Catriona was born with Cerebral Palsy (hemiplegia). In her case, it affects her right side such that her right arm and leg are weak with limited movements, and her right eye has poor peripheral vision, thus affecting her balance and development of fine motor skills. Her cerebral palsy affects her day to day living, such as walking, picking up objects and being fully aware of her surroundings - things that many people can do so easily. Catriona finds it particularly challenging on days when her muscles are tighter than usual with severe pain, nothing can be done as it is linked to her cerebral palsy. Therefore she has to learn to adapt to do things that she finds difficult.
When she was young her physiotherapist advised her parents to see if her mobility could improve with being in water and suggested that they take her swimming. Following the advice, Catriona took up swimming as a hobby and her swimming improved gradually. She later joined and trained with Leicester Penguins and Loughborough Town swimming clubs. She now competes at county, regional, national and international events.
Catriona was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 6. Her epilepsy is controlled under medication, but the medication slows down her learning to stabilise her condition. However, she does not let that affect her and carries on with the best of her ability. During a training session Catriona had a seizure in the water unexpectedly and was unable to get help so she drowned in the pool. Fortunately her coach spotted the situation, got the help required and pulled her out of the pool and rescued her from her unconsciousness. After that incident Catriona was very shaken, finding it difficult to carry on swimming, thus affecting her training and mood and she felt isolated and lost. It took her a long time to pluck up the courage and say, 'Let's try swimming again!'. Through much struggle, hard work and encouragement Catriona slowly built up her confidence again. There are still rare occasions when Catriona experiences minor seizures in water. After that first experience she has become stronger, and will always get back into training when she recovers as she knows that she can train and be okay with the situation and not let it hold her back.
Catriona has inspired and encouraged those who know her through her commitment, dedication and resilience shown in her swimming. Swimming was once was a hobby which has now turned into a passion.
Catriona would like to say a huge thank you to JHMT for the award which helps her with the expenses for competing at the CP (Cerebral Palsy) World Games in August 2018 as a member of the CP Team England.
Posted: 6th Mar, 2020
After the CP World Games in 2018, Catriona was invited to became a Young Ambassador for CP Sport. She was interviewed on ITV Central News in 2019 to raise the awareness of disability in sports.
Catriona... Read More »
CP World Games 2018
Posted: 15th Aug, 2018
I have just finished competing at the CP World Games at Sant Cugat, Barcelona last weekend. I had an experience at a new level. The beginning of the week consisted of training and then competing on Friday... Read More »