun. I’m looking forward to getting some sunshine and getting to know the rest of the team. I’ve also got the nationals in July, which will be a good indicator of how my preparation for the 2012 Games is going.
“I’m so excited about the thought of the whole country supporting the Games, either at the stadium or watching it on television.”
Lauren was born without her arm below the elbow joint and began swimming at a very early age.
Paul Tilley, head of sport and recreation at the university, said: “We’re very proud of Lauren. She’s one of our Sports Scholars who is a real asset to the university and we’re looking forward to supporting her at the 2012 Games.”