Sunday, October 25, 2020

Women in Sport Week: Toni Shaw

Launched in June 2015, Women’s Sport Week featured original and curated content across local and national media, supported by Government and the wider sport industry, as the nation looked ahead to an exciting summer for women’s sport.

Women’s Sport Week was designed and launched to celebrate, raise awareness and increase the profile of women’s sport across the UK. Focusing on media coverage, elite competition, grassroots participation and workforce, the week featured original and shared content across local and national media, supported by Government and the wider sport industry, as the nation looked ahead to an exciting summer for women’s sport.

This year Women’s Sport Week runs from 24th to 30th October and each day we will be sharing a news story celebrating Scottish Swimming’s Women in Sport. Today we meet World Para-Swimming Champion and Learn To Swim Ambassador Toni Shaw, who swims for University of Aberdeen Performance Squad. Toni has taken the para-swimming world by storm, the Aberdeen-born swimmer won six medals at last years World Championships in London.

Who was your female role model growing up and why?

Ellie Simmonds was my role model growing up. I remember watching her compete at the Olympic Games at London 2012 on TV. This was the first major para-swimming competition I’d ever seen and I was fascinated. 

Why is it important to look up to a role model?

It's really important to have something to aspire to and I think looking up to a successful athlete is a great example of this. It really helps setting goals and having the chance to take advice from someone in this position has made this even more significant for me, personally.

How accessible is your sport for women, and what barriers are there that we need to look to overcome?

I believe swimming is a very accessible sport for both men and women, in comparison to others. However, it is always important for females to stay in the sport as long as they can and to promote female athletes as role models for the younger ones.

What is your greatest achievement?

My biggest achievements, so far, is being part of the 34 point medley relay at the London 2019 World Para Swimming Championships, winning Gold in a World Record time.

What would you say to your younger self as a young women beginning in sport?

I would tell myself that sport is great. You meet so many amazing people and it can lead to so many opportunities, so stick in!

#SheCanSheWill