A PAIR of Warrington swimmers will compete for Team Scotland at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Warriors of Warrington duo Aisha Thornton, whose mother was born in Edinburgh, and Kathleen Dawson, who was born in Kirkcaldy, are hoping to make the finals in their respective events.
Former Great Sankey High School student Dawson will compete in the 100m backstroke on Friday, the 50m backstroke on Monday and 4x100m medley on Tuesday.
Loughborough University student Thornton, from Great Sankey, will swim in the 800m freestyle on Sunday.
“I think they’re very excited,” said Warriors coach Darren Ashley. “Both were preparing in Aberdeen and have gone across for the opening ceremony.
“They are both capable of making the finals. Kathleen is a little bit younger, she’s capable but I’m not sure if she’s mature enough just yet.
“Aisha is 22, so they are both capable and if they do it will be a great achievement and also a great achievement for the club, Livewire and Warrington.
“From my perspective, if they could make their finals I would be over the moon.”
Dawson currently holds a Great Britain senior ranking of fourth in the 50m backstroke and sixth in the 100m and is already eyeing a spot at the Olympic Games in Rio in two years’ time.
And Ashley hopes the Commonwealth can act as a stepping-stone for the 16-year-old.
“For Kathleen it’ll mainly be the experience,” he added. “We’re two years from the Olympic Games which she is quite capable of making.
“Kathleen is number one in Britain for her age group and the Commonwealth Games are basically a stepping-stone – the next step is the Olympics and swimming for Great Britain.”
Warriors chairman Steve Ravenscroft said: “The club are very proud to have two very talented swimmers representing Team Scotland in the Commonwealth Games.
“Their success is the result of years of hard work, the commitment and dedication from them as individuals, from their parents and from the Warriors head coach Darren Ashley.
“Darren has been instrumental in the development of both swimmers, under his guidance there are many more talented young swimmers beginning to emerge and we look forward to watching them develop and compete at the highest level.
“Meanwhile all eyes will be on Kathleen and Aisha and we wish them the very best of luck.”