While Engadine local Jade Lucy admits she will be nervous walking onto the pool deck for the first time donning the green and gold, her mind will remain focussed and calm.
Lucy is one of nine rookies who will make their Dolphins debut at the 2019 World Para-swimming Championships in London this month, after a string of solid performances at the 2019 Australian Swimming Championships in April. She will contest the women’s 200m freestyle S14.
“When I made this team, my family were so excited,” Lucy said. “They saw my name on the TV when it came up on the squad list. It was an exciting moment and I can’t wait to compete in London.”
The World Championships will mark a momentous occasion in Lucy’s swimming career – not only will she compete for her country for the first time, but she will have her mum by her side.
“My mum is coming across. She’s never seen me race before at a major swimming meet – they only went to the INAS [International Federation for Athletes with Intellectual Impairments] Games in 2017.”
At those Games, the world’s largest elite sporting event for athletes with an intellectual disability, Lucy won an astounding five gold, one silver and one bronze medal. She will also compete at the 2019 edition in Brisbane, QLD, in October.
Training hard every day under her coach Gavin Stewart, the 22-year-old has been practising many areas of her race, including the all-important turns.
“Leading in, I’ve been practicing my turns because it’s an area I can improve,” Lucy said. “I’m been working on it for a while, and my coach just says, ‘Focus on it, put your head down and you’ll get there at the end’.”
After being warmly embraced by the rest of the team, Lucy can’t wait to travel to London and see what she can produce in her first outing as a Dolphin.
“It feels really exciting and I can’t wait to experience the feeling of competing at the Champs. My goal is to just try and make a final.”
The 2019 World Para-swimming Championships take place at the London Aquatics Centre from 9-15 September. You will be able to catch all the action live on the 7plus app.
By Swimming Australia
Photo with thanks to Swimming Australia