Kingston Royals swimmer wins bronze at National Disability Championships

A young Kingston Royals swimmer has won bronze at the National Disability Championships.

<--break->“>17-year-old Thomas Urry from <a href=Kingston Royals Swimming Club took home the bronze medal for the 100m backstroke after he took part in the National Disability Short Course Championships at Ponds Forge in Sheffield over the weekend of the 26- 27 November.

Thomas was up against tough competition in the shape of GB Paralympian and world record holder Jonathan Fox who grabbed the gold medal. Fox is the world record holder in both 100m backstroke and 400m freestyle. 

 Also competing in his class was David Roberts, a reigning GB Paralympic champion in 50m, 100m and 400m freestyle as well as Matt Walker, the world and European Paralympic champion in 50m.  

Thomas was born with cerebral palsy which means the left side of his body is weaker than his right side.

However despite his disability, Thomas has been swimming competitively for three years and also plays football for Chelsea FC’s South East Cerebral Palsy regional centre of excellence.

Thomas said: “I am very happy to win the bronze medal since I was competing against Paralympians. My next goal is the British Trials in March for 2012 Games. I’m really aiming for the 2016 Paralympics in Rio.”

“This is the first competition of the season so we are still doing a lot of distance and endurance work in training.  That makes it quite hard to switch to racing and sprinting.”

Thomas also competed in the 50m fly and the 50m freestyle where he achieved personal best times.  He swam as part of the 4 x 100m freestyle and medley relay teams representing the London region.

Earlier this year Thomas was recognised for his swimming achievements when he won Young Disabled Sports Achiever of the Year at the Kingston Sports Awards.

Thomas trains with Kingston Royals at the Kingfisher Pool and New Malden Leisure Centre with coaches Di Hargrave and Mark Smith.

He is currently studying for a BTEC level 2 in Sport at Kingston College and wants to become a coach.  He also works as a teaching assistant at Spartan SC for the Disabled and Woking SC.

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