Felix called up for Scottish schools swim team
Teenage swimmer Felix Gifford has been chosen to represent Scotland at a major swimming event for schoolchildren in Wales.
The 15-year-old pupil from Brae High School is one of only three swimmers from the north of Scotland to qualify for the UK School Games next month.
Felix, who has been swimming since he was four, will compete against some of the UK’s elite school-age swimmers during the event at the Wales National Pool in Swansea.
He has been busily preparing for the prestigious competition by completing punishing 13-hour training schedules every week.
On top of an intensive swimming regime, this has included hours of strenuous gym training to help maintain his fitness levels.
Despite his rising success in the pool, he still has to complete his school work and divides much of his spare time between swimming and homework.
He is currently enjoying a three-week break before the major event starts on September 3rd.
“It’s a pretty big deal. It includes everyone that’s swimming in Scotland that still goes to school,” said Felix. “I’ve been training pretty hard. There are a lot of good swimmers taking part. It’s a really good swimming place.
“I usually just do my homework after my training. I started swimming when I was really young.
I joined Delting Dolphins when I was four. I’ve never really stopped swimming ever since.”
Felix is helped by his coaching mother Lorraine. She said the teenager’s qualification for the event was a “massive achievement”. She added Felix was aiming to go further in his swimming career beyond the Wales event.
He has also been allowed to drop one of his standard grades at school to allow him to concentrate more on the rest.
“He has just come back from the British nationals. It was the first time he was there and he did quite well,” she said. “We’re just hoping he can go from strength to strength. He’s aiming for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.”
The UK School Games is an annual sporting competition for elite school age athletes in the United Kingdom. Over 1,500 young athletes from schools across the UK will be taking part in the multi-sport event.
The event was inaugurated in 2006 and is based on an Olympic Games model, with multiple sports events held across an intensive four-day period.