South Shields swim star Nicole helps next generation make waves

Nicole Lough, centre front, with swimmers at Brinkburn Community Association.
Nicole Lough, centre front, with swimmers at Brinkburn Community Association.

A South Tyneside swimming star made a splash as she helped the next generation of sporting hopefuls make waves in the pool.

Multiple medal-winner Nicole Lough has her sights set on Paralympic glory in Brazil next year, but she went to great lengths to give something back to her community at home.

The talented 20-year-old, a winner of bronze medals in both European and world championships for the 100m breaststroke, dived in at Brinkburn Community Association in South Shields to share her expertise with members of its Phoenix Triathlon Club.

Coach Graeme Moore was delighted that Nicole, of Craster Avenue, South Shields, had dipped a toe in the water of the world of coaching for the first time.

Mr Moore said: “I had a word with Nicole and asked if she would come along and help out.

“I thought it would be good for the swimmers to get advice from such a great swimmer.

She was eager to come down and give back to the community.

“She was eager to come down and give back to the community.

“She had a really good time, and all the members enjoyed it.

“She gave them a few important pointers, and she has said she will come back.

“She had a lot of expertise to share and could be a very good coach herself.”

Sheryl McKenna, Nicole’s mum, added: “Nicole really enjoyed helping out. She used to swim at the pool when she got started, and it was great for her to come back.

“Graeme was keen for her to go along, and she gave the swimmers some tips, including ones on starting and how best to turn during a race.

“Graeme does a really good job with the club, and Nicole was happy to help out.

“Nicole was able to share her techniques and pass on tips to the class.

“For a lot of the younger members, it shows them what can be achieved through practice.”

Nicole, now training full-time in Newcastle with Northumbria University’s swimming team, has her sights set on her date with destiny in Rio in 2016.

She has battled back from a shoulder injury to get back in peak condition for her tilt at success.

Ms McKenna added: “She has been out with a shoulder injury but is now back in training. The main focus for her now is the Paralympics in 2016.”

For more information on the Phoenix Triathlon Club, call Graeme on 07949 405047.