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Perth student qualifies for Commonwealth Games

Thursday 17 April 2014

A 19 year old student from Perth has qualified for the Commonwealth Games. Swimmer Stephen Milne will compete in the 400m and 1500m freestyle in the competition, which takes place in Glasgow this summer.

Stephen achieved the required times at the Scottish National Swimming Championships in Glasgow earlier this month. He received final confirmation he had made Team Scotland at a gathering in the city yesterday (Wednesday 16 April).

A member of Perth City Swim Club, Stephen has been involved in competitive swimming from a young age. He joined the club at the age of eight after being inspired by a friend. Since then, he has enjoyed a number of successes including coming fifth in the 1650 yard freestyle in the US Winter Nationals last year and winning silvers for the 400m and 1500m freestyle in the British Universities Long Course Swimming Championships in February.

With the Commonwealth Games just a few months away, Stephen will now be stepping up his training regime in preparation. The young athlete will have the added challenge of balancing his swimming with study as he is in his second year of an environmental science degree with University of the Highlands and Islands, based at its Perth College UHI campus.

Speaking about his success, Stephen said: “I’m over the moon to make the Commonwealth Games Team. Now it’s back into hard work until the summer. I train over 20 hours a week at the moment and this will be increasing in the run up to the Games. Everyone at Perth College UHI has been very helpful and I’ve had a lot of support in getting my entries in for the University Games and getting my course work in on time. I’d like to thank everyone who has been involved.”

Stephen’s coach, Ann Dickson, said: “I am delighted all his hard work has paid off, but this is only the first part of the job. The next step is to start the final phase of work to ensure he swims his lifetime best at the Games.”

Crichton Lang, acting principal of the University of the Highlands and Islands, said: “This is fantastic news. I am delighted that Stephen’s hard work and dedication has paid off and he has earned the opportunity to represent his country on a global stage. The university will support Stephen in any way we can in the lead up to the Games and we wish him all the very best for the competition.”

Margaret Munckton, principal of Perth College UHI, added: “An inspiration to all our students for his dedication in combining top-level sport and studies, Stephen is another of our fantastic success stories here at Perth College UHI. We will be supporting him all the way through the next stage of intense training and, of course, cheering him on at the Games.

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