Name: Mia McAllister
I have always loved the water so naturally being in it every day is a pleasure for me.
I completed my ‘deepender’ at the age of six, then joined the Orkney Amateur Swimming Club. Twelve years on and I would say swimming has genuinely helped shape the person I am today.
It has taught me absolute resilience, that when things are challenging you must work hard to overcome them. It has taught me that dedication and commitment will pay off in whatever I choose to do. It has given me confidence, strong friendships and has shaped my self-identity.
I swim not just to be a swimmer, but a great swimmer. I want to make leaps and bounds in my performance and push my achievements as far as I possibly can. Working hard and smart is the way to get there, so this is how I find my motivation.
Getting up four mornings a week at 4:45am is not easy. But I keep the bigger picture in my mind. In training I love pushing myself to the edge of my limits, seeing how I come down from the edge and repeating this process until I get closer and closer to reaching those limits.
I love feeling fit and strong, and that’s something you can only get through hard work and regular training.
This mentality started from a young age. I started competing at the age of 13. At 15 I was fortunate enough to be selected to join the Personal Development Programme that is run jointly between Picky and sportscotland. The programme involved coached strength and conditioning training 2-3 times per week and continued until I went to university last year.
Having access to professional led coaching and the great facilities at The Pickaquoy Centre from a young age made a huge difference to my performance in Secondary school, and helped get me selected for the University of Edinburgh Performance Swimming team who I train with today.
Even though I’m studying in Edinburgh, when I come home at Christmas and through the Summer I am still expected to keep up my training regime, and this sponsorship will make it a lot easier to keep on top of my training schedule while offering instructor led classes to provide me with some variety during my training.
I achieved several goals this year and surpassed my expectations for the Island Games this past Summer by making the final in every event I swam. I also managed to win a silver medal.
Of course I hope to improve for next year which will include achieving some time specific goals for specific events and to be selected for higher level competitions, but I have a strong base for this coming season and will continue to work hard to achieve these goals.