Lauren Steadman has announced herself as a Portsmouth Northsea trailblazer following her Paralympic selection.
Steadman has been hailed as a model to the club’s aspiring talent after her call-up for the Games at the end of August.
But there was frustration for her Northsea team-mate Amberley Hoar who has missed out on a spot in London, despite her hurtling progress.
Steadman’s move to Portsmouth Northsea has paid off in emphatic style as she delivered personal-best times on the way to earning her Paralympic berth.
Head coach Paul Hogg believes the 19-year-old’s attitude is a lesson to all others at the club.
Steadman has refused to let being born without a right arm beneath her elbow joint hold back her progress.
And that determination is a lesson to everyone at Northsea and beyond, according to Hogg, following confirmation of her spot in Team GB for the eagerly-anticipated home Games..
He said: ‘Lauren’s selection is great news.
‘It’s the first part of the job done – and now we just need to prepare for London.
‘Lauren was nominated last month but she received her official confirmation last Tuesday.
‘It’s worked out well for her.
‘Lauren has gone to trials and swam best times. It’s proved enough to get her on the team.
‘At the moment she is ranked fourth in the world at 400m freestyle – but that isn’t the event she’s been selected for.
‘The 100m is her focus at the moment.
‘The relay team Britain has are really good.
‘They are European record holders and are in with a really good shout.
‘She’s very driven and very focused but not too intense.
‘She has her moments, though, and enjoys her swimming.
‘Lauren goes out to schools for talks and also to big companies.
‘She makes light of her disability and jokes around a lot.
‘It’s good for younger children to see the way Lauren works.
‘You don’t see her moaning about having one arm and she doesn’t make excuses. She gets on with it.’
Meanwhile, Hogg has backed Hoar to bounce back from the disappointment of not being selected for the GB Paralympic team.
Hoar has seen her time in the 100m breaststroke, where she ranked British number one, come crashing down.
She has the consolation of international competition in Germany to look forward to – as well as being made part of the diamond group squad, who are earmarked for selection at the next Paralympics.
Hogg said: ‘I’m gutted for Amberley.
‘She has been selected for the German international.
‘She was six seconds off the qualifying time at the start of the season – and missed it by 0.2sec.
‘Amberley is British number one and ranked sixth in the world, but she hasn’t been taken.
‘She has made massive drops this season, was British number two and is now well ahead as British number one.
‘Amberley is upset but hasn’t spat her dummy out and has just said: “Now I have to go for Rio (in 2016)”.
‘It would have been easy for her to pack it in but her attitude has been excellent.’