The SportsAid Vault
Louise Fiddes on her para swimming achievements to date, embracing the Paralympic movement and how her prowess in the water helped her overcome struggles at school
Great Britain para swimmer Louise Fiddes is the latest guest to join us on the SportsAid Vault Podcast as she shares stories and insights from her career so far! Louise, who was supported by SportsAid in 2016 and 2017, competes in the S14 classification. She first made her mark on the senior stage by winning the overall women’s title at the World Para Swimming World Series in 2018 - having claimed a trio of bronze medals in the Sheffield leg to ensure selection for the team for the World Para Swimming European Championships in Dublin. Her European debut, at just 17-years-old, saw her bring home four medals, including the SB14 100m breaststroke title and three bronzes, in the S14 200m freestyle, S14 100m butterfly and SM14 200m individual medley events. Just over a year later, Louise became a world champion at the World Para Swimming Championships in London in 2019 as she took the SB14 100m breaststroke title. The Welwyn Garden City-based swimmer also returned bronze in the S14 200m individual medley and finished fourth in the S14 200m freestyle. Louise had actually earned a call-up to the World Para Swimming Championships in Mexico City back in 2017, where she was set to make her international competition bow, but an earthquake in the host country led to a postponement being made. Each episode of the SportsAid Vault contains a themed discussion based around the guest’s own unique experiences. We talk to Louise, who has an intellectual impairment, about the importance of ‘perseverance’ as she reflects on the challenges she faced at school and how swimming boosted her confidence. She also discusses the process behind receiving her S14 classification and how she felt. We find out more about Louise’s initial introduction to swimming, her daily routine, how her intellectual impairment affects her and how she deals with fatigue. Louise, now 20, also looks ahead to the Paralympic Games in Tokyo this summer as she talks about her personal goals and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on preparations - including moving up to Manchester for four months during lockdown.