At just 16 years old, swimmer Skye Carter is already thinking about inspiring the next generation. 

The Basildon native wrote herself into the history books by setting a new Commonwealth Youth Games record in the 50m freestyle at Trinbago 2023.

But diving into Caribbean waters meant more than just competing for medals for Carter, as she became only the second black swimmer to represent Team England on the Commonwealth stage.

Carter, who swims for Basildon & Phoenix Swimming Club, followed in the footsteps, or swim strokes, of Rebecca Achieng Ajulu-Bushell who became Team England’s first black swimmer at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

And knowing she could be the inspiration young black girls need to get into the water was a heartfelt moment for the young swimmer.

“I didn't know that I was Team England’s second black swimmer but that makes me really happy,” Carter said. 

“I feel like black people are a bit underrepresented in swimming so to be up there representing and hopefully being an inspiration to other girls who are in the same boat as me. 

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A post shared by @skye7carter“When I was eight or nine, if I did see any swimmers they were not black swimmers, so to be a black swimmer representing Team England is good.

“Diversity is getting better. When I went to European Juniors, out of the top four from the 50m freestyle, three were black.  

“It's getting there. It is much better than if you look at the Olympics, there aren't that many black swimmers compared to white swimmers or other sports.”

Carter competed across 50m and 100m in freestyle and butterfly having first tried out swimming in her home town of Billericay.

She then progressed to Basildon & Phoenix where she is now coached by Doug Campbell, a former Commonwealth Games athlete for Team Scotland. 

She added: “I was so shocked to be selected because I knew about other competitions that were happening in summer, but they sent emails out to a lot of people.  

“And we just got the email and were like, ‘Ok, we'll just fill out the forms’ and I didn't really think too much of it.  

“But then when I got the confirmation, I was just like, ‘wow’. I was actually screaming, it was really, really surprising.” 

Carter clinched a memorable first individual gold in the women's 50m freestyle in Trinbago.

Outpacing the field by 0.39 seconds, the 16-year-old touched the wall for a staggering new Junior Commonwealth Games record of 25.15 seconds.

And she followed her individual title up with another team victory in the mixed 4x100m medley relay, combining with Blythe Kinsman, Oscar Bilbao and Nick Finch in the final race of the Games and powering home on the freestyle leg to touch the wall for gold.

"That was my first individual gold medal on the international stage and there's no better place to get it," said Carter. "I was so surprised to see it was a Games record as well!

"My name is in history now and that's just crazy."