Gala star beats injury to dive into US school

Kirsty Paterson is getting her swimming career back on track and hopes to make a splash in the US.
Kirsty Paterson is getting her swimming career back on track and hopes to make a splash in the US.
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JUST months after a poolside accident threatened her promising career, Galashiels swimmer Kirsty Paterson is striving to gain a scholarship in the United States.

The scholarship, at Western Illinois University, has been accepted and she is just waiting on the final word.

That seemed a long way off when she slipped on a Turkish holiday and broke her right ankle.

But Kirsty (18), who swims at the Borders Sport and Leisure Centre’s pool at Galashiels, put that demoralising accident behind her as she started to rebuild her future.

“I was devastated when it happened,” said the breaststroke and butterfly flier.

She bounced back with qualifying times in the Scottish and East District Championships and eventually reached the British time.

And Kirsty had a major word of thanks for the Galashiels pool duty supervisor, David Scullion, who lifted her depressed spirits and devised a painstaking rehabilitation programme.

Kirsty admitted that her career could have sunk without David’s driving force.

“He was fantastic after I returned from being out of action for two-and-a-half months,” added Kirsty.

“It was hard to get used to the water again and I admit that I was still low at the time. But David has been an inspiration and has devoted hours to my progress.”

She has trained hard and long, and added: “Hopefully I will now get that scholarship in America as I am really looking forward to it.”

She will fly out with the support of Ettrick and Lauderdale Sports Council. And that poolside accident has made Kirsty all the more determined to succeed.