Jessica Jane’s hope to continue career after “heartbreaking” funding cut

Great Britain's Jessica Jane Applegate celebrates her silver medal following the Women's 200m Freest

Great Britain's Jessica Jane Applegate celebrates her silver medal following the Women's 200m Freestyle - S14 Final on the fourth day of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday September 11, 2016. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY - Credit: PA

Norfolk swimming star Jessica Jane Applegate said it is 'heartbreaking' to think she may not continue after her funding was cut.

Despite winning three medals at the Rio Paralympics in September, she did not meet the criteria to remain on the British Para-Swimming Podium programme.

Instead the 20-year-old was moved down to the Podium Potential programme, resulting in a funding cut of around £10,000.

Last week, her mother Dawn said she would have to retire in January if they could not make the money up.

Applegate said: 'It is heartbreaking to think I may not continue something I love so much. My swim squad they are literally like my family, they see me day in day out everyday.'

The Burgh Castle based swimmer first got involved in swimming 11 years ago. Since then the pool has become a second home for her.

The sport is something she has devoted her life to, spending the majority of her days training.

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Her efforts have been rewarded with a gold medal at the London 2012 Paralympics, and two silvers and a bronze in Rio.

She said: 'It has been such a huge part of my life I don't know what I would do without it. It keeps me on the straight and narrow, swimming is where I want to be even on my days where I don't want to do anything just being underwater is so peaceful I just love it so much.'

An appeal was recently set up to help Jessica reach her funding target.

And despite with this in the background, she has not let it affect her performances. Last week she set tghe national records in the 400m freestyle and 50m freestyle, with her time of 26.92 seconds for the latter distance also breaking the Norfolk able-bodied record.

She said: '20-years-old is classed as getting on in the swimming world but I still think there's life in me yet, there is a few years to go.'

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