Swimming sisters set to take on the best

TWO swimming sisters are looking forward to taking on the best in the country after both qualifying for prestigious national swimming finals.

Ripon Grammar School student Nadine Wilson, 14, from Dishforth, qualified for four events: 100m and 200m butterfly, 200m backstroke and 400m individual medley.

Sister Christa, 19, who left RGS last year and is currently studying at Grand Canyon University in Arizona, flew from the States to compete for a place in her event, the 200m butterfly.

After all the curtailments of the pandemic, now that spectators are allowed again, their proud parents are particularly looking forward to the Swim England summer nationals, which will be held in Sheffield from August 5-9.

Nadine said: “After being deprived of the sport that we both love during the pandemic, to return to the pool, compete again and qualify for this amazing event is a huge achievement and one that we are very excited about. Swimming is a huge part of our lives which we thoroughly enjoy.”

Year 9 pupil Nadine, who took up the sport at a young age, juggles her studies with a punishing 14-hour-week training schedule with the Borough of Stockton Swim Scheme, which involves travelling more than 500 miles a week, in addition to competing in top level events throughout England and Scotland.

Christa, who won a sports scholarship to Grand Canyon University, has competed in numerous states across America during her freshman year, helping her Women’s Grand Canyon University Swim & Dive Team excel in prestigious western states competitions.

The girls’ mother, Kathryn, said: “As parents we continue to be extremely proud of both girls, academically and in their chosen sport.”

The National Summer Meet, where the girls will be competing as representatives of the Northumberland & Durham Performance Programme, is Swim England’s biggest domestic swimming event of the year, with those selected competing in events across different age groups.