Development Team

Development Team


Shiona - question and answer session!

Shiona is now back in the swim of things at Lanark after winning a bronze medal for Great Britain in the mixed 4 x 100m freestyle relay at the Deaflympics in Turkey. It was a special moment for Lanark ASC with Jack McComish also part of the team.

Shiona kindly agreed to answer a few questions and share her experience with us.

1.  When did you find out you had been selected for the GB team Shiona?

S   I knew that I was being considered for a few months but was finally told of my selection by email on 14th December 2016.  I was so excited and relieved.  I knew that this was something really special and couldn’t wait to experience it.


2. Who went out to support you?

S   My mum and dad and twin brother James all travelled to Turkey to watch my events.  I travelled there a few days before them with the whole Deaflympics GB team and was delighted to see them at the pool on day one of the competition.


3. Day 1 and you are part of the team which put the first medals on the board for Team GB, a bronze in the

    4 x 100m mixed freestyle relay. Describe how you felt.

S   I was on the third leg of the relay and was really under pressure to do well, I knew that I had to swim better than my PB for us to have a chance of a medal.  The first two swimmers did really well and it was down to me to keep up the pace, I went out as fast as I could, faster than I ever swam before.  I remember watching the board and couldn’t believe it when Jack McComish touched the wall in third place.  I was totally overwhelmed and didn’t know what to do.  It was a crazy experience and I can’t even describe what it was like to get that medal.

4. What was it like to be part of a multisport team? Did you get to see other sports?

S  Other members of the team took part in tennis, golf, football and athletics.  There were 66 athletes in total plus a team of coaches, team managers and the central support team.  Meeting and getting to know other team members was one of my favourite parts of the experience, everyone was so friendly and kind and it was great to be around people that had I had so much in common with. One of the best things about being in a multisport team was the support and motivation that everyone gave to each other, it really added to the atmosphere and I feel made a difference to my performance. Once the swimming was over, we got to watch the athletics and women’s football, it was really fun to watch and support my other team mates.

5. What was the food and living accommodation like?

S  We stayed at a local university in the Deaflympics village.  The accommodation was nice, I shared a room with one of the swimmers and we got on well together.  We moved to better accommodation in the first week.  The dining areas were always really busy as there was a lot of people to feed.


6. You start with a light at Meets in Scotland, how do you start at Deaf International Meets?

S  At Deaf International Meets I still use a light, however, it’s like a traffic light system; red means get on the block, amber means get ready and green means go. It’s a small box that sits beside the starting blocks and you can move it to you preferred position.  I felt really comfortable using this for starts and my reaction times were a lot quicker than normal.

7. Your best memory in the pool and your best one out the pool?

S  My best memory in the pool has to be winning the bronze medal in the 4x100m freestyle mixed relay, it’s a memory I will hold on to for the rest of my life. Everyone was so supportive and proud of me and there’s no better feeling than making my coaches, team mates, friends and family proud.

My best memory out of the pool is probably meeting so many amazing people, not only just from the Deaflympics GB team but also from around the world. I loved that it was so easy to communicate with everyone, almost everyone I walked by smiled and said hi to me; we are all a part of the deaf community and were all in it together.

8. You had to fund the trip yourself. Who would you like to thank?

S  The trip wouldn’t have been possible without the financial support and kindness of so many individuals and groups. People were incredibly helpful, giving personal donations, their own time and directing me to funding opportunities. I would like to thank all the parents, members and committee at Lanark ASC, Scottish Swimming, West District Swimming, Clydesdale Sports Council, South Lanarkshire Disability Sport, The Loaningdale Trust, Lanarkshire Educational Trust, Lanark Rotary Club, Lanark Roundtable, Abellio, the Realising Dreams Foundation, staff and customers of Morrisons, Lanark, JMT Services, and Sportsaid Scotland.  Councillor Catherine McClymont has been incredibly helpful with her support and encouragement as has Miller Stoddart.  So many people helped me and I will be thanking them all personally.


9. Have you any words of encouragement for young swimmers just starting out in the Club?

S  Swimming takes a lot of hard work and commitment but offers real opportunities to develop and grow as a person. Swimming has helped make me the person that I am today and it’s an important part of my life. With hard work, time and motivation you will be a good swimmer and you will learn and achieve so much, never give up. It will have a positive impact on all areas of your life.


10. Not a question but a statement. Lanark ASC are very proud of you !

S  I couldn’t have done it without all the support and encouragement I’ve had from Lanark ASC and I especially appreciate everything you, Karen, have done for me. I’m looking forward to another year of training and competing with Lanark ASC. Bring it on!