Nine-year-old Nicole Turner from Portarlington was one of the stars of the show winning five gold medals at the recent DES National and UK Swimming Championships held in Sheffield in England.
The Cloneyhurke National School pupil was part of the six swimmer Irish squad ranging in ages from nine to fifteen which travelled over for the event. Nicole was selected for the Irish Junior Disability Swimming Squad back in January. The Irish team won 15 medals in total and of them Nicole won five gold medals.
Nicole achieved personal best times in all of her races knocking an incredible 11secs off her 50m freestyle.
The competition was held over two days and on the first day, Nicole competed in 50m breast stroke and her time was 1 minute 6 seconds. Her next race was the 100m freestyle and Nicole’s winning time was 1 minute 50 seconds. Her final race for this day was the 50m back stroke and Nicole won this in 1 minute flat.
On the Sunday, Nicole’s first race was the 100m backstroke and this was Nicole’s best race of the competition. She won this race in 2 minute 11seconds beating the person who took second place by a massive 12 seconds. The tears flowed after this race. Nicole completed the weekend with the 50m freestyle and achieved a great pb of 48.09 seconds.
Nicole’s mum and dad, Bernie and Jason and brothers Daniel and Ciaran are very proud of Nicole for what she has achieved in such a short space of time. Nicole was four years of age when she was taught to swim and at that point no one could have dreamed that she was a champion in the making.
A big huge thank from Nicole and her family you goes out to Piranha Swim Club of Portarlington and the coaches there especially Eimear Mathews who has made this all possible for Nicole.
Also the Irish Wheelchair Association have played a big part in Nicole’s training at the National Aquatic Centre in Dublin, and a big thank you must be given to Dave Malone, Hayley Burke and Auveen Wilson.
Nicole would also like to thank the Swimming Pool Committee of Portarlington Leisure Centre and Portarlington Credit Union Developemental Committe who support Nicole throughout the year with her swimming.