Luton SC duo head for International Paralympic Committee European Swimming Championships

Swimming round-up

Two swimmers from Luton SC are heading to the International Paralympic Committee European Swimming Championships in Reykjavik next week.

Lauren Hobbins, 14, is getting her first taste of international competition at this major championships, and she is travelling with team-mate Emma Cattle, 21, who is competing in her third championships.

Luton coach Pete Woodbridge said: "I'm delighted that both these girls will be in Reykjavik representing Great Britain and Luton.

"I know they've both trained hard and I hope they convert that hard work into good performances in Iceland."

Great Britain are taking a 40-strong squad to Iceland containing many Paralympians and 20 European record holders.

Hobbins, a visually impaired athlete, has been competing since nine years old and got her S13 classification in August last year and her first Disability Swimming Competition was the DSE National Short Course Championships last November.

Her best strokes are the 100m backstroke, where her current personal best time is 1.18.29mins, and 100m breaststroke, where her best is 1.32.99mins.

Cattle, who swims in the S10 category and trains at the High Performance Centre in Manchester, is focused on winning back her 100m backstroke European record from Spanish rival Esther Morales as, having broken what was the 10-year-old backstroke European record in the heats in Beijing last summer with a time of 1.14.05mins, she had it wrestled from her in the final by Morales who just dipped under the 1.14mins mark.

National Performance Director Tim Reddish is keen to see his team show they are ready to take their first step towards the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

He added: "The team has a good mix of youth and experience. This is the major meet of the year for our athletes and step one in the beginning of our four-year cycle.

"This is the first major international meet for the athletes that competed in Beijing and I think it will be a good test to see where we are in European Disability Swimming and they will all relish the opportunity to test themselves against some tough European competition."