A NEW chapter in Millicent Costello's Olympic dream is underway.

The Eccleston 19-year-old is stepping up her bid to compete for Team GB’s artistic swimming team in the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Thanks to UK Sport funding and sponsorship from St Helens business Satis Education, Millie is to start training as part of the National Senior Team High Performance Centre in Bristol.

She is moving down south today, Thursday, to start the full-time role which is roughly 10 hours per day in the run up to a competition, while the former St Thomas of Canterbury Primary School pupil is also studying architecture at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

Previously she had been travelling to the City of Leeds Swimming Club – the performance centre in the north for artistic swimming – four or five times a week.

Millie, a member of the 'amazingly supportive' Prescot Swimming Club, joined the Artistic Swimming England Talent Programme in 2012 at the age of 10 and has been part of GB junior and senior squads since 2016.

She learnt to swim with teacher Jayne Cox at the David Lloyd Centre pool in Knowsley at the age of three and has always had an affinity with water.

As a Junior World Championship finalist and double World Series silver medallist in a sport formerly known as synchronised swimming, Millie already has strong credentials.

She holds The Holland Trophy, in recognition of achieving the highest total combination of routine scores in the Swim England National Championships in 2018 and 2019.

Most recently, the 19-year-old former student of Scarisbrick Hall School, Ormskirk, was part of the GB team that competed in the 2021 European Aquatics Championships in Budapest and Junior Artistic Swimming Championships in Malta.

The Olympic hopeful, who also has her sights set on competing in the 2022 World Championships in Japan, will use the sponsorship she has received to contribute to her elite training.

Helen Stevenson, co-Founder and director of Satis Education, said: “The team at Satis Education are incredibly proud to support Millie in her quest to pursue her Olympic dreams.

"As a local athlete, we felt we needed to give her our backing to help nurture her talent and reach the next level in her sporting career.

"We will be cheering Millie on every step of the way."