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Water challenge for Ben at World Games

Posted onPosted on 8th Jul
Water challenge for Ben at World Games

An 18-year-old Mansfield student is proving his disability won’t stop him this summer. In fact, he’s determined to prove how it could make him a winner.

Ben Rees, who is a student at West Nottinghamshire College, has been selected to swim in the Cerebral Palsy World Games in August, which takes place from 6 to 16 August in Nottingham.

With his Level 3 course in sport and exercise science almost complete, Ben is looking forward to returning next term to begin his university-level sport programme at the college, but before this his swimming training begins in earnest ready to compete for England in the games.

Ben’s cerebral palsy and the spastic diaplegic element of his condition, means he has limited use of his legs and regular muscular spasms, so he uses a wheelchair.

His swimming skills have earned him a place in the England swimming team in the Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association (CPISRA) World Games – being staged in Nottingham this year.

Ben said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be part of the England swimming team and I’ve been training hard most mornings and evenings. I can’t wait to experience being part of an international competition.

“Swimming has always been a passion of mine and I was part of the county squad from an early age. For me, being in the pool makes me feel stronger as I feel weightless and I’m able to move more.”

Ben, who often trains with Paralympic swimming Ollie Hynd, will join other members of the England swimming team on 8 August when training starts at the Harvey Hadden Sports Complex. Once training finishes on 12 August, the competitions start.

Ben will swim a combination of 50m, 100m and 400m freestyle, 100m backstroke and 100m breast stroke and a 200m individual medley over three days. He will also be staying over at the sports village which is being hosted at Nottingham Trent University.

Ben’s current success comes down to not only intense training and determination but a fine focus on his future goals. He said: “My next aim is to compete in the 2020 Paralympics and after I’ve done my degree I’d love to be able to teach sport to other disabled people.”