JO-JO Cranfield will make history next year by becoming the first disabled swimmer to ever attend the world-famous Millfield School.

Fifteen-year-old Cranfield, a member of the Rochford and District Swim Club, has been offered a partial scholarship at the renowned school in Somerset from September next year.

But the only drawback is that the three-year swimming scholarship offered to the Westcliff teenager, who was born with her left lower hand and arm missing, does not cover all her fees.

And that means the Cranfield family will be forced to come up with the cash to help the Belfairs High School pupil achieve her dream, unless they can find a backer.

“We desperately need to find a sponsor or donations so that Jo-Jo can accept this offer,” said Cranfield’s mum Tina. “This is a fantastic honour as tens of thousands of people apply but only a handful make it.

“We cannot believe that Jo-Jo has been offered this chance because it will help her with her long-term goal of making the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.”

Cranfield will combine studying for her A levels with training with the elite Millfield swimming squad and coaching staff to help her achieve a place on the podium at the 2012 Olympics.

The Essex student is already part of the British Swimming World Class Pathway Development Squad, showing her potential for international success.

But now Cranfield is excited at the chance to give her sporting ambitions a massive boost.

“I’ve dreamt of this for the last few years and now it’s a reality, I really need support,” she said.

“Swimming is my life and Millfield will give me the opportunities I need to succeed.

“If any company or kind people can help me, I promise to pay them back in medals and the satisfaction they have supported a star.”

Cranfield has been keeping up her busy training regime in the pool combined with strength and conditioning work at home in Westcliff.

She has been at the Hatfield EIS Centre in Hertfordshire preparing for this weekend’s Welsh Long Course Championships where she is hoping to qualify for the 2009 British swimming team.

Cranfield is swimming in seven events and her best hopes for success come in the 200m individual medley and the 50m freestyle.

Recently Jo-Jo has been awarded the Southend Junior Sports Personality of the Year and Essex County Council Paralympic Hopeful titles and, after finishing high in the 2007 Echo Junior Sports Personality awards, is expected to be a leading candidate for the 2008 crown.

And she hopes to pick up another award on Tuesday when after being nominated for a national accolade which will be presented at Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium.

Cranfield is an arm swims in the disability swimming classes, S9, SB8 and SM9.

When she goes to Millfield, Cranfield will still be able to train with the man who set her on the path to swim glory, coach Doug Drake,at the Rochford Club out of school term time.

Anyone who thinks they may be able to help can contact the Cranfield family via the Echo by phoning 01268 469403 or emailing: