HUDDERSFIELD’S rising swimming star Katie Venters has vowed to take a leaf out of British swimming sensation Rebecca Adlington’s book and claim gold at the Commonwealth Youth Games.
The 17-year-old is one of 15 swimming stars of tomorrow to be selected by England for the quadrennial tournament to be held in Pune, India which begins on October 12.
Adlington made Britain’s biggest waves at the Beijing Olympics, becoming the first British female swimmer to scoop double gold for a century.
And Venters, who is one of 250 emerging Brits that will receive £1,000 each year in the run up to London 2012 courtesy of the Lloyds TSB Local Heroes Scheme, believes she can follow in the footsteps of the Mansfield Mermaid and top the podium in Asia.
“I fly to India next Wednesday and I’m unbelievably excited but very nervous at the same time,” said Venters, who represents the Borough of Kirklees club.
“I’ve went away to Canada over the summer for a Tri-Nations tournament but this is a really prestigous event and I can’t wait to get out there.
“Swimming is something I really want to pursue and I have a real passion for. If I’m going to progress I’ll need to get the experience of these kinds of competitions.
“Going to Canada gave me loads of confidence and this will again. I’m going there to try and get a medal and hopefully I can do that.
“Watching Rebecca Adlington in Beijing was a real motivation for me. She’s only two years older than me and she has already achieved so much.”
Venters, who attends Greenhead College, has already underlined her potential, coming sixth at the GB Olympic trials in Sheffield in March – missing out on a place on the plane by just three seconds.
And the 200m backstroke specialist, who has already put the Lloyds funding to good use, investing in a state-of-the-art swimsuit, has grand designs on making a splash at London 2012.
“I’ve been able to use the money for a brand new swimsuit which has already made a huge difference,” she added.
“It’s going to be great to get the experience of such a big competition like this and hopefully, if I do well, I’ll be coming back to India in 2010 for the senior Commonwealth Games.
“And then looking even further afield it’s impossible not to think about the next Olympics. It would be a dream come true to be selected for London 2012.”
Lloyds TSB is providing up to £1,000 to 250 emerging young sportspeople identified each year across Britain, in the run up to London 2012 and beyond. Visit www.Lloydstsb.com/Localheroes