Burnley Bobcat Tom looking forward to swimming at Glasgow games

Tom Hamer
Tom Hamer

Burnley Bobcats’ 15-year-old S14 swimmer Thomas Hamer has been chosen to represent England at this year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Thomas, who is a Year 11 student at Alder Grange Community Technology School, Rawtenstall, competed during the Easter break at the British Championships and the British Para Swimming International meet, and following his excellent performances, has been selected to compete at the games, which take place between July 23rd and August 3rd.

The 39 members of the England team, headed by team captain, Dawn Peart, include Francesca Halsall and Liam Tancock, who will be aiming to defend their Commonwealth titles, along with Para Swimmers Stephanie Slater and Oliver Hynd.

Thomas said: “I am very excited to be competing at the Commonwealth Games, something I only dreamt about. I can’t wait and I’m sure it’s going to be great.

“I will do my best and train hard as I am so proud to be representing my country”.

Burnley Bobcats head coach Mike Robinson, who trains Thomas and the rest of his squad at the St Peters Centre, Burnley, added: “I am so happy for Thomas and extremely proud of his achievement and selection at this year’s Games”.

Chairman of Burnley Bobcats, Simon Holding said: “All Thomas’s squad members and friends, parents, helpers and the committee are so thrilled and proud at his selection and wish him well.

“Everyone connected with Bobcats will be certainly cheering him on and following his progress throughout. This will be an experience he will never forget and hopefully the start of his future career in swimming.”

Tom recently received his IPC classification and is now officially classified as an S14 swimmer by the International Paralympic Committee due to his slight learning difficulties.

He recently secured gold at the British Championships with a personal best of 2.01.90 in the 200m Freestyle.

He also competed at an international meeting in Glasgow during the Easter holidays and got personal bests in the 100m Intermediate bronze freestyle and 100m breaststroke.

In 200m Freestyle, he gained gold in youth race and bronze in open event, finishing just behind the London Olympic champion.

It means Tom has also qualified for the European Championships in Eindhoven in August.

At the same meeting, club mate Katie Rillet-Young, 15, an S6 swimmer, competed in the Women’s Open 100m freestyle, achieving a personal best to finish second in her heat and qualify for the final, where she swam a similar time. The following day, Katie swam in the Women’s Open 50m freestyle event and again secured a new personal best time in her heat in qualifying for the final, where she again swam a new PB.

On the last day of the competition, Katie swam the Women’s Open 400m freestyle heat and again secured a place in the Youth final, where she knocked off seconds from her heat time.