A promising young Edinburgh swimmer is at risk of having to abandon her dream of competing internationally unless she’s able to attract sufficient sponsorship and support.
Currie’s Shannon Crosbie has earned success at several regional and national competitions during her fledgling career. Her parents spend thousands of pounds each year on Shannon’s travel and entry to events as far afield as Inverness and Cardiff – and they foot the bill for specialist swimwear that requires to be replaced regularly.
Shannon, 18, has a condition that comes under the umbrella of global learning delay. Despite spending the majority of her time learning baking skills at Edinburgh charity Garvald, she dedicates every weekday evening to coaching young swimmers and undertaking her own two-hour training before typically entering galas at weekends. The former Braidburn School pupil is a star performer for club Livingston Aquanauts and is keen to build on her achievements. However, the financial demand of Shannon’s blossoming sporting career is taking its toll on dad Mark, the manager of a day service in Livingston, and mum Lesley, who works as a assistant in a special school.
“It would be scary to estimate how much it costs us, but it’s thousands every year,” says Lesley. “It’s your child, though, so you just do it. We travel thousands of miles a year and I’ve lost count of the galas she has done. Her racing-quality swimsuit costs up to £400, and she had the last one for ten months.
“Swimming is such an important part of Shannon’s life. It’s what she knows and, without that, she is removed from her comfort zone. Without it, she’d probably end up sitting in the house doing nothing. She needs to stay busy because of her condition, and swimming gives her a focus and a sense of achievement.”
Shannon said: “I started swimming when I was five. I’m really good at it now. Aquanauts is a great club to work with the younger ones and get more experience, and I hope to get my Level 1 coaching license. I’d like sponsors to be able to go to competitions and make sure I can go and compete.”
• To donate funds to help keep Shannon’s dream alive, please visit https://www.gofundme.com/shannoncrosbie