At just 14, Niamh Robinson is the youngest athlete going to Glasgow 2014 as part of Team Isle of Man. One of the many talented teenagers in the swimming team, Niamh follows in a family tradition as her Manx mother Suzanne Brown also competed as a swimmer for the Isle of Man in the Commonwealth Games in Auckland in 1990. Although Niamh lives in the UK, she is eligible to represent the Isle of Man through her parentage and leapt at IoM Swim Coach Lee Holland's suggestion to attempt Commonwealth Games consideration times over the past season.
Home town/village: Darwen, Lancashire
School/college/employer: Canon Slade School, Bolton
Sports club: Pioneer 79 Swimming Club, Southern Amateur Swimming Club/Isle of Man Swimming Club
- UK National Age Group Swimming Championships: 6th (100m breaststroke), 7th (200m breaststroke) and 9th (200m individual medley).
- Isle of Man Championships: 13 golds and 2 silvers.
- Lancashire County Swimming Championships: 6 golds, 4 silvers and 1 bronze in age group; 4 silvers and 2 bronze in Junior plus 3 bronze in the Senior category.
- Scottish Nationals: qualified for 4 'B' finals, finishing 3rd (50m breaststroke), 4th (100m & 200m breaststroke) and 9th (100m butterfly).
- Regional Age Group Swimming Championships: 2 golds and 4 silvers.
- Achieved 29 Commonwealth Games consideration times in total and narrowly missed (by less than one second) times for three other swim events.
- 7 National qualifying times.
Events at Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games
Breaststroke (50m, 100m and 200m), individual medley (200m), backstroke (50m) and butterfly (50m).
Aims for 2014
There are a busy couple of months ahead for Niamh. Prior to the Commonwealth Games, she is competing as a Junior in the ASA International Championships in Manchester at the end of June. She has qualified for five events at this competition (50m backstroke, 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke and 50m butterfly) and hopes to achieve some good times and placings. She missed the 200m individual medley qualifying time for Manchester by just 0.08 seconds but hopes for a chance to improve on that next year when she will still be competing as a Junior.
The Commonwealth Games follow where Niamh is looking forward to competing with top talent from around the world. No sooner is she out of the Glasgow pool than she will be whisked away to Sheffield to take part in the ASA National Age Group Swimming Championships before returning to join in the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony. She has qualified for seven events at the Nationals and is aiming for at least a couple of medal positions.
What do the Commonwealth Games mean to you?
"It's a wonderful feeling to have the honour of representing the Isle of Man at the Commonwealth Games, as this is the highest profiled event that a Manx athlete can represent the Island.
"I feel both honoured and privileged to have been selected and am immensely proud of my Manx heritage. The Isle of Man has a strong tradition in excelling in sport at National, Commonwealth and World levels and I very much want to continue this tradition and aspire to the highest levels.
"Being the youngest member of the Team is slightly daunting, but
I have made many good friends with whom I can share these
experiences. I am under no illusions and realise I am unlikely to
be challenging for a medal this time around, however I am looking
forward enormously to the opportunity of swimming to my full
potential and hope to do
myself and everyone proud. In four years' time at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, I will definitely be challenging for medals!"
* The Isle of Man Commonwealth Games Association is the organisation responsible for the publicity, fundraising, travel and support for Team Isle of Man's participation at the Commonwealth Games. It is a registered charity and relies upon fundraising events and donations to fund Team Isle of Man's participation. Fundraising initiatives are being planned in the countdown to Glasgow 2014 and donations to support Team Isle of Man can also be made at www.cga.im.