IT has not been the easiest of months for Oliver Carter but, after overcoming illness and a Commonwealth Games blow, the local swimmer is intent on getting back up to speed in the pool once again.
Born with his legs facing the wrong way, the 14-year-old underwent several operations leaving him initially in a wheelchair before making the decision to take up swimming aged ten.
He has excelled ever since and last year qualified for the Scottish National Open Championships to leave him on track for his aim of making Glasgow 2014.
However, confirmation of his S10 classification — Cupar and District SC’s Carter had been competing against able-bodied swimmers — saw his dreams dashed.
Added to that a series of worrying fainting episodes plus a chest infection and the Bell Baxter High School pupil found himself off the pace in the water.
But Carter, who won 100m breaststroke bronze and 4x100m medley relay silver at last month’s National Junior and Youth Swimming Championships in Sheffield, believes his troubles are behind him.
“I only got classified a few months ago and up until then I was swimming able-bodied,” he said.
“I was aiming for the Commonwealth Games and after the Scottish National Open I was sure I could make it but then I found out that my classification wasn’t in it.
“So now the aim is the Rio Paralympics in 2016.Carter’s cause received a boost this month as, courtesy of being on the SSE Next Generation programme, he received unique tuition from Sir Chris Hoy in Loughborough.
And he insists his meeting with Olympian Hoy will prove invaluable.
“It is great being on the SSE Next Generation programme and we have done loads already,” he added.
“It is a big confidence boost being on this scheme and it will really help me moving forward and it makes me feel a lot happier.”
SSE are partnering with SportsAid to support the sporting stars of the future as part of their commitment to Glasgow 2014 and beyond with their SSE Next Generation ambassador programme. Keep up to date with the latest @YourSSE