Rebecca Lewis has gone from hydrotherapy sessions to the Commonwealth Games swimming pool on an inspiring journey.
The 20-year-old swimmer will compete in the SM10 200 Individual Medley event alongside teammate and friend Meghan Willis after sealing qualification.
Hailing from Church Village, Lewis swims for the Rhondda Cynon Taf Performance Swim Squad. Rebecca, who has mild hemiplegia cerebral palsy on her left side, underwent hydrotherapy as a young child and discovered an ability to swim.
“I had to do hydrotherapy when I was younger and that’s how I discovered I was a strong swimmer. I started lessons at five, joined Pontypridd SC at nine then moved to RCT when I was 10 or 11,” she said.
“I have mild hemiplegia cerebral palsy on my left side which affects the strength of my whole left side. Swimming has always been a release for me, I love being in the water no matter where I am. It’s amazing to be selected for my first Commonwealth Games and to swim alongside Meg as we’re good friends.”
Lewis can look forward to the summer of her life after qualifying as one of the top eight SM10 200IM swimmers in the Commonwealth. With England, Australia, Canada and a host of other Commonwealth nations taking strong teams to the Sandwell Aquatic Centre, competition will be fierce. But Lewis is planning to take in the experience of representing her country at a major Games.
“I’m really excited but I am a bit nervous for Birmingham,” she added. “I think my mum and my sister will be up there supporting me, they’re my biggest fans. Everyone’s been asking me if I know if I’m going so I can’t wait to finally tell them. It’s an honour to be able to represent your country, I come from a family of proud Welsh people.”