AUCHTERMUCHTY swimmer Stefan Hoggan has his sights set on the Paralympic Games in London and his dream of a place in the Great Britain team.
Stefan (19) is coached by John Szeranek at Carnegie Swimming Club, and like all of the Carnegie club members is delighted to be back training in the refurbished Carnegie Centre facilities.
Since the British Short Course Championships in November, where he recorded 1:05 for 100m butterfly, Stefan’s training and butterfly performances in particular have gone from strength to strength.
He is currently training 20 hours a week in the pool and three hours a week in the gym on strength and conditioning with Fit & Happy Personal Trainers.
Stefan believes he is benefitting enormously from their guidance and support.
Stefan is off to Feurteventura with Carnegie SC for an intensive training camp with 24 hours of pool training and 15 hours land training.
Then at the beginning of March, Stefan and fellow mainstream club swimmers Mark Szeranek, Rachel Odonell and Chelsea Lawson are off to the London Aquatics Centre for the Olympic and Paralympic trials.
Stefan has two chances to qualify, with the London trials in March and trials in Sheffield in April.
If successful, he will attend the Paralympics in London starting in August.
With the second largest number of athletes and events at the games, swimming is one of the most popular Paralympic sports.
Stefan said: “I’m working hard to get the qualifying times I need and I’m not far off.
“If I do miss out on the individual race, I may be able to enter the medley with a relay team.
“I’m also aiming to enter the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games as it would be amazing to compete in front of home crowds here in Scotland.
“My big dream though is to take part in the Paralympic Games.
“What athlete wouldn’t want that?”
Stefan has recently moved from working in the Rowlands Pharmacy in Auchtermuchty to Rowlands New venture of mobility shops Called Enable mobility in Kinross.
Rowlands have been enormously helpful over the years in ensuring that Stefan can fit training times around working hours, and he is enormously grateful to his employers for years of support.
“Rowlands’ managing director, Kenny Black, has always been extremely supportive of my swimming so when I approached him last year and told him about my dream to qualify for the Paralympics he was more than willing to help me,” he said.
“I am extremely grateful to everyone that has ever supported me during my swimming career and I hope to do everyone proud.”
Stefan was born with his lower right arm missing.
His mother started to take him to disability swimming lessons when he was three years old and he then joined Glenrothes Swimming Club.
Three years ago he joined Carnegie Swimming Club
Stefan is one of a number of Disability Sport Fife members challenging for a place in the GB team for the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
The young swimmer has excelled at local, national and GB level over many years, but as with all physically disabled performance sportsmen and women the ultimate prize is to represent Great Britain at a Paralympic Games.
Stefan has always had the best of support around him and a family that have encouraged him form the day he learned to swim at the Fife Sports Institute.