Kirton Called on Career
2nd October 2012
City of Sheffield swimmer James Kirton has retired from swimming after a succession of serious injuries put an end to his international ambitions.
Kirton, who was sixth at the European Championships in 2006 has struggled with injuries throughout his career, competing at the Beijing Olympics just six weeks after having an operation.
It was a hard decision to make but an inevitable one.
In late 2011 he got back to form, putting in fast times at the Dutch Nationals but a recurring shoulder injury flared up and he couldn’t recover in time for the Olympics trials in March and June.
“It was a hard decision to make but an inevitable one,” said Kirton. “I got to a point where my body just wasn’t up to it.
“I’m not a half-hearted type of person; it has to be all or nothing for me. When I realised I wasn’t physically able to put in 100 per cent I had to make the decision not to carry on.”
Russ Barber, Head Coach at City of Sheffield has coached Kirton for ten years said that it had been an inspiration working with him.
“I have coached for 23 years and in that time I have never coached anyone with such determination and competitiveness to overcome injuries and get back on form.
“He has been an inspiration to the swimmers and to me, and the squad would not be where we are now without his example. He will be greatly missed by everyone.”
Kirton will stay within the swimming community and is now working with Swimstars and Dolphins, training swim teachers in the area. He also remains in touch with the City of Sheffield squad.
“I wanted to share my experiences and knowledge with the youngsters and also repay all the graft the Russ Barber has put in over years.”