A HIGH school swimmer has been selected to represent the UK at the Deaflympic Games in Bulgaria.
Emily Noden, 16, of Holywell, learned to swim when she was a baby and was swimming competitively by the age of seven.
She made the finals in all her events in the European Deaf Championships in Germany in 2010 aged 13 and last year competed in the World Deaf Championships in Portugal.
Emily, a pupil at Queen’s School, Chester, made the qualifying time for the Deaflympic Games and is now stepping up her training programme.
She said: “When I made the qualifying time in Sheffield in November and the coach called me over to let me know I had been selected, I was really happy because I felt my dream had come true.
“This could be the peak of my swimming career as I’ll have to focus fully on school work next year, so I’m going to make the most of this opportunity.”
The Deaflympic Games takes place in July and August but Emily, who hopes to work in medicine, must juggle her gruelling weekly training sessions with revision for her GCSEs.
Hearing loss affects how quickly swimmers learn and develop their technique but British deaf athletes do not receive any government funding so Emily must raise £2,625 herself to attend the games.
This covers her own stay as well as a proportion to cover the cost of two officials to accompany the team.
Emily is fundraising for donations towards the cost of her attendance and anyone who can help should contact the school for details.