Scots sweetheart Erraid Davies celebrates her Commonwealth medal success with a can of Irn-Bru
THE 13-year-old, who won bronze in the para-sport 100m breast stroke on Sunday, had given up the fizzy drink as she focused on training for the event.
SWIMMING sensation Erraid Davies yesterday toasted her Commonwealth Games medal with an Irn-Bru – her first since she began training for Glasgow 2014.
The 13-year-old, who won bronze in the para-sport 100m breast stroke on Sunday, had given up the fizzy drink as she focused on training for the event.
Her dad David said: “It was nutella on toast and a glass of Irn-Bru to celebrate. It was her first Irn-Bru since she began training for the games.”
Erraid, from Shetland, told of her joy at her success, which came despite having to train in a pool just a third of the size of the one she won her medal in – and having no other para-swimmers to race against.
The schoolgirl, the Games’ youngest ever medallist, said: “I was just really happy, I didn’t expect it.
“It was really, really good. It was nice to have a home crowd and you can hear them when you come up for breath which makes you want to swim faster.”
Her parents Joyce and David were in the stands at the pool to watch their daughter claim the medal.
David said: “It was a really long day but an exciting day. I hadn’t seen Erraid for about four weeks, as she had been to holding camps prior to the games.
“I saw her in the morning on Sunday and had a cuddle and then she went off to do her swim. I was so amazed because she looked so different. I had never seen her swim so quickly.
“It was absolutely amazing because at one point it didn’t look like she would touch the medals and then she suddenly began to catch up with everybody. It was overwhelming.”
David said he wasn’t sure Erraid had grasped the magnitude of her achievement, adding: “I don’t think it has really hit her how big it is but seeing her picture on the front page of all the papers this morning might have given her a clue.”
Erraid’s success is the culmination of a gruelling training regime – the teen swims up to 27.5km a week – in a pool in Shetland just 16.6m long.
David, a taxi driver, said: “It’s tiny. I think it goes to prove swimming is one of these things that all you need is water. The facilities aren’t great but she has great determination and a great coach and she just wants to succeed.”
Erraid added: “I train in a 16.6m pool and you just do a lot of turns. It’s different but you get used to it.”
Her coach, Lorraine Gifford, admits the local training facilities mean she has to adapt Erraid’s programme.
She said: “Coaching in that size pool you have to think outside the box. You can’t do things like stroke count because it only takes about three strokes to get up the other end.
“Erraid does 11 hours a week and does some land training. She trains after school and late at night and she works really hard – she is a hard worker.
“I’m just so proud, it was an absolutely amazing swim and a PB which is what we are looking for all the time. Seeing her on the podium was very emotional.”
Erraid suffers from a hip problem which qualifies her for the para-event.
Lorraine added: “She does get tired and her hip hurts sometimes if we do a lot of kick. She doesn’t like doing kick but I make her because it builds up the muscles round her hip.”
JSHPIX.CO.UKErraid with her parents Joyce and David
Yesterday, those back home on Shetland were offering their congratulations to the youngster.
Valerie Nicolson, head teacher at Anderson High School, Lerwick, said: “The smile we saw on the podium last night is the lass that we see in school every day. We’re absolutely delighted.”
Erraid is unsure what the future holds, adding: “I’ll try to get into Rio 2016. I’ll just see what I get. I love swimming.”