Cheshire Penguins swimmer and actress Shauna Hogan recently featured in a special episode of Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks, that’s designed to increase awareness of accessibility and the challenges faced by people with a disability.

Shauna, who lives in Liverpool and has been a registered Special Olympics GB athlete since 2010, proudly wore her Cheshire Penguins kit on screen as she got to show off one of her many swimming medals to Maxine and Minnie Minniver; characters respectively played by Nikki Sanderson and Eva Lorente.

In keeping with the mission of Special Olympics GB using the power of sport to help transform the lives of people with intellectual disabilities, Shauna shows her medal to Minnie, who has Down Syndrome, to help highlight what she can go on to achieve.

“Shauna has always loved performing,” said her Mum Margaret. “She’s been dancing since the age of four and has also done some university lecturing about her journey.

“There is some strong acting experience in the family with her brother also being an actor, whilst Shauna has been an extra in Hollyoaks for several years.

“However, this was her first speaking role in an episode. She absolutely loved it and would relish any other acting opportunities that may come about.”

Shauna’s journey with Cheshire Penguins began after being prevented from taking part in swimming at school. She subsequently had some private swimming lessons in Liverpool and was recommended to enter the British Down Syndrome Swimming Championships.

“Shauna won every race that she entered at the Down Syndrome Championships and it showed her what was possible. When there, we also got introduced to coaches from Cheshire Penguins and she’s not looked back since.

“We travel from Liverpool to Brio Sports Centre in Ellesemere Port every Sunday for training with Cheshire Penguins, but also regularly travel to competitions. She’s had so many amazing moments through her swimming and has represented Special Olympics Great Britain twice on the world stage.

In 2012 Shauna competed in the Special Olympics World Aquatics event in Puerto Rico and then travelled to Los Angeles in 2014 to take part in the tester event ahead of it’s hosting of the Special Olympics World Games in the following year.

“We’re so proud of everything that Shauna has achieved in the pool and on stage,” adds Margaret. “We can’t thank Cheshire Penguins enough for the opportunities that it’s given to her.”

Cheshire Penguins run sessions at Brio Sports Centre ever Sunday. Visit the Cheshire Penguins Facebook page to learn more about the club.