2016 has been a real breakthrough year for Bell Baxter HS teenager Oliver Carter from Carnegie Swimming Club. Throughout the year the young Disability Sport Fife member has swum well in major Championships north and south of the Border and he finished off the year in spectacular fashion. At the East District Championships at the end of November he set a new Scottish Record for 400m freestyle in the S10 class of 04:29.38. The previous record was held by five times Paralympian Paul Noble MBE and set back in 1994. In all his five Paralympic Games Paul was a medalist in the S10 class, confirming the significance and quality of the performance of young Oliver from North East Fife.
In mid December at the National Para – Swimming Championships in Manchester, Oliver continued his run of form with four personal best performance swims, three silver medals and one gold medal. Oliver won silver and broke the Scottish Record for 100m freestyle in the S10 class, previously held by Robert Dalgleish. Most significantly Oliver became the first Scot in the S10 class to swim under one minute for 100m freestyle when he recorded 59.25. Oliver’s gold medal swim came in the 200m IM with a time of 2:31.95. His weekend was rounded off with silver medals in 100m butterfly (1:11.52) and 400m freestyle (4:37.29).
Cara Smyth from INCAS and Dalgety Bay also competed in the S10 class and returned from Manchester with silver and bronze medals and two fourth place finishes. Cara similarly has had an impressive swimming year under the guidance of coach Garrie Roberts and there is a strong feeling in Fife that the best is yet to come from this Fife youngster. Cara won silver for 100m breaststroke in 1:43.06 and bronze for 400m freestyle in 5:30.87. Cara’a 4th place finishes were 200m IM (3:07.75) and 100m butterfly (1:34.41).
Steven McCormick from FINS also had a successful Championships setting three personal best performances in 100m freestyle (1:21.16), 100m backstroke (1:38.01) and 400m freestyle (5:30.87). Steven’s final swim was in 50m freestyle where he recorded (36.90). By a long way Steven’s best British Championships to date.
Cameron Hemphill from Ladybank was competing in the youngest age group in his first Long Course British Championships and set three personal best times. 100m breaststroke (2:54.40), 50m freestyle (49.37) and 100m backstroke 2:29.75. Cameron recently switched from Cupar and District SC to INCAS to access more training sessions and within a short period of time the benefits of the move are obvious. Another young Fife swimmer where the best is yet to come.
Richard Brickley MBE
President, Disability Sport Fife