A SWIMMING gold medalist from South Petherton is calling on the public to help her get to the world championships this year.

Caroline Faithfull, 23, of South Petherton, is Team GB captain for the ninth Down’s Syndrome World Swimming Championships in Canada.

However, her position on the team relies on being able to raise £3,500 to fund her own trip across the pond.

She said: “I’m asking for help to get to Canada. There is no external funding to support me to do this so I have to fund it all myself, including accommodation and flights.

“I would love to be able to represent my country in Canada and I am training so hard to achieve this goal.”

Caroline has been swimming competitively since 2009, when she won her first competition.

She previously competed at the world championships in Italy in 2012, in Mexico in 2014, and took home a bronze medal in the 200m backstroke when competing in Florence, Italy, in 2016.

Caroline also went to the fourth European Down’s Syndrome Swimming Championships in November, returning with four individual medals including a gold and six team relay medals.

She added: “I am 23 years old and have Down’s Syndrome. This does not stop me from achieving my goals and I am currently in the Great Britain squad captain for my team.

“I am training three or four times a week to be able to get the times to go to Nova Scotia, Canada, in July 2018.

She added: “All I need now is your support and donations to get me there and, hopefully, I will bring back some medals.”

The world championships is a six-day event and Caroline will be swimming in the freestyle and backstroke events.

Her dad, David, always travels with her when she competes.

He said: “From the European competition, the worlds are another step up. To get one of two medals would be a massive achievement.

“She swims at Taunton Deane Swimming Club and with Reading Signets Special Needs Club once a month.

“None of these swimmers get any funding. It is all down to the parents or carers.”

To help Caroline get to Canada, donate at justgiving.com/crowdfunding/getmetocanada.