Games selection savoured by persistent Sheridan
SWIMMING: Mikkayla Sheridan was plagued by a nagging doubt that she might never get to don the green and gold, which makes her selection for this year's Commonwealth Games so much sweeter.
The 23-year-old's dogged persistence paid off when she was picked to represent Australia at Gold Coast 2018 and the University of the Sunshine Coast athlete is determined to enjoy it.
"It's still quite a surreal feeling and I don't think that's it quite sunk in yet that I've made my first Australian team," she had told the Daily a week after the trials last month.
"It's been a goal of mine of so many years and it's what's been keeping me in the sport," she said.
"I just wanted to represent my country at the highest level and I guess a part of me always thought that maybe that would never happen for me."
"But the fact that I've actually achieved something that I set out to do for over six years is kind of mind boggling."
Sheridan's set to contest the 400m freestyle and 4x200m freestyle relay.
She finished third in the former (4:10.85) at the national selection trials at the Gold Coast last month, and nabbed her spot in the relay squad with a fourth place effort in the 200m (1:57.96).
"I know how long I've been trying at this and I was quite successful as an age grouper and always wondered if that was maybe my limit if I was maybe just an age grouper," she said.
"I think noticing how many other people noticed how long I'd been at it is what meant a lot too.
"Knowing that other people have realised that I've been at this now for such a long time and it shows that people are invested in me and are helping me to achieve my dreams."
Sheridan's determination is an example of resilience.
"What I've realised is everyone's journey is different and we hear about journeys that I guess are successful quite quickly but for me this has been a long time coming.
"The perseverance and hard work can get you where you want to go..."