University of Stirling students, Toni Shaw and Ollie Carter, will be Stirling’s latest athletes to compete on the world stage after being selected to represent Britain at the Para Swimming World Championships in Madeira this summer.
Having delivered qualification times at the Para Swimming World Series event in Aberdeen to earn selection by British Swimming, the duo then underlined their credentials with strong performances at the recent Edinburgh International Swim Meet.
Current world champion and Olympic medallist, Shaw, joined the University of Stirling high performance programme after a brilliant personal performance in Tokyo, where she won Paralympic bronze in the S9 400m freestyle. This will be her second Para Swimming World Championships, having made a stunning six-medal debut in 2019, and the Business Studies student is looking forward to her first major appearance as a Stirling athlete.
She said: “It’s super special. Getting chosen for a big team is something that you’re really proud of and it’s what you train for and work towards and it’s my first major competition training with Stirling so I’m super excited.”
“It’s so nice when we all come together and race as a team and do relays and I’m really looking forward to that.”
After developing over the past few years, it’s a thoroughly well-deserved call-up for Sports Studies student Carter, who will be heading to Madeira for his first World Championships with the senior British team.
He said: “I am ecstatic about it. I’m so happy. I’ve only started just to come down from this life high that I seemed to have been on for the past two weeks where I’ve just been smiling all the time and had so much more energy. Just cause I’m so happy to be finally living out the dream as it were.
“It’s my first time swimming with British Swimming and the team, let alone working with the coaches, so it’ll be really good exposure just to finally get that opportunity and make the most of it. And then obviously I’ll show the world what I can do.”
The pair are working under the wing of University of Stirling High Performance Swim Coach, Josh Williamson, who is confident they can make their mark in Madeira. He said: "It's great news for Ollie and Toni and I'm delighted their hard work and commitment has been recognised at the top level.
"Toni has been a brilliant addition to squad. Having athletes of that calibre brings an energy to the group and it's exciting to see what she will produce out in Madeira.
"Ollie has been knocking on the door for a while now so this will be a brilliant opportunity for him to test himself against the very best in an environment that we know he'll thrive in."
Shaw and Carter are part of the University’s high performance swimming programme which helps support students to combine their studies with training and competing at the highest level of sport.
The Madeira 2022 Para Swimming World Championships will take place from 12-18 June 2022.