William has kindly written us a guest blog telling us about his swimming and other hobbies…
Hello my name is William Reed, I am 24 years old and live in south west London. I am a very keen swimmer and currently swim for Down’s Syndrome Team GB, who have just returned back from the 2018 world championships in Truro, Nova Scotia (Canada) having finished second in the overall medals table.
I began swimming at the age of 5 at my local swimming pool and discovered from an early age that I had potential to compete at a high level. I first started swimming competitively at Reading Cygnets where I was selected to represent team GB at my first world Championships at Loano (Italy) in 2012 and two years later I went to Morelia (Mexico). During my time at Reading I was awarded the “Disabled Sports Personality of the Year” award which I am very proud of. After leaving Reading Cygnets I joined Hounslow Hurricanes swimming team.
While at Hounslow Hurricanes I have been chosen to represent GB at further World and European championship at Florence (Italy), Paris (France) and most recently Truro, Nova Scotia (Canada). Myself and 24 fellow teammates along with our brilliant coaching staff, family and
friends set off for Canada on the 19th of July to Halifax, Nova Scotia. The following day we had the opening ceremony that involved each team walking through around Truro Town Square being cheered on by hundreds of spectators waving flags of the 24 competing nations.
The Championships started on the 21st and finished on the 27th July with Team GB putting in a fantastic performance throughout the competition. Great Britain finished second overall. It was a very successful week for myself as I managed five personal best times out of my eight individual events. I am 6th fastest in the world at 200m Breaststroke and 4th fastest at 50m Breaststroke. I came 4th in the 4 x 100m medley and 4 x 50m medley in the relays. This made the six training sessions a week and the early morning starts all the worth while.
As well as enjoying the swimming it was a great chance to spend time with my fellow teammates and to make friends with other swimmers from around the world and swap any memorabilia. Once the Championships had finished I flew to Toronto with my Mum to spend a week with my Aunty, Uncle and cousin. During this week I visited Niagara Falls and became a fan of the Blue Jays baseball team thanks to my uncle.
While not Swimming I like to spend time watching Chelsea and Brentford Football clubs and listening to lots of different music from around the world although Lady Gaga is my favourite. I also run with my local running club “Bearcat Running Club” with my mum and a number of close friends I have made through the club.
Thanks for this brilliant blog, William. Many congratulations on your achievements!