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SWIMMING: Lelliott selected for butterfly camp
JAY Lelliott will be training alongside the nation’s best butterfly swimmers later this month after being selected for one of British Swimming’s new event camps.
The 18-year-old Swim Bourne-mouth member’s selection for the national butterfly camp is the latest chapter in an amaz- ing personal story that inc- luded two operations on a brain tumour.
The former Tornadoes of South Dorset star, who has broken 22 Dorset records since moving to Swim Bournemouth last year, is one of just 16 swimmers named for the four-day camp at Millfield from September 18-21.
The other 15 include four members of Britain’s London 2012 Olympic team – Michael Rock, Joe Roebuck, Adam Brown and Jemma Lowe.
All but Roebuck also swam in the recent World Championships in Barcelona.
The camp will be coached by Graeme Antwhistle, one of the two British Swimming coaches at the successful Bath Intensive Training Centre (ITC) at Bath, and Bud McAllister, head coach at Swansea ITC, who boasts US freestyle legend Janet Evans among a long list of Olympians he has coached.
Lelliott’s selection follows his performance at the National Youth Championships in Sheff-ield last month, where he came fourth in the 17-18yrs’ 200m butterfly, missing a medal by just half-a-second.
He is also the fourth-ranked 18-year-old in Britain.
Lelliott, who has also been invited to attend a British Swimming profiling and development day in October, said: “I was very excited to receive the selection letter – especially when I saw some of the others attending the camp.
“I really want to see how far I can go with swimming.
“I will keep training hard and see what happens.
“I’d really like to make it to the Olympic Games but that’s a long way away.”
Lelliott has already come a long way since beginning his battle with a recurrent brain tumour seven years ago.
“I had a recurrent brain tumour when I was 11 and 12,” he said.
“Fortunately, it was benign and not life-threatening but it req-uired two operations at South-ampton to remove it.
“Because of the tumour, I also had epilepsy at the time – that’s how the doctors spotted it.”
The illness kept Lelliott out of the water for months but once back, he gradually worked his way up through the county rankings.
He already held Dorset records by the time he joined Swim Bourne-mouth from Tornadoes of South Dorset in the summer of 2012.
“I moved because my old club just couldn’t provide me with what I needed in terms of pool time and sessions that were going to challenge me,” says Lelliott, who travels from his home on Portland to Canford School almost daily to train.
“It has worked out even better than I expected. As you get older, your PBs are supposed to slow down but, in the last year, it’s been the other way round for me.
“My 400m free-style time has dropped by eight seconds and my 200m backstroke time by three.”
Swim Bourne-mouth head coach Emma Richards said Lelliott’s app-roach to swimming was one of the reasons for his continued progress.
“He has a very good training ethic and mindset and that helps,” she said.
“He has the attitude that nothing will hold him back.
“He has a fantastic training ethic and goes above and beyond in order to reach his goals and fulfill his potential.
“He’s last off the poolside after training because he does a bit more than asked.”
Linked to Lelliott’s performance profiling and development selection, Richards herself has been invited to join an England coach education day in Nov-ember.
She has coached with the England South team at the rec- ent UK School Games in Sheffield.
Lelliott, meanwhile, is about to begin a two-year foundation degree in sports performance at Bath University, where he will be training in the 50m pool with the Team Bath squad.
“I’m looking for sponsorship as money will be really tight at uni,” he said.
He added: “I’m going to try to make myself as available as possible for Swim Bournemouth.”
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