Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Golden Year on World Stage for Swimming Star; Stephenson Makes Big Splash with Eight-Medal Haul IN THE LATEST IN OUR SERIES ON SPORTS STARLETS WHO ENJOYED SUCCESS IN 2018, WE FEATURE DISABILITY SWIMMER ELLEN STEPHENSON

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Golden Year on World Stage for Swimming Star; Stephenson Makes Big Splash with Eight-Medal Haul IN THE LATEST IN OUR SERIES ON SPORTS STARLETS WHO ENJOYED SUCCESS IN 2018, WE FEATURE DISABILITY SWIMMER ELLEN STEPHENSON

Article excerpt

Byline: SAM BLACKLOCK

A PROMISING teenage swimmer with Down's Syndrome has her eyes on defending her European title later this year after a splashing 12 months in the water.

Ellen Stephenson, 14, had a 2018 to remember, striking gold not once but SEVEN times at the Down's Syndrome World Championships in Canada.

The Gosforth Academy pupil, who has mosaic Down's Syndrome, was part of the GB team and won seven golds and one silver in a range of events including backstroke, freestyle and breaststroke.

Ellen also broke four world records before being named overall mosaic world champion.

Proud mum Kathryn said: "Ellen was really pleased - she was not expecting to become a world champion.

"We are really proud of her and what she has achieved.

"She worked hard and put a lot of effort into her training.

"She is a good ambassador for disability sport and has shown what you can achieve despite having a disability."

Her medal success was the highlight of another hectic year of competition for the youngster.

She said: "I have been all over the UK to swim in para-swimming and Down's Syndrome competitions."

Ellen, from Great Park, Newcastle is a current member of the Newcastle Swim Team, the North East Disability Swim Club and part of the Down's Syndrome Swimming GB Team.

She was introduced to swimming when she was a baby and developed a love of the water from that young age.

As she grew older, she went on to have swimming lessons before she started taking part in competitive events, winning a string of medals at various contests.

Last year, she also became a European champion - again with an eight-medal haul - and now holds an incredible 27 world records.

Stephenson trains at least five times a week and attends GB training camps three times a year.

She said: "One of my biggest achievements in 2018 was getting the 100m backstroke time to compete in the British International para-swimming competition. …

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