Young, talented Leicestershire swimmer William Bell, 14 years old, is chasing an ambition and dream to wear the team GB jacket and represent his country at International swimming events.
Already he's the fastest 13 yr boy ever on British rankings to swim the 1500 short course and the 400IM short course. Last year in 2015, he won gold in the 1500 at the British Summer Championships 2015 and silver in the 400IM and 4OO Free.
William was selected to attend the England Talent Phase 1 Programme by British Swimming and Progressed to Phase 2 just before Christmas after swimming his 400IM record at the Short Course Nationals in Sheffield.
This recent success is down to work, work and more work and includes training for sixteen hours weekly in the pool with four additional land training sessions, and three mornings during the week before school.
William said: 'I get up at 4am and train from 5.15am until 7.15am. Swimming is not an inexpensive sport. My racing jammers cost £114 and sometimes an Open Meet can cost £6 per event. I need to swim at meets around the country to gain qualifying times for the Nationals. In 2015 I also swam at the Scottish National Age Group Championships and came home with 8 gold medals - 6 individual and 2 relay.
'I have been chosen to represent Leicester, England at the International Children's Games 2016. In July. My seven team mates and I will travel to New Taipei City, Taiwan to compete. We have to fund this trip ourselves and estimated costs per swimmer are £1.300. This will be the first time I have competed against children from different countries and I am so excited. But when the average swimming season costs £4,500 this is an expensive trip!.'
'I hope that my story will inspire other young swimmers. I completed swimming lessons just before the Olympics in 2012 and joined Loughborough Town SC. I had tried my hand at other sports but quickly realised I had a talent in the pool. I was offered a place at City of Leicester SC in 2013 and only spent 5 months in the Development Squad before I was promoted. Swim training is so time consuming compared to other sports and the early mornings are hard work. But I have made some really good friends at my club and all around the Country. We message one another and we support one another.
'The Inspire grant will make a real difference to help fund my entries into swim meets around the country. There is a qualifying window for the British Champs and swim meets can sometimes be over subscribed which means we have to travel further afield. I also need to enter meets that will push me to better my personal best times eg Manchester Aquatics International Meet, where I competed in the 400IM final against an Olympian much older than myself. I was so nervous before the race but I tried my hardest and was proud to qualify for the final, where I was the youngest swimmer.'
Simon Taylor, Inspire said: ' Williams work ethic ,determination to succeed and use of
his talents is an inspiration to all young people . We wish him every success
and look forward to following his journey'.
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