WEST Fife swimmers Cara Smyth and Ollie Carter are among 49 athletes who have been selected to join the British Para-Swimming Para Academy for 2017.

Ahead of the sport entering the opening season of the 2020 Paralympic cycle, British Para-Swimming have been working through a robust performance review with coaches and swimmers to decide who meets UK Sport programme criteria and will receive direct support through the World Class Performance Programme.

Swimmers have been selected for Podium, Podium Potential and Para Academy programmes and InCAS youngster Cara, of Dalgety Bay, and 16-year-old Carnegie Swimming Club member Ollie have been rewarded for impressive seasons by being picked for the Para Academy.

Carter, who is coached by Morag Mitchell, will travel to next month’s National Para-Swimming Championships in Manchester having started the season in impressive style. He struck gold in the 100 metres, 400m freestyle and 200m individual medley, and silver in the 50m freestyle, at the Robin Hood Open Meet in October before winning the 100m individual medley, 50m backstroke, 50m butterfly, 50m breaststroke and 100m freestyle at this month’s Scottish National Junior Swimming Championships.

Inverkeithing High School pupil Smyth, 15, is a member of the Scottish Youth Development squad and won bronze medals in the 100m breaststroke and 100m butterfly at September’s Sainsbury’s UK School Games.

She then went on to win gold in the 50m butterfly and four silver medals at the Scottish National Junior Swimming Championships and the duo join a further 16 swimmers in the Para Academy.

Swimmers on the programme will receive access to world-class sports science, advanced training camp and competition opportunities and support from British Swimming performance staff.