A TALENTED swimmer who has been making a splash in several national competitions has sparked a new contest within her family.
Ewloe Green Primary School pupil Katie Allen, eight, has seen off competition from across the country to win a haul of gold medals in the pool in recent months.
Sporting success and a competitive instinct are in the genes of the Allen family, as Katie’s brother Gareth is a Welsh international snooker player.
After her trailblazing success, the Connah’s Quay Swimming Club member has started up a competition with her sporting sibling.
Katie’s grandmother Tina Smith said: “She is competing with him to see who can get more trophies, and she wants her granddad to build a cabinet for her.
“It is just a friendly competition.There is an age gap between the two, but he encourages her and he went to watch her swim in Cardiff and she watches him practice.”
At the end of last month Katie, won two gold medals at the Urdd Primary Schools National Swimming Gala in Cardiff.
Representing Flintshire, she took home the top prize in the 25m freestyle and 25m butterfly events.
Tina said: “The whole family is very proud. I started taking her swimming when she was four or five months old and she was swimming well before she was three. She has always loved it.”
Tina said Katie – who is coached by Andy Griffiths at ASKA Swimming in Saltney – had improved dramatically in the last few months following a bronze medal win in last year’s Urdd competition.
In the Newport Christmas Cracker Swimming Pentathlon in December – another national competition – she won all five of her races to take gold for her age group.
In October she took part in the East Clwyd League Championships at Wrexham, winning all four races she was involved in and breaking four meet records and personal bests in the event.
Tina said although Katie was young, she had already expressed hopes to represent her country in the future.
She said: “She did a project at school and in it they asked what her aim was and she put to swim for Wales and to be picked for the Olympics when she’s older.
“She is going to a swim school with some of the Olympic coaches for a training session soon.”