Swimmer Charlotte Atkinson has her sights fixed on representing Team Isle of Man at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. She's already achieved a great deal, as this Athlete Profile shows, but the Games are a key focus for her as the countdown to the next 'friendly games' gathers pace. She is benefiting from the Glasgow 2014 Support Programme, funded by the Isle of Man Commonwealth Games Association, which provides competitors with expert advice and support from the Isle of Man Sport Institute.
Name: Charlotte Atkinson
Home town: Douglas
Sports club: Douglas Amateur Swimming Club
School: Ballakermeen High School
At the 2012 Isle of Man Bank Sports Awards Charlotte was named Isle of Man Under 21 Sportswoman of the Year and was also delighted to be named one of the first recipients of a Cavendish Scholarship. In 2011 she won two gold, two silver and one bronze medal at the Island Games, and a few months later at the Commonwealth Youth Games she reached four finals with her highest placing being fifth in the 400m Individual Medley. 2012 was a fantastic year for Charlotte as she set 69 new individual Island records, in all strokes except breaststroke. In the same year she also achieved No.1 spot in the UK National Short Course rankings for 15-year-old girls in seven different Freestyle and Butterfly events, and seventh in the European Short Course rankings for 15/16 year old girls in 1500m Freestyle. Currently she has 19 top ten National rankings, being No.1 in the short-course rankings in 1500m Freestyle.
In June 2012 she competed in the ASA National Championships, which were the second-round Olympic selection trials, and got to meet Olympic star Rebecca Adlington. In March 2013 she competed in the British Gas International Meet which was amazing because it included Olympians, World and European Champions. So far she has achieved consideration times for the Commonwealth Games 2014 in 12 different events. These events are in Freestyle, Butterfly, Backstroke and Individual Medley and range in distance from 50m to 800m. Charlotte has also achieved consideration times for the Island Games 2013 in 15 different events.
Target events for Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth
Charlotte says: "I enjoy competing in each of the different events, but my main targets would be butterfly, individual medley and freestyle races."
How does being on the Glasgow 2014 Support Programme
Charlotte says: "I am delighted to be part of the Glasgow 2014 Support Programme, alongside other Manx athletes who are all working towards the same goal - to represent the Island as part of Team Isle of Man. Being on the Support Programme means I have use of all the facilities provided at the Isle of Man Sport Institute. All of the services available are excellent and essential in helping athletes prepare for major events." The Glasgow 2014 Support Programme, funded by the Isle of Man Commonwealth Games Association, allows competitors aiming to represent the Island at the Games to receive expert advice and support from the Isle of Man Sport Institute.
What do the Commonwealth Games mean to
"It would be brilliant to be part of the Commonwealth Games, especially as many of the big names from the London 2012 Olympics will be competing," says Charlotte. "I am sure the atmosphere will be electric, and support from the home crowd should be amazing. Taking part in the Commonwealth Games would be the highlight of my swimming career so far, as it is the highest profile event in which Manx athletes can represent the Island. I am particularly excited because the event will be televised, and it will be fantastic for everyone at home to be able to watch our athletes competing. I am sure the opening and closing ceremonies will be brilliant, and it will be wonderful to watch our team parading with the Manx flag. I know the support on the Island will be fantastic, and it would be amazing if Team Isle of Man could bring home some medals. I would like to thank Sport Aid, the Cavendish Scholarship and Gubay Scholarship for Sporting Achievement for their support in helping me achieve my success so far."