A Capital swimming star who has earned success at hundreds of regional and national disability competitions has realised her international dream by being selected to represent Great Britain at the Team Special Olympics (Team SOGB).
Shannon Crosbie from Currie, has been named in the swimming team – and is the only swimmer from outside England to have made the cut – for the World Special Olympics in Abu Dhabi in 2019.
The 18-year-old has the mentality of someone around 12 years younger due to a disability that comes under the umbrella of global learning delay. She learns baking skills at Edinburgh charity Garvald from Monday to Friday and dedicates each weekday evening to coaching young swimmers and undertaking her own two-hour training before typically entering galas at weekends.
“We are delighted that Shannon’s hard work has been rewarded and that she has achieved her goal of being selected for Team SOGB,” said mum Lesley, who works as an assistant in a Lothians special school. “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. She needs to stay busy because of her condition, and swimming gives her a focus and a sense of achievement. Her selection is the pay-off for years of training and competing at a high level.”
Dad Mark, the manager of a day service in Livingston, added: “Now the hard work starts, both for Shannon training in the pool and for us to raise enough money for Shannon to continue to practise and enter competitions. We’re all so happy that she has been selected and we’re determined that Shannon will benefit greatly from this opportunity.”
Former Braidburn School pupil Shannon is a star performer for club Livingston Aquanauts and is hungry for success and to build on her achievements throughout 2017. She 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 award. Being selected for Team SOGB is great and I’m really looking forward to competing in Abu Dhabi.”
The World Summer Games is the biggest global event for Special Olympics every four years. For Abu Dhabi 2019, Team SOGB will send 129 athletes to take part in 17 sports. They will be among around 7000 athletes with learning disabilities from 168 countries. The 15th return of the event will take place from March 14-21, 2019. Special Olympics is for athletes with learning disabilities, including autism and Down’s Syndrome.