Teenage swimming sensation Tom Hamer has his sights set on the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this year.
Burnley Bobcats swimmer Tom, 15, was just one sixteenth of a second off breaking the 200m Freestyle British record recently, and is ranked number two in the UK for that event.
Tom has a learning disability and is classed in the S14 category, where he hopes to compete in Scotland.
“I struggle to concentrate – it’s just reading and spelling,” said Tom who is studying for his GCSEs at Alder Grange Community and Technology School and will stay on at Alder Grange’s Sixth Form, ag6, next year.
“I have been swimming since I was 10 at Burnley Aquatics and then joined Burnley Bobcats where I have been every since.
“I train at 4-30 every morning on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at St Peter’s Centre for one and a half hours and then two hours on Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights.”
His dedication to swimming led to him to be picked as part of the Great Britain Performance Squad who train at Manchester Aquatics Centre every Tuesday.
Due to Tom’s learning disabilities, he has been classified in the S14 category and he is just waiting for the IPC (International Paralympic Committee) to ratify it which is expected in the next few months.
“Once I get the official classification, it means I can compete abroad and I can start preparing for the Commonwealth Games trials and aim for the Europeans – the Junior Championships are in the Netherlands in July, and the European Swimming Championships in Berlin in August which I am excited about.
“It will be good when I first put on a Team GB strip!”