Kelso teenage swimming sensation Lucy Hope has been selected for the Great Britain youth team for this year’s European Championships.
She becomes the first swimmer to live and train in the Borders since the 1980s to be selected for a GB Team, David Waddell from Duns being the last.
Following a poor start at the recent trials Lucy, 16, rallied to produce a third-place backstroke performance. But, with only the top two achieving automatic selection, she had an agonising wait before finding out she had made the grade.
Lucy, who is already meddalling at Scottish senior level, told The Southern: “After the heats at the trials it wasn’t looking very good for me, but I managed to keep focused and pulled a good swim out of the bag.
“I was so excited when I got the letter confirming my selection and so happy after I opened it.”
Lucy will now travel to Poznan in Poland in July to compete at the European event.
“Now I can fully focus on what I have to do and I am looking forward to getting there.”
Coach Alex Jordan told us: “I set a goal for myself as a coach a couple of years ago to produce a senior Scottish representative swimmer who still lived and trained in the Borders.
“We are still a step short of that, but having a GB youth is a major move in the right direction.”
Supported by Roxburgh Sports Council and the Borders ASP, Lucy also gave credit to the many people involved in her success.
She added: “I have many people to thank for helping me achieve my goals so far. Alex, Billy Robson, pool manager at Jedburgh Memorial Swimming Pool, Kelso ASC coaches, and my family, to name but a few.”
Lucy has been a member of the BEST Performance Squad since its first training session in September 2008, a truly home-grown and Borders-based athlete.