A mother’s pride – Joyce Davies on daughter Erraid’s medal joy
The mother of swimming star Erraid Davies, has spoken of her delight after the 13-year-old became the youngest Team Scotland member ever to win a Commonwealth medal.
The teenager warmed the hearts of the nation, with hundreds of tributes flooding in to congratulate the lass from Skeld and her name trending worldwide on Twitter following Sunday night’s race.
Mum Joyce and father David were watching from the sidelines as their girl bagged a bronze medal and a personal best in the women’s 100 metre SB9 breast stroke.
Joyce said they were “incredibly proud” of Erraid and were delighted with how well she did.
“I don’t know if it’s sunk in, Glasgow is so busy, you’re away from Shetland and it’s a very different experience,” she said.
She said that leading up to the games, Erraid had been thinking of it as “just another swimming gala”.
Erraid, she added was focused on claiming personal bests – her first came in her qualifying swim yesterday morning followed by another strong performance in the final, scraping another half a second of her personal best. Getting a medal was a bonus, said Joyce.
“She’s extremely grounded and very focused with her swimming, that’s always been Erraid’s motivation – to be a better swimmer.”
Erraid, a member of the Delting Dolphins swimming club, has been trained under the watchful eye of coach Lorraine Gifford, who showed an interest in her when she was eight.
Joyce said that Erraid has a very structured training programme, and she has had to be very motivated to keep up with the schedule.
Erraid trains 14 hours a week, swimming six days out of seven. Most of her swimming has been in mainstream competitions, Joyce said and it was only in the last four months she qualified as a para-swimmer so the journey to winning a medal had come quite quickly.
Today they managed an Italian meal as a way of celebration.
“She just loves it [swimming], for her health it is just hugely beneficial so that’s another motivating factor.”
Erraid suffers with a hip condition called Perthes’ disease – which causes the bone in her hip to crumble and deteriorate.
Swimming, her mum said was a way of her staying fit, as it means in the water she does not have weight bearing on her hip.
Joyce said Erraid was “very modest about her achievements” and had not really told her schoolfriends she was competing in the games.
“If she came out thinking she had done her very best that’s the main thing, the medal was the icing on the cake,” Joyce added.
And the roar of the Scottish home crowd helped Erraid, who now has hopes for competing in 2016 Olympics in Rio.
“The noise of the crowd and the cheers have just been phenomenal,” said Joyce.
“I think it gave her a big boost to hear so many people cheering before the race, and after the race when she won the medal and she was collecting the medal – she got such a noise from the crowd, she was just overwhelmed.”
For more on Erraid’s performance and reaction to Andrea Strachan and Lynda Flaws’ games experience don’t miss Friday’s Shetland Times.