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A masterstroke for mum and daughter

By Staff Reporter

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Niamh Peters' hard work in the pool has certainly paid off.
Niamh Peters' hard work in the pool has certainly paid off.

A GLITTERING year in the pool has been capped for a Grantown mother and daughter with two prestigious national honours.

Talented synchronised swimmer Niamh Peters' achievements were recognised as she was named Scottish Synchronised Swimmer of the Year at the Scottish Swimming Awards on Saturday night.

And as if that was not enough proud mum Sharon Hamilton had even more reason to smile after receiving the John Gunning Volunteer of the Year Award for the North District.

The honours were handed out at the black tie event hosted by BBC Scotland's Arlene Stuart at the Radisson Blu in Glasgow.

More than 300 guests including volunteers, athletes, coaches, partners and guests enjoyed a night to remember as the Scottish Swimming community celebrated success at domestic, national and international level.

Niamh (17) has had a full on year of competing in Synchronised Swimming at the highest level both at Scottish national events, and at British nationals.

During this time the sixth year pupil at Grantown Grammar has been studying for her Highers, qualified as a lifeguard, and is about to take her Level 1 coaching exam.

She has been swimming with Nairn Synchro since the age of nine, and currently is a member of the all Scotland Synchro Caledonia Squad.

She has also won the Helen Murray Senior Soloist title at Scottish Nationals in October, last year, despite only being a junior.

Niamh also won the figures title for her age group at the Scottish Figures Champs in March, earlier this year.

Along with her duet partner, Bethany Thomas from Nairn Synchro, she has repeatedly won all duet titles in both junior and senior age groups, in both free and technical events, throughout the Scottish competitive calendar.

With her junior team mates from Nairn, her team holds the current Scottish National free team and combo team titles – and the club currently holds the Scottish Podium Award for most medals at Scottish Nationals.

A Scottish Swimming spokesperson said Niamh's award was well deserved.

She said: "The Scottish Synchronised Swimmer of the Year Award recognises Niamh's hard work and performance over the 2018-2019 season – Scottish Swimming's highest accolade for a swimmer – awarded to the top performing swimmer in each discipline."

Sharon has dedicated huge amounts of her time.
Sharon has dedicated huge amounts of her time.

Mum Sharon has been a volunteer in swimming for over a decade – initially volunteering with Grantown Swim Club as a timekeeper, judge and club meet secretary.

She said: "When Niamh began competing in synchro, I joined the synchro community and over the last eight years have taken on various roles at club level and at competitions."

Sharon has been the North district convener for synchronised Swimming for seven years and also represents Nairn at the national synchro committee meetings.

* Duncan Scott's outstanding season was recognised as he picked up both the Swimmer of the Year Award and the Nancy Riach Memorial Medal.

In Gwangju in South Korea back in July, Scott picked up his first individual medal from a World Championships and was instrumental in the British quartet winning gold in the 4x100m medley relay.

Toni Shaw won the Disability Swimmer of the Year title after her superb season which saw her break a world record and win six medals from the World Para Swimming World Championships last month.

* All the prizewinners on the big night can be found online at www.scottishswimming.com

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