PORTLAND'S Luke O'Dowd has been offered a place on the British Para-swimming Academy Squad.

The Tornado of South Dorset swimmer is visually impaired after surgery to remove a plum-sized brain tumour, and was identified for the 2019/20 PSAS based on his performances during the 2018/19 season particularly at the British Para-Swimming International Meet in Glasgow in April 2019.

Athletes selected for the BPSA Squad are seen as potentially possessing the skills and ability to progress onto the British Para-Swimming World Class Podium Potential (WCPP) Programme.

The BPSA Squad is the entry level to the British Para-Swimming World Class Programmes, the squad facilitates the transition and confirmation period from the Home Nation talent programmes into the World Class Programme.

The BPSA Squad will provide the youngster with additional support to what he is already receiving through his home nation Swim England National Youth Programme, which he also progressed on to this year.

O'Dowd will be expected to set personal process goals with his home coach, Ian Hooper, and then execute these at various ‘Process or Training’ Meets.

These are all in preparation for the big performance meets throughout the season.

Hooper said: "Luke has identified the personal goals he wants to work towards, if not exceed, during this season.

"He is aware that for him to reach the heights he wants he will need to be dedicated to training and developing at every opportunity along the way.

"Luke swims to a high standard whether in the training pool or representing the club in team events.

"His dedication to wanting to succeed is underlined by his selection and attendance at talent programmes and stroke workshops, both of which have resulted in improved times at the recent South East Autumn Para Swimming Meet."

O'Dowd also continues to train regularly with Tornadoes and is currently part of this year’s Arena League Team where Hooper is the lead coach.

A Tornadoes' spokesman said: "Luke’s family and the club are so proud of him. He could just have sat back and felt sorry for himself, instead he has worked so hard and is so motivated."

The teenager is looking for a sponsor to help him along this journey, if you think you can help get in touch with the Tornadoes.

You can contact the secretary via tornadoessecretary@btinternet.com for more information.