A string of Doncaster’s top swimming coaches have paid tribute to a youngster with learning difficulties who has earned her ﬁrst national qualifying time and has an ambition to represent England.
Georgia Wright, of Kirk Sandall, completed the challenge in just 21 months in the 100m backstroke - a feat which usually takes swimmers several years of practice.
The committed 14-year-old, who has dyslexia and memory problems, now wants to compete regularly at national level.
The Hungerhill School pupil trains 19 hours every week, as part of the elite Doncaster Dartes squad and Armthorpe Kingfishers.
She also juggles a part-time job and is studying for her GCSEs, and her hard work has been praised by her mentors.
Dartes head coach Andy Wallace said: “Georgia’s strengths are her high levels of determination and self-belief.
“She is the kind of person that says ‘I am going to’ rather than ‘I wish I could’ when it comes to setting targets.
“I spoke to Georgia following training camp and she asked what she had to do to get on the England Talent Development Squad and what she needed to qualify for nationals.
“After a discussion, she said ‘Right, that’s what I am going to do’.”
Georgia began swimming at the age of 12.
She was also part of the Scawthorpe-based Don Valley Dolphins.
Dolphins head coach Karl Wallace said: “I remember Georgia displaying all the attributes of any swimmer stepping up to competitive level.
“She became a big part of Don Valley Dolphins and abig part in developing my own progression as a coach.”
Kingfishers’ head coach David Holmes added: “The thing that made Georgia a little different was that she was able to develop all the coachable skills while coupling them with her amazingly intense drive to excel.”
Junior development coach at Dartes Kevin Nicholas, who first saw Georgia swim at the age of 12, added: “I felt she had potential for improvement, but given her age she needed to quickly make up a lot of ground and fast-track herself into Phase Four which is the squad she should be in due to her age.
“Having only seen her for a few sessions during her trial I wasn’t sure if Georgia would be up to the task, so I dropped her feeder club coach Dave Holmes a line and asked for his thoughts on her and if he thought she would be prepared to put the work in.
“He said she would, so I gave her a chance and accepted her into the squad. Georgia knuckled down big time and by March 2011 she had made huge improvements and earned herself a place in Phase Four, picking up a few Yorkshire times along the way and obviously she’s gone from strength to strength ever since.”