Read Katie's story
"I was born profoundly deaf with sensorineural hearing loss in November 2000. I attended The Elizabeth Foundation when I was little.
"My parents decided that the most important thing for me was that I should be able to understand what was going on in the world around me and that I could communicate. They decided to use a mix of BSL and oral communication as the BSL would allow me to join in with the conversation whilst orally talking would model speech. Currently, I use speech most of the time, but if the environment is difficult to hear in, if I am tired, or if the subject matter is complicated, I use BSL in addition.
"I have always loved swimming. It gives me a sense of achievement and I feel successful at it. My training de-stresses me and is probably the reason I never miss a training session!
"When I was selected for the Team GB Deaf Swimming Club I was so happy about it, and I knew that I would have to give it my all. There was only 3 weeks between finishing my GCSE exams and competing in Poland. When I was in Poland doing the European Deaflympics it was a very nerve-wracking experience for me. Although I was nervous, I was also very excited. They used a light system for the start and it was brilliant – I would highly recommend it to everyone in swim competitions.
Swimming is a huge part of me and it has shown me what I can do and what I am capable of. I have always loved it and I always train so hard to achieve what I want to achieve – like to break records, worlds, Deaflympics, the list goes on and on. My next aim is to better my times so that I can break records at the World Competitions in Deaflympics in Brazil.
Deep down, I will never give up anything that I am passionate about. It is harder for me being deaf, in a local hearing swimming club, but this has shown me what I can do and has given me huge confidence and determination – I can be quite stubborn! Because of this, I will stand-up for myself and prove to people, and myself, all that I can do.
"Many people might have given up over time, thinking my goals were too difficult to achieve. But for me, although it is hard sometimes, it is not hard enough for me to consider giving up. I will never do that... it is not who I am."
"My parents decided that the most important thing for me was that I should be able to understand what was going on in the world around me and that I could communicate..."