A Highland swimmer has been called up to represent Britain at the World Down Syndrome Championships.
Matthew McCreadie, a member of Inverness Amateur Swimming Club and the Highland Disability Swim Team, competed at last month’s European Championships in Padova, Italy.
The 19-year-old is the only Scottish male swimmer in the Down Syndrome GB team.
He recorded four personal bests, and he was first reserve in the final for 50m butterfly making him ninth overall out of 31 competitors.
McCreadie achieved the minimum of four qualifying times to earn a place in the GB team that will travel to Antalya in Turkey to attend the Down Syndrome International Swimming Organisation World Championships in March next year.
McCreadie will compete in the second British Down Syndrome Championships to be held in Crawley on November 18-19.
Last year, he recorded three personal bests and took home a bronze and a silver medal.
His mum Susan said: “Since returning from Italy, Matthew has increased his swimming sessions with Inverness from three to five each week.
“He now must also increase his gym work and look at the nutritional side to ensure he is fuelling his body at the right times, with the right foods.”
Family meet financial challenges
One challenge of competing in the events is the financial costs involved.
Contacting sports bodies has been unsuccessful, so they have had to foot the bill to keep McCreadie in competition. DSS-GB is a charitable organisation and all travel and equipment costs are self-funded by the swimmers.
The McCreadie family this year have forked out more than £9000 to pay for travel, training and equipment, including his involvement in Padova.
Reluctantly, they opted to set up a gofundme page to assist, but there’s a sense of frustration that there’s no help available to such a capable performer.
During August, Matthew swam 1473 lengths to represent the number of miles it is from the Highland capital to the European Championships venue in Italy as part of his funding page.
Susan said: “With the up-and-coming championships, we will come up with another challenge for Matthew which will not only help him focus, but also increase his fitness ready for the event.”
To underline their gratitude, Susan is making T-shirts with the names of all who have donated to the case.
She added: “We have been absolutely overwhelmed by everyone’s kindness and support for Matthew. It is very emotional for me knowing just how many people are behind Matthew and willing him on.”