A total of 41 athletes have been invited on to British Para-Swimming’s 2023-2024 World Class Programme, off the back of a successful home Para Swimming World Championships and with the 2024 Paralympic Games less than a year away.
The list includes a plethora of athletes who have had success at every level of the sport to those who have begun to make impressions on the national and international stages, with a potential eye for a 2028 Paralympic appearance on their radar.
Ellie Challis, Jessica-Jane Applegate, Maisie Summers-Newton and Bethany Firth – all multiple world champions from the 2023 Para Swimming World Championships in Manchester and medallists at the last Paralympics in Tokyo in 2021 – headline the list as they return to the Podium programme, whilst Rhys Darbey, Faye Rogers and William Ellard are all named amongst the Podium Potential group for the first time following stellar breakthrough seasons that included Worlds debuts in August.
Overall, nine new invitees to the Podium Potential programme show the quality continuing to come through the British Para-Swimming ranks and learning from those established figures in the group, including the likes of reigning world champions Stephen Clegg, Rebecca Redfern and Suzanna Hext.
Both the Podium and Podium Potential programme tiers (as listed below) receive opportunities and targeted financial assistance from UK Sport through the World Class Performance Programme's Athlete Performance Award (APA).
Athletes selected on to World Class Programmes are also eligible to benefit from competition and training camp opportunities throughout the season in which they are selected, with access to world-class sports science and medicine services available, on top of comprehensive support from British Para-Swimming performance staff and national Institute of Sport programmes across the UK.
With the announcement coming as the last world class programme list before the Games in Paris, British Swimming’s Associate Performance Director, Tim Jones, spoke of his optimism ahead of Paralympic year.
“We have every confidence that the athletes named on the programme will make a strong impression on the world stage in Paris next summer, and at Games and World Championship events to come in the future,” said Jones.
“With an impressive season under their belts, we look forward to seeing how each and every one continues their development in the months we have left, as well as at the competitions and training camps that the programme athletes will have access to in order to maximise our medal opportunities when it counts.
"This evolving cohort of athletes puts our programme in a great position not
only to deliver success in Paris next year, but longer term in Los Angeles and
Para-swimmers invited onto the World Class Programme for 2023-2024:
Jessica-Jane Applegate, City of Norwich Swimming Club (England)
Jordan Catchpole, St. Felix’s School Swimming Club (England)
Ellie Challis, Manchester Performance Centre (England)
Stephen Clegg, Edinburgh University (Scotland)
Samuel Downie, East Lothian Swim Team (Scotland)
Louise Fiddes, Hatfield Swimming Club (England)
Bethany Firth, Ards Swimming Club (Northern Ireland)
Grace Harvey, Manchester Performance Centre (England)
Suzanna Hext, Swindon Amateur Swimming Club/Tigersharks (England)
Tully Kearney, Loughborough University (England)
Poppy Maskill, Manchester Performance Centre/Alsager Swimming Club (England)
Rebecca Redfern, Worcester Swimming Club (England)
Toni Shaw, University of Aberdeen Performance Swim Team (Scotland)
Georgia Sheffield, Bolton Metro Swimming Club (England)
Maisie Summers-Newton, Northampton Swimming Club (England)
Alice Tai, Ealing Swimming Club (England)
Brock Whiston, Barking and Dagenham Aquatics Club (England)
Luke Batty, Bolton Metro Swimming Club (England)
Roan Brennan, Basildon & Phoenix Swimming Club (England)
Dylan Broom, Torfaen Dolphins Performance Centre (Wales)
Astrid Carroll, Borough of Kirklees Swimming Club (England)
Rhys Darbey, Nofio Cymru (Wales)
Bruce Dee, Northampton Swimming Club (England)
William Ellard, St. Felix’s School Swimming Club (England)
Eva French, Nuneaton & Bedworth Swimming Club (England)
Amber Haycock, Northampton Swimming Club (England)
Eliza Humphrey, Northampton Swimming Club (England)
Scarlett Humphrey, Northampton Swimming Club (England)
Charlotte Hyde, Enfield Swim Squad (England)
Louis Lawlor, City of Glasgow Swimming Club (Scotland)
Lyndon Longhorne, Derwentside Amateur Swimming Club (England)
Jack Milne, University of Aberdeen Performance Swim Team (Scotland)
Megan Neave, Repton Swimming Club (England)
Siena Oxby, Stockport Metro Swimming Club (England)
William Perry, Ealing Swimming Club (England)
Matthew Redfern, Worcester Swimming Club (England)
Lily Rice, Pembroke and District Amateur Swimming Club (Wales)
Faye Rogers, University of Aberdeen Performance Swim Team (Scotland)
Cameron Vearncombe, Manchester Performance Centre (England)
Kieran Williams, Manchester Performance Centre (England)
Meghan Willis, Torfaen Dolphins Performance Centre (Wales)