POPPY Maskill hopes her debut in the Commonwealth Games next week will be a step to even greater success in the pool.

The 17-year-old Middlewich swimmer said she has her sights set on Paralympics Games appearances further down the line and feels that representing Team England in Birmingham can only help her in achieving that goal.

"I want to get as far as I can in the sport," said Poppy, who will be contesting the women's S14 200m freestyle heats in the Sandwell Aquatics Centre on the morning of Wednesday, August 3, with a potential appearance in the final to follow that same night.

"I hope to get into the final and then win a medal if I can," said Poppy, who's hard work in preparation has included a training camp in Lanzarote.

The former Winsford Swim Team and Northwich Centurions competitor, who was Middlewich Rose Queen in 2014, aged nine, has already produced some remarkable performances while bursting on to the international scene this year – including becoming a world champion.

She won her first senior international swimming title at the Citi Para Swimming World Series in Aberdeen in February, claiming victory in the MC 100m butterfly.

That earned Poppy a place among the 29-strong British team for the World Championships in Madeira.

She further developed her international racing experience ahead of Madeira by winning two medals in Italy at the Lignano Sabbiadoro Para-Swimming World Series event in March, taking multi-class gold in the MC 100m backstroke and silver in the MC 200m freestyle.

Poppy, who now trains at Alsager Swimming Club, went on to win three medals at the World Championships – silver in the S14 100m backstroke, bronze in the S14 100m butterfly and then gold with her team in the mixed S14 4x100m medley relay.

The talented swimmer is an all-rounder, competing in events from 50m sprints to 5000m open water races.

She was no stranger to medal success while climbing through the ages.

The 2021 Everybody Awards Disabled Sports Achiever winner was a multiple junior para-swimming national champion.

She was the highest-ranked in the county at under 12s level.

Before classification Maskill raced as an able bodied athlete at county, regional and national level.