A CHILD who has had a prosthetic leg since she was just three has been nominated for a national swimming award.
Eight year-old Katie Beavington, from Wickford, was born with a limb abnormality called fibular deficiency, a condition which results in having one leg shorter than the other as well as an unstable foot and ankle.
Doctors took the decision to amputate her right leg when she was just three years old and she has had a prosthetic limb ever since.
Three years ago mum Christine Beavington, 45, enrolled Katie in swimming lessons at Wickford Pool.
She instantly excelled at the sport and her dedication encouraged her teacher Julie Hearn to nominate her in the Disability Swimmer of The Year category of The Kellogg’s Swimtastic Awards, organised by the ASA- the national governing body for swimming.
Mrs Beavington said: “With any kid you don’t know if they are going to like the water, that’s the first obstacle. I knew she wouldn’t have any problems because of her prosthetic leg apart from being a bit embarrassed because she still notices when people look at her.
“She’s certainly very good so I think she has a good chance of winning.”
Whilst Katie takes part in swimming mainly for fun, she has already bagged a number of certificates and awards at her club.
Mrs Hearn said: “When Katie first began lessons, she found it really uncomfortable to swim with her prosthetic leg, but she is such a determined young lady and never gave up on her dreams. All of the certificates she has achieved are a real credit to her.
“She has faced some incredibly difficult challenges in her life but her pride and personal accomplishments are an inspiration to us all.”
During the star-studded awards ceremony taking place in Sheffield, Katie will have the chance to meet and swim with some of Britain’s Olympic and Paralympic heroes- including her idol, double gold medallist paralympian swimmer Ellie Simmonds.
The youngster said: “I’m really excited about swimming with them. I think when I’m older I would like to compete like them. I just really like being in the water because it makes me feel free.”