Budding star Layla to swim for Team GB

Swimmer Layla Black (St Wilfrid's Catholic school) aged 13, is the world's fastest swimmer in her age group for the 200m breaststroke, and is now due to swim at the National Championships.'p307c419
Swimmer Layla Black (St Wilfrid's Catholic school) aged 13, is the world's fastest swimmer in her age group for the 200m breaststroke, and is now due to swim at the National Championships.'p307c419

Youngster Layla Black will jet off to Azerbaijan later this year after being selected to swim for her country.

The Featherstone St Wilfrid’s Catholic High School pupil became the fastest 200m breaststroke swimmer in the world during the British Championships in London earlier this month.

Layla, 14, also broke the British record in the 100m breaststroke and qualified to swim for Team GB at the European Swimming Championships in Azerbaijan in June.

She said: “It is really exciting that I’m going to be competing in the European Games.

“It’ll be my first major open age competition and they get some big crowds too. The aquatics centre over there holds about 6,000 people which will just be amazing.”

Layla, who is also preparing for her GCSE exams, only started racing after she sailed through her swimming badges as a child.

She added: “I did swimming lessons when I was younger and I passed all of my badges pretty quickly.

“Then my mum wanted me to carry on doing a sport so she signed me up with the City of Leeds Swimming Club and it went from there.”

Layla trains every day before and after school and is a member of the City of Leeds Swimming Club.

She added: “It can be hard juggling school work around swimming but I really enjoy it.

“Sometimes school allow me to miss my physical education classes and do my homework but I always try to manage my time well.

“The school have been really helpful and all of the teachers support me in what I do.

“My parents are massive help as well because they run me around all over the country to train and compete.

“They say they’re really proud of me as well.”