Having got up close and personal with Great Britain’s biggest swimming stars, Solihull star Charlotte Rigg has high hopes of joining them in Birmingham next year.
The 19-year-old swimmer, who turns out for club sides Blythe Barracudas and City of Birmingham as well as for the West Midlands, has made waves at local, regional and county level in her short career – breaking a number of junior and even senior records along the way.
And the 200m breaststroke ace then went on to represent GB at European and World Junior Championship-level.
But, her biggest step came recently when competing alongside Olympic legends and medal hopes alike at the British Swimming Selection Trials – an experience she believes can aid her development as she targets appearing at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
“That was a great experience – it was really hard after Covid with limited training and access to the pool but I’ve learnt a lot from it. The last time I competed before this was March 2020,” Rigg said.
“You can use the swimmers around you to your advantage as a marker of where you need to be in a couple of years’ time.
“It was a great environment and it’s great to watch them race after so many months out of the pool, seeing how they handled it and handled racing.
“A home Commonwealths is pretty special but a home, home Commonwealths for me would be pretty awesome.
“That’s a mid-term goal for me but I’m just looking at the bigger picture. For me, the Olympics in four years’ time and not just focusing on the Commonwealths, but that would be a great step on the journey for me.”
Rigg’s career in the pool is fuelled by a partnership between Entain – owner of Ladbrokes and Coral – and SportsAid which provides vital funding for training, travel, equipment and access to mentoring.
The investment is supported by Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and is helping push the young star along as she bids to emulate her hero Rebecca Adlington in earning Olympic glory down the line.
It has been a rapid journey for Rigg from her beginnings in the sport, learning to swim as a life skill at the age of five to training six times a week and competing on the world stage.
But, she wouldn’t trade it for anything and thrives off the competition with the step up to senior level now in her sights.
“I remember watching her [Adlington] in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics when I was younger,” she added.
“She was the first British female swimmer to win two Olympic golds at a Games for 100 years and then obviously followed it up in London four years later. She was so inspiring.
“Now that I’m transitioning between junior and senior level, it’s a massive step up. But I’m just trying to get some more experience.”