Early to Beth and early to rise – trust assists swimmer’s dream

Beth Johnston, left, receives her cheque from Kristin Boland.
Beth Johnston, left, receives her cheque from Kristin Boland.

Aquatic ace Beth Johnston has revealed the secret of her para-swimming success which is sending her to the Commonwealth Games – her 5.07am alarm clock.

The 16-year-old from Galashiels is heading to Australia as part of Team Scotland in April after achieving the qualification time to book her seat on the plane.

She is being supported by the Rowan Boland Memorial Trust, which handed over a cheque for £1500 to help with her ongoing costs.

And Beth’s selection has ensured her early-morning training sessions were all worthwhile.

She said: “I always get up at 5.07am for training – if I get up at 5.10am, it’s too late.

“But, instead of getting up at 5.05am, I like to have another couple extra minutes of sleep.

“I am excited to be selected – being part of Team Scotland will be a great experience and I just want to go there and enjoy it.”

Competing in the 200 metres individual medley, Beth will spend a month on the Gold Coast, while mum Louise, dad Alan, 13-year-old brother Kerr and his friend Ben are also heading over to support the Galashiels Academy student.

Beth added: “I am sitting five Highers this year, so will be revising while in Australia.

“I am getting plenty work to do while over there from my teachers and it will be really important to manage my time.

“Swimming can be expensive, with travel costs for meetings and training, while swimming suits can cost around £300 each.

“The Rowan Boland Memorial Trust has supported me over a number of years, as has Clubsport Ettrick and Lauderdale, and their assistance is really appreciated.”

Mum Louise said: “We are really proud of Beth.

“She has put in a lot of hard work and this is a trip of a lifetime.”

Kristin Boland, trustee of the Rowan Boland Memorial Trust, added: “It is a brilliant achievement for Beth to make the Commonwealth Games squad at the age of just 16, and the Trust is delighted to be supporting her.

“We wish Beth the best of luck.”

The Trust’s biggest fundraiser of the year, its annual ball, takes place on Saturday, February 10 in the Volunteer Hall in Galashiels.

Tickets are still available from The Trophy Guy on Market Street, Tartan and Tweed on Bank Street or phone/text Kristin Boland (0788 407 6179). Under 18s can attend, provided they are accompanied by an adult.