Dedication pays off as Rhys, 15, gets ready to fly flag for Scotland at cerebral palsy world games

Pictured is North-east swimmer Rhys Gill, 15, who has been selected to represent Scotland at this summer’s cerebral palsy world games. Picture by Chris Sumner

North-east swimmer Rhys Gill will represent Scotland at a world event later this year.

The 15-year-old has been selected for the Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association (CPISRA) World Games in August in Sant Cugat, Spain.

Rhys, from Arnage near Ellon, trains with Ythan Amateur Swimming Club (ASC) and Peterhead ASC and spends around 11 hours a week in the pool.

The Ellon Academy pupil will be up against some of the world’s best swimmers and he wants to do Scotland proud.

Rhys said: “It doesn’t feel real yet. I’m excited to be representing my country and to be part of Team Scotland.

“I hope I can do them proud. I’ve worked so hard over the last two years and it’s great that my efforts have meant selection for the CP World Games.

“I couldn’t have got to this point without the help and support of my coaches and family.”

His mum, Linda, added: “We are incredibly proud of Rhys’ dedication, commitment and achievements.

“As a young boy he loved the water but struggled to swim. Despite years of lessons we almost gave up on swimming, thinking he’d never learn.

“But his determination and one-to-one lessons from an amazing teacher started him on his swimming journey at age seven.

“At age 13, after a year of multiple foot fractures and surgery due to his CP, he started to swim at club level and competitively.

“After just two years we can’t believe how far he has come. He continually amazes us.

“We can’t wait to support him and the Scottish Team in Sant Cugat.”

Pitmedden’s Lewis Clow, 22, has also been selected in the World Games team.

He trains with Aberdeen Amateur Athletics Club and competes in sprint events and the long jump.

For athletes to compete at the World Games they need to raise £1,100 each towards the cost of their entry with the remaining costs being met by Scottish Disability Sport.

Anyone who wishes to donate should visit https://www.gofundme.com/rhys-gills-world-games-fund for Rhys and www.gofundme.com/Lewis-CPISRA-World-Games-Journey for Lewis.

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