Swimmer Afia Minhas was presented the SKT Welfare Achievement in Sport Award at Fusion.

The Fusion Awards were held on Saturday July 6 at King George’s Hall, Blackburn attracting volunteers, charity workers and sporting talent from across the North West.

Speaking on stage Afia thanked her mum for the support she received.

The 2019 Achievement in Sport Award rewards the talents and drive of a young swimmer who is shattering stereotypes.

Afia Minhas has been swimming since she was five-years-old and took part in her first competition, ‘Rising Stars’ at Manchester Aquatics Centre at the age of nine.

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Afia was presented the award by Asif Hussain CEP of SKT Welfare

Her swimming club, City of Manchester Aquatics and her school The Barlow RC High School liaise with each other to ensure all targets are met.

Afia has adopted a gruelling training schedule which sees her at the poolside at 4.45am.

Wake up at 3.30am she takes eight training sessions each week during school days.

After the training she is in school by 8.15am. After school she is back in the pool from 3.45pm and later finds time to do her schoolwork.

In total she aims to swim about 4,000 metres a day!

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Her hard work has seen her soar in success with Afia accumulating several medals and trophies.

The medals she cherishes the most are the nine silver and one bronze medal she won in 2016 at Lancashire County where she was believed to be the first British Pakistani girl to have ever won any medal in the Lancashire County Championships.

Afia has also swum competitively in Pakistan and holds four national records and was also named top national athlete in her age group.

In a bid to encourage interest in swimming as a hobby for girls in Pakistan, Afia and her family are working in conjunction with Veena Masud, Honorary Secretary of the Pakistan Women’s Swimming Association, to promote the sport.

Afia has reaffirmed her commitment to swimming by aiming to represent both the UK and Pakistan at the Olympics.