PARALYMPIC gold medalist Alice Tai is enjoying her time balancing her musical talents and training to compete with some of the best swimmers in the world after being announced as part of Team England's squad for the Commonwealth Games.

The New Milton swimmer, who claimed a gold and bronze medal at the Rio Paralympics, will travel to the Gold Coast, Australia in April.

Alice joins the rest of the 39-strong group set to compete at the 21st Commonwealth Games.

The 18-year-old qualified for selection before the announcement, but her place in the squad was made official last Friday.

In preparation for the games Alice, who was born with bilateral talipes - club foot - and underwent a number of operations between the age of 20 weeks and 12 years, will maintain her normal training regime in Manchester.

She made the move north to train at the National Performance Centre.

Away from her time claiming medals in the pool, the former Bournemouth Collegiate School pupil indulges in her love for music.

She plays lead guitar in band Crossed Lines and said she enjoys splitting her time between her two passions.

"I've enjoyed the independence since moving to Manchester," Alice said.

"My college and the pool are both just five minutes from my flat which is ideal.

"I'm making sure swimming comes first now, but it is great to have time to get into the studio and play with the band."

Alice's training involves getting up at 6am five days a week for swimming sessions, with a further three evening sessions, two gym workouts and a core mobility session.

She is entered into the S9 100m backstroke and freestyle events at the Commonwealth Games, and said she is keen to add to her haul of nine international medals gained from the 2016 Paralympics, 2015 World Championship and 2014 European Championship.

"I was really pleased to hear I had been selected as I haven't competed at the Commonwealth Games before," Alice added.

"It's also very exciting to be able to go to Australia. It is a great country, I've never been there and I'm sure it will be a fantastic place to experience the Games.

"I'm the current world record holder in the 100m backstroke and I'm hoping to come away with a couple of medals - hopefully at least one gold.

"I'm really looking forward to experiencing the Commonwealth Games for the first time. Obviously it is going to be a new experience for me, but the idea of the athletes' village is great and I always enjoy meeting other competitors."