JAY Lelliott has been selected in the England squad for the 2014 Commonwealth games in Glasgow.
The former Tornadoes of South Dorset swimmer, who underwent two operations for a recurrent brain tumour at the ages of 12 and 13, will now go on to represent his country in the men’s 1,500m freestyle and has a chance of making the final.
Steve Lelliott, a delighted father of the 19-year-old, told Echosport: “It’s fantastic news and he has surpassed all of our expectations really, he has always been a hard trainer and he’s now reaping the rewards for all the hard work he has put in.
“We are extremely proud, the response from people we have had locally has been brilliant, and he is still a relative novice when you consider the training schedule from those at the bigger clubs that he is competing against.
Lelliott, who is currently studying for a degree in Sports Performance at Bath Univ-ersity, qualified for Glasgow 2014 after he won a silver medal at the British Championships in the 1500m freestyle and also came fourth in the 400m freestyle.
Looking back where it all began for Lelliott, the Tornadoes of South Dorset are delighted that one of their youngsters has gone on to achieve such a wealth of success.
“It’s absolutely fantastic for Jay, he has done really well,” said Nigel Holmes, a spokesman for the club.
“He was always so committed to his training and he deserves every opportunity that he gets now and every opportunity that he gains in the future, it is fantastic news for him.
Reminiscing on watching Lelliott in action, he added: “I thought he was good, I wouldn’t like to put a cap on where he could have got, but with his commitment and his willingness to train you could see he was going to go far.
“We are really proud of him and it’s great to see that one of our swimmers has progressed to that level.”
For the club at present, Holmes believes that with Lelliott’s achievements as an example, they can only move forward.
“It is an opportunity for us to use Jay’s success to show some of the youngsters where they could get to, it’s amazing,” he added.
“We are going well at the moment and let’s hope we can push some more forward, hopefully the future is bright.”
Commenting on the club where his son started out, Steve Lelliott added: “We are very grateful to them because that’s where Jay learnt a lot of his skills and they are a cracking little club. Jay still has a lot of friends there.”
If anyone would like to sponsor the swimmer in the future, Jay’s father Steve would be extremely grateful and can be contacted on: 07500808600.