Olympic dream comes true for Blackpool swimmer Erin Green

Erin Green has returned to Blackpool from Abu Dhabi with a Special Olympics silver medal
Erin Green has returned to Blackpool from Abu Dhabi with a Special Olympics silver medal
Share this article

Blackpool swimmer Erin Green describes representing her country as “a dream come true” after winning silver for Great Britain in the 1500m freestyle at the World Special Games in Abu Dhabi.

Blackpool swimmer Erin Green describes representing her country as “a dream come true” after winning silver for Great Britain in the 1500m freestyle at the World Special Games in Abu Dhabi.

At 19, Erin was one of the youngest competitors in her category and she finished the race in just under 27 minutes.

Erin, from Marton, was born profoundly deaf and has already enjoyed many successes in swimming, winning gold and bronze medals in her first National Special Olympics at the age of 13.

This week she returned to training with a beaming smile on her face, proudly sporting her silver medal for all to see.

Erin said: “It was such a remarkable experience and I came home with a silver medal in the 1500m, which was the icing on the cake for me. I can’t wait to do another one.

“It was a dream come true to represent my country and hopefully I’ll be able to represent Great Britain again.

“There was a time during the race when I could feel myself getting a bit tired, but I kept my emotions in check and because I was enjoying myself I was able to just keep going.

“I’m now hoping to prepare for the National Special Olympics, which will be held in Liverpool in 2021.”

Erin dreams of becoming a swimming coach herself, following in the footsteps of her best friend and coach Emma

Inglis, who has been by her side from the minute she started swimming.

Erin added: “Emma is such an inspiration and she definitely brings out the best in me.

“We communicate in a kind of secret language, so we can talk about people without them knowing!

“In the future, I’d like to coach swimming, in particular for people who are deaf like me, as I think having the skill of being able to communicate via sign language is something that many coaches don’t have.

“You don’t need to let your disability affect you. Anyone can swim and that’s the message I’m trying to portray.”

Inglis is the head coach of the Blackpool Polar Bears disability swimming club and of the Great Britain Special Olympics squad.

And she praised the determination of category four swimmer Erin, having worked with her for almost 10 years.

The GB coach said: “When Erin first came to us, she said she wanted to learn to swim, achieve personal bests and achieve medals.

“With her now doing two national games and a worlds, she’s shown that she’s got the determination and dedication to achieve what she has.

“As long as Erin continues to train hard, with her dedication I’m quite certain she’ll be able to achieve worlds again.

“Now Blackpool has had an athlete compete at international level, it’s definitely put disability sports, swimming and the Special Olympics on the map here.”

And delighted dad Mark Green believes Erin wouldn’t be the person she is today if it wasn’t for the Polar Bears.

He said: “I’m immensely proud of all that she’s achieved.

“I definitely think the pool brings the best out of her confidence and the Blackpool Polar Bears have helped Erin enormously with that.

“I think it’s important to note that Blackpool Polar Bears are here in our home-town and it’s been an instrumental part of Erin’s life growing up as a teenager.”

Linda Inglis, chair of the Polar Bears, launched the club 20 years ago to give people like Erin a platform to succeed.

She said: “We’ve got a wide range of mixed abilities and we’re the only multi-disability swimming club in the North West.

“We want to give everybody the chance to achieve and that’s what we’re all about.

“This year was the first time we’ve got through to the worlds, which is absolutely fantastic.”