Greg Butler hoping to inspire the next generation in Birmingham

With a home Commonwealth Games just around the corner, we take a look at the athletes who will be competing for Team England this summer.

Loughborough National Centre swimmer Greg Butler is a rising star within the world of swimming.

He burst on the scene in 2016 by becoming the fastest British 14-year-old breaststroke sprinter over 100m and 200m.

Butler went from strength to strength, breaking his now Loughborough and England teammate Adam Peaty’s City of Derby Swimming Club records by becoming the fastest 17-year-old British swimmer ever in the 200m Breastroke.

He was inspired into the sport by performances of those at London 2012 and the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014 and is hoping that he can do the same for those looking to get into the sport on the back of the games in Birmingham.

On inspiring people looking get into the sport he said: “That’d be great.

“I had the same thing when watching people in 2014 and at the Olympics and it was huge part of me getting into it and kind of progressing in sport.

“I remember going to the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and watching that was a big thing that inspired me and obviously watching the Olympics in 2012 too.

“So it’d be really nice to do the same for the youngsters now.”

Butler will make his Team England debut at the Games and is relieved that the hard work has paid off as he makes it to his first multi-sport games.

“It was an amazing feeling, and it felt like a really like long time coming.

“It’s just like nice to finally get picked for one of these teams and to be competing on bigger stage.

“It’s just a really nice feeling.”

Never give up

The 21-year old comes into the Commonwealth Games in fine form after a strong performance at the British University and College Long Course Swimming Championships.

He won five gold medals at the event in the 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke in addition to helping his Loughborough teammates to victory in the 4x100m Medley Relay.

Ahead of the Commonwealth Games Butler is looking forward to swimming in front of his family on home turf.

“Yeah it’s amazing, especially for my first one.

“My family can come and in the past they’ve had to travel really far away and it’s nice for them all to come and for my grandma as well. She can come and watch this time too so that’ll be nice yeah.”

As it’s his debut games, Butler is hoping to soak everything and enjoy the experience.

“The main thing to just enjoy it.

“I think to take it all in, as it’s my first ever kind of big meet, so just to enjoy it and hopefully I can PB and then see how I do.”

Butler had this message to send to club swimmers up and down the country, encouraging them not to give up on chasing success in the sport.

“Just to keep pushing through and keep going.

“If you keep on going at it and improving, you’ll continue to enjoy it and get to where you want to be.”

Main photo credit Team England