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KEARNEY Tully
Sport Para swimming
NPC Great Britain   
GenderWomen
Age22
Place of BirthNottingham, ENG
Height1.70 m
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Classification
S5
Further Personal Information
Residence
Manchester, ENG
Occupation
Athlete, Student
Languages
English
Higher education
Physiology - Manchester Metropolitan University: England
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
She began swimming at age nine.
Why this sport?
"I would go to watch my mum and brother when they used to go swimming and the coach asked me if I wanted to give it a try. I really enjoyed it and I've carried on ever since."
Club / Team
City of Manchester Aquatics Swim Team [COMAST]: England
Name of coach
Matt Walker [personal]; Rob Aubry [national]
Senior International Debut
Year
2011
Competing for
Great Britain
General Interest
Nicknames
Tullstar (rwssc.co.uk, 25 Oct 2011)
Hobbies
Supporting English football club Notts County, baking, sewing. (nottscountyfc.co.uk, 24 May 2016; BBC Sport Youtube Channel, 14 Jun 2016)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning four gold medals at the 2015 World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland. (bbc.co.uk, 18 Apr 2016)
Most influential person in career
British Para swimmer Ellie Simmonds. (aldridgeresidents.org, 14 Jul 2008)
Hero / Idol
US swimmer Michael Phelps. (rwssc.co.uk, 25 Oct 2011)
Injuries
A progression in her condition combined with a shoulder injury prevented her from competing at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (skysports.com, 07 Sep 2016; bbc.co.uk, 23 Aug 2016; dystonia.org.uk, 01 Jan 2018)

An illness affected her performances at the trials for both the 2014 Commonwealth Games, and the 2014 European Championships. (birminghammail.co.uk, 01 Sep 2014)

An injury prevented her from attempting to qualify for the 2012 Paralympic Games. (istudy.hk, 04 Jun 2013)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"If I don't train hard today, someone else will." (rwssc.co.uk, 25 Oct 2011)
Awards and honours
She was named England's Amateur Swimming Association [ASA] Para swimming Performance Athlete of the Year in 2015. (swimswam.com, 16 Nov 2015)

She was named the 2015 Para swimming Emerging Athlete of the Year at the British Swimming Awards. (swimswam.com, 03 Oct 2015)

She was named the 2015 Amateur Sportswoman of the Year at the Birmingham Sports Awards in England. (swimming.org, 18 Sep 2015)

She was named the 2014 Junior Sportsperson of the Year at the Birmingham Sports Awards in England. (swimming.org, 22 Sep 2014)
Impairment
She has cerebral palsy and dystonia, a progressive neurological condition that causes muscle weakness. (bbc.co.uk, 31 May 2018; walsalladvertiser.co.uk, 23 Jul 2015)
Other information
SWIMMING SETBACK
After being selected to compete at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, she had to withdraw a few weeks prior to the Games. "Everything was going so well for me and I was selected to swim at the Paralympic Games in Rio in 2016. Sadly, my dystonia progressed and I had to withdraw from the Games two weeks before I was due to fly out. I basically had to learn to swim again and discover what my body could still do or not do in the water. I was reclassified in 2017 because of my increased level of disability and returned to major competition at the 2017 summer [British] nationals." (dystonia.org.uk, 01 Jan 2018)

OTHER ACTIVITIES
She is a patron of the British charity, The Dystonia Society. "It is a real honour for me to be asked to be a patron of the Dystonia Society, an organisation which is very close to my heart. My life with dystonia has not been easy or straightforward, and the unpredictable nature of the condition can be hard to deal with. I am determined to try to carry on with my life and stay positive and I think it's important for people with chronic conditions to try to find something to focus on which they enjoy, whether that be sport or something else. My motto is 'Life... Be in it'."(dystonia.org.uk, 29 Jun 2019)

CHAMPION CLASSMATE
She grew up in the same village as multiple Paralympic champion Ellie Simmonds, attending the same school and swim club. "When I was younger, Ellie was one of my biggest inspirations. In school assembly she was always there with her medals and I remember looking at her and thinking, 'That's what I want to do when I'm older.'" (bbc.co.uk, 18 Apr 2016)

Competition Highlights (historical)
World Championships (Overall)
Rank Year Event Result
Heats 2013 100m Freestyle S10 1:06.43
3 2013 400m Freestyle S10 4:42.37
Heats 2013 200m Individual Medley SM10 2:52.60
Heats 2013 100m Butterfly S10 1:17.90
8 2013 100m Backstroke S10 1:15.87
2 2015 100m Backstroke S9 1:10.52
5 2015 100m Freestyle S9 1:05.79
3 2015 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay 34 Points 4:29.83
1 2015 100m Butterfly S9 1:09.04
1 2015 400m Freestyle S9 4:39.29
1 2015 200m Individual Medley SM9 2:31.08
1 2015 4 x 100m Medley Relay 34 Points 4:52.89
European Championships
Rank Year Event Result
7 2018 50m Freestyle S6 37.50
5 2018 100m Breaststroke SB4 2:30.49
9 2018 100m Backstroke S6 1:59.53
3 2018 50m Freestyle S5 39.77
1 2018 100m Freestyle S5 1:18.79