Ollie makes a splash for new university side

Ollie Carter
Ollie Carter

Para swimmer Ollie Carter, from Cupar, looks set to build on a terrific 2018 in the new year.

As well as making his mark in the pool, Ollie has settled into a new life at Stirling University and has finished all of his first term exams.

The ex-Bell Baxter HS pupil and Carnegie Swimming Club member has completed his course work for the semester.

Ollie is Fife’s most successful para swimmer of the past few years.

He started his competitive career at Cupar and District SC before moving to Carnegie ASC where he came under the influence of head coach Morag Mitchell.

As a member of Carnegie ASC, and with strength and conditioning support from Stuart Bizzarri of Fife Sports and Leisure Trust, Ollie developed into one of the leading para swimmers in the UK.

And his talents have only been developed further thanks to the facilities available to him at Stirling.

Strength and conditioning training is delivered twice per week through the sportscotland Institute staff team who work very closely with the uni swim team.

This means that Ollie has the opportunity to carry out his gym work alongside great Scottish and GB internationals like Ross Murdoch and Duncan Scott.

His gym programme is headed by Neil Shanks who liaised with Stuart Bizzarri to ensure a seamless transfer of responsibility and programme content between Fife and the university.

He is training with the high performance 2 squad, the second highest squad, and is coached by Josh Williamson.

In his two representative swim meets for Stirling university he has performed very well, particularly in relation to the technical changes that have been introduced to his swimming programme.

He swam at the British Universities (BUCS) short course meet at Ponds Forge in Sheffield where he competed in seven events as a para swimmer and was placed from third to fifth, racking up loads of BUCS points for the team.

Ollie swam 50m 100m 400m free, 100m back, 100m breast and 200 IM and managed to PB a couple of events.

His most notable achievements were recording 64 seconds for 100m fly, for a personal best by three seconds and 57.2 for 100m free and a one second PB.

The second major competition for Ollie was the National Para Championships (long course), where he swam under the Scottish banner, but represented Stirling University.

He contested five events: 50m 100m 400m free, 200m IM and 100m fly. Ollie recorded small PBs in 50m free 200m IM but in 100m fly he recorded 66 secs for a two second PB. Ollie was also pleased with his 400m performance where he swam almost the same time as the British Championships last year but with far fewer strokes and a much more efficient technique. Ollie won gold medals in all but 100m fly, missing out on a clean sweep of five golds by 0.3 seconds. As always Ollie was delighted to be part of a strong Scottish team.

Ollie is also pursuing level 2 fitness instructor training and may even achieve the qualification by Christmas. Thereafter Ollie hopes to progress to the Level 3 personal trainer qualification next year.

The Cupar swimmer has been selected to swim in Geneva along with other outstanding young Scottish Para swimmers Jack Milne, Abby Kane and Toni Shaw. Ollie is also going away with the Stirling swim squad to Holland at some point and he has a four day British Swimming Academy Camp in Manchester in February. In addition he has the World Championship trials in April and the final British meet in the summer.

Richard Brickley MBE, president of Disability Sport Fife, said: “The young Fife swimmer has an action packed 2019 programme ahead and we admire how far he has progressed from his days with Cupar and District Swimming Club.

“Tribute is paid to Carnegie ASC for the role played in Ollie’s performance development and to Scottish Swimming for being present throughout his impressive journey to date.

“Disability Sport Fife pays tribute to the organisations and individuals who have contributed financially to Ollie’s development during the formative years in particular. Scottish Disability Sport recognised Ollie with a bursary earlier in the year as Scotland’s emerging para junior.”