Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Claire Cashmore won bronze in Athens and Beijing but hopes to clinch gold in London. Guang Niu / Getty Images
Claire Cashmore won bronze in Athens and Beijing but hopes to clinch gold in London. Guang Niu / Getty Images

British swimmer Claire Cashmore counts on her determination

For Claire Cashmore, childhood taunts helped unearth the competitive spirit that has propelled her to her third Paralympics.

For Claire Cashmore, childhood taunts helped unearth the competitive spirit that has propelled her to her third Paralympics.

Born in England, Cashmore moved to Dubai at the age of five where her love of swimming was fostered.

At the age of nine, a rival taunted Cashmore but it was a barb that backfired, instead making her doubly determined to prove her young detractor wrong.

She said: "Dubai is where my love of swimming came, especially when a girl told me I couldn't swim because I would go round in circles and I only had one arm.

"And I was like 'I'm going to prove you wrong' and I beat her. I really wanted to go up to her and go 'Ah, so can I not swim?' But I was a better sport."

Returning to Britain aged 11, Cashmore then spent four years at Kelly College in Devon, with its emphasis on sport.

In 2004, aged 16, Cashmore made her Paralympic debut in Athens where she won bronze in both the S9 100 metres backstroke and the SM9 200m individual medley. Four years later in Beijing, Cashmore secured another third place - this time in the SB8 100m breaststroke.

World short-course and European titles have followed as have two silver medals at the long-course (50m) World Championships in Eindhoven in 2010.

With London upon us, Cashmore is open about the thrill she is expecting from the home crowd at the Aquatics Centre, saying: "I've been dreaming of it for I don't know how many years and what it is actually going to be like. It is going to be so exciting."

Cashmore, 24, is studying linguistics and phonetics at Leeds University and part of her course investigated why some speak patronizingly to those with a disability and the psychology behind that.

For Cashmore, it is something that over the years has improved but she admits there is still some way to go.

"People have got a lot more aware. Channel 4 [television] has done a fantastic job to get people aware of disability and not be so ashamed.

"I quite often have kids come up to me in the street and ask questions and the mum and dad will slap them over the head and say 'shhh, don't ask questions' whereas I am much more 'come and ask me'.

"They need to learn - children are inquisitive they are only asking because they want to know."

She added: "I think it is important that people are exposed to someone with a disability and it is normal and there are so many opportunities out there for people in any kind of sport or any other area."


twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 The seventh edition of the Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament was kicking off at Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi on Wednesday with plenty of excitement in store. Ravindranath K / The National

In pictures: IPL 7 kicks off in Abu Dhabi

The first match in the seventh edition of the Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament, between Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders, was held at Zayed Cricket Stadium amid plenty of colour.

 Al Rayyan's Yakubu Ayegbeni, left, tries to escape the attention of Jazira's Khamis Ismail. Karim Jaafar / AFP Photo

Late strike qualifies Al Jazira for last 16 of Asian Champions League

A dramatic late goal gave Al Jazira a 3-2 victory at Al Rayyan of Qatar in the Asian Champions League (ACL) on Wednesday night and it was just enough to push Walter Zenga’s side into the knockout stages.

 Zayed Cricket Stadium had not witnessed so electrcic an atmosphere before Wednesday evening. Pawan Singh / The National

Packed house gathers in Abu Dhabi for Indian Premier League opener

In less than half a day, Zayed Cricket Stadium witnessed the force that is Indian cricket, with the sound drowning out the controversies that have dogged the Twenty20 tournament, writes Osman Samiuddin.

 Lionel Messi of Barcelona looks down after being defeated during the Copa del Rey Final between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona at Estadio Mestalla on April 16, 2014 in Valencia, Spain. David Ramos/Getty Images

Plenty of life still in Barcelona, says Gerardo Martino

Barcelona coach maintained his side can still return to their former glories after they were beaten 2-1 by a Gareth Bale-inspired Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey final.

 Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton, left, and Nico Rosberg at the official press conference following qualifying for the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park on March 15, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia. Mark Thompson/Getty Images

F1: Toto Wolff says Mercedes have all the right ingredients in place

With Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg at the wheel, Mercedes have so far dominated the first three grands prix going into this weekend’s fourth round in China.

 Sunderland manager Gus Poyet, left, reacts as Manchester City's manager Manuel Pellegrini looks on during their English Premier League football match at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester on April 16, 2014. The match ended in a 2-2 draw. AFP PHOTO/Andrew YATES

Poyet says ‘I am sure that Luis Suarez is going to be happy’ after Sunderland draw at Manchester City

Sunderland’s survival chances remain slim because now they face Chelsea away at the weekend but manager Gus Poyet insists they are not trying to benefit Liverpool or his fellow Uruguayan, Luis Suarez.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National