“His dream is to compete for his country in the Olympics” - King’s Lynn father talks of his sons’ swimming achievements
- Credit: Lewis Wells
A father has watched his two sons go from paddling in the pool to making a splash at national swimming championships.
The journey began 12 years ago, said electrical engineer Lewis Wells from King's Lynn, when he took his sons, Nathan, 19, and Joe, 17, to St James Pool when they were infants.
'Neither my wife nor myself are very good swimmers. I haven't been a good swimmer all my life. We wanted our sons to get life skills, it's something that could save lives one day.' Mr Wells said.
Whilst at the pool, Mr Wells and his wife Jill came across a swimming club – then known as King's Lynn Warriors – where children were encouraged to swim full 25m lengths of the pool.
Mr Wells said: 'We thought how marvellous it was to see youngsters swim up and down when you couldn't do it yourself. When we got our sons to do that we were really chuffed.'
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Since then, Nathan and Joe have become swimming enthusiasts and have competed in numerous competitions, including the British Swimming Championships in April which saw Olympic swimmers Adam Peaty and James Guy gain qualification times.
Nathan, a chemical engineering student at Loughborough University, trains six times a week and has recently broken three Norfolk County ASA records for men's long course, becoming the fastest Norfolk swimmer in the 400m freestyle since Olympian Paul Easter claimed the title in 1982.
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Joe is studying at Springwood High School sixth form and has competed in regional competitions.
But Mr Wells believes swimming has fallen by the wayside in Norfolk due to lack of facilities. He has seen Olympic-sized pools in Sheffield and Luton which have proved popular with children.
He said: 'We need bigger pools to encourage children to swim and hold competitions in which draws a lot of money in the area, it is good in many ways.
'I've seen queues of youngsters waiting to go on the diving board but we have nothing like that here. The only time you here about swimming is when the Olympics is on.'
Mr Wells said Nathan dreams of competing for his country in the Olympics one day, adding: 'As parents we couldn't be prouder to see them both swim – we're proud as punch.'