A 17-year-old swimmer from Bushey says it feels “beyond amazing” to have been selected for the Commonwealth Games Scotland swimming team, having fought off illness months before selection.
Katie Armitage has been chosen to take part in the 100m and 200m breaststroke at the games, which will be held in Glasgow from July 23 until August 3.
Armitage, who is currently in her last year at Queens’ School, said: “Swimming is such a big part of my life and it means so much to me so it feels great to finally be making it somewhere.
“It feels beyond amazing to be selected, especially after missing so much training. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to qualify so to be able to get a personal best and make the team when I’m not at my best is great looking forward to the games.”
Armitage, who trains 20 hours a week in the pool and three hours of strength and conditioning, missed training a few months prior to selection due to illnesses stemming from her asthma.
She had a chest infection twice and then mild pneumonia, and missed weeks of training as a result.
She said: “I faced a number of illnesses which kept me from training. I also had a quad and bicep injury which needed intense physio treatment.
“Both of these resulted in missing crucial preparation training for the Commonwealth trials and for the first time I found myself thinking negatively and worrying that I was not fit enough to swim the nomination time.”
Armitage learnt to swim when she was three and joined Bushey Swimming Club in 2005 where she started to swim competitively. She continued: “My mum has been my biggest role model which is understandable as she swam in two Olympic Games for Great Britain. “My mum has motivated my training ethic, especially when times have got tough with injuries and illnesses.
“From her experiences as an Olympic athlete she understands the time and dedication that is needed to be a successful swimmer and has supported me regardless of where my career has taken me. If nothing else she is my 4.30am alarm clock.”
Armitage, who lives in Ashfield Avenue, is one of a few students in the world to get a $42K scholarship with Florida Gulf Coast University, where she will start in August.
She added: “I am very excited, especially as it is getting so close now, it will be a big change to home but I’m sure I will settle in fine.”
Pritam Vekaria, of Queens’ School, said: “This is a fantastic achievement and one that she has worked incredibly hard to achieve. She trains most mornings before school and all weekend.
“Katie is a very humble young lady who works really hard at school and somehow manages to fit in all her class work, homework and huge training regime. She is up at 4.30, in the pool for 5.30 and into school at 8.
“We are all very proud of her commitment and determination and wish her the best of luck for the future.”