Teenage swimmer Evie Lambert is a determined young athlete who wants to make it to the very top of the swimming pyramid and one day compete at the Paralympics. 

Borough of Kirklees swimmer Evie, 14, who was born without a left hand, is already involved with Team England and is well on her way to achieving her dream. 

Evie was born without a left hand due to amniotic band syndrome, a condition that only affects 1,200 live births worldwide. The condition is where string-like fibres wrap around limbs in the womb, cutting off blood supply.

Evie’s mum Sally was made aware of her daughter’s disability after a 20-week scan. The courage and determination in Evie is mirrored through the love and support of mother Sally, 51, and father Duncan, 53. Their encouragement has helped both Evie and younger brother Henry, 12, get to where they want to be so far. 

Back in 2018 Evie was supplied with a prosthetic which allowed her to do things she found difficult before. Even opening a can of pop could be challenging but her new arm helped her overcome many everyday tasks. This new found confidence was translated into the swimming pool. 

The Paralympic hopeful goes swimming over eight hours a week and for some sessions gets up at 5am. She swims for Huddersfield-based BOK which is the closest club to her from where she lives in Brighouse.

Evie swims for Huddersfield-based Borough of Kirklees (BOK)

Evie said: “Since I was young I have loved swimming. My mum used to take me and I just fell in love with it.

“I joined a few clubs and then got into the Borough of Kirklees competitive swimming club which was great. I love it at BOK. The coaches are fantastic and really supportive. 

“I’ve got used to getting up early to go and do a session. I know if I want to reach the big competitions I need to put the work in.

“I want to one day swim at the Paralympics and Commonwealth games as a Paralympian representing my country. That’s my aim and that’s what I’m focused on.

“I watch all the swimming races. My favourite swimmers are either Toni Shaw or Adam Peaty; they are great. I love how they compete and I watch to see if I can learn anything from them.” 

In 2018 Evie’s family received a call from a company called Open Bionics, which makes prosthetic arms. They said an anonymous donor had paid for a new arm. The kind donation was a life-changing experience for Evie.

The teenager was open and honest about the fact she was bullied at school due to her disability but says she is determined to prove people wrong.

Evie ready to compete

She added: “When I was called names at school at first it did affect me but now I don’t let it bother me. I concentrate on what I’m doing and where I want to get to. 

“My swimming friends are great and really supportive. I can relax at swimming, that’s why I love it so much. My arm has made it easier to do certain tasks. I can’t wear it in the pool though as it is electric and quite heavy.”

Evie’s mum Sally is proud of what her daughter has achieved not just in the pool but out of it too. 

She said: “We are immensely proud of her as we are of Henry too. Evie has never let her disability stop her. She wears the arm when she needs to but she is really comfortable in her own skin.

“At swimming she doesn’t wear her arm but she isn’t bothered. She’s really happy to just get on with it which is a great attitude. 

“She could ride a bike from a young age and she’s found ways of doing other things. She likes to solve problems and make things work for her.

Evie enjoying a night out

“We have had incidents where people have called her names and there have been stares but I think over time she’s built up a resilience to it. She deals with any incidents by explaining to people that she was born like that.

“She’s never let it stop her doing anything. She’s a really strong swimmer and has been picking up medals at national level over the last few years and the coaches are really happy with her progress. The next step is getting her international classification. I know she will achieve that and we, as parents, believe in her 100%.

“It would be amazing to see her compete at a Paralympics. However if she woke up one morning and didn’t want to swim anymore that’s up to her. We’ll support whatever she chooses to do.”