The Middlewich star has enjoyed a hugely fruitful 12 months, with countless British records broken across multiple different strokes in the S14 classification for intellectually impaired athletes. But it was in 2022 that she began to make her mark on the international stage, with appearances at the World Para Swimming Championships and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. At the Worlds, Poppy claimed a medal of each colour, winning 4x100m medley relay gold, 100m backstroke silver and bronze in the 100m butterfly.
She also finished fourth in Birmingham but admits that backstroke silver was the highlight of her year. She said: “My favourite race was the 100m backstroke that I did, because I got a PB and I managed to come second in Madeira at the World Championships. I also did the Commonwealth Games and a couple more events in Madeira. The Commonwealth Games were really cool.”
That success on the world stage, coupled with a fourth-place finish in Birmingham, saw her named as one of 10 nominees for SportsAid’s One-to-Watch Award, back and bigger than ever after a three-year absence to celebrate Britain’s brightest sporting prospects.
The One-to-Watch Award has gained a strong reputation for identifying the best up-and-coming prospects in Britain since its launch in 2006. Previous winners, including Tom Daley OBE, Hollie Arnold MBE, Courtney Tulloch and Alex Yee MBE, have already amassed over 50 senior medals from Olympic and Paralympic Games, World and European Championships, as well as Commonwealth Games, to establish themselves as household names.
And having found herself among illustrious company at a star-studded award ceremony, Poppy has her sights set on the Paris Paralympics - and next year’s World Championships on home soil.
She added: “My goal is to hopefully qualify for the World Championships in Manchester. I’ll race the 100m backstroke, the 100m fly, 100m breaststroke, the 100m freestyle and the 200m freestyle and the 200m individual medley - my favourite is the 100m. To go to the Paralympics, it would mean a lot.”
SportsAid’s Celebrate the Next event, kindly supported by Royal Bank of Canada, was hosted at Sea Containers House in London thanks to Hogarth Worldwide. Please visit www.sportsaid.org.uk to find out more.