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‘I wouldn’t be here without her’ ... Jordan Catchpole on his first coach

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.

Paralympic champion Jordan Catchpole has hailed the impact of his first coach after being announced as part of Team England for his first Commonwealth Games.

The 22-year old is a rising star in the world of para-swimming after winning medals at his first European, Worlds and Paralympics.

Speaking on how he got into the sport Catchpole said: “So my first club was Lowestoft (now Waveney Swimming Club).

“It was my local club at the time and I kind of went there just to learn how to swim and make sure I wouldn’t drown and I’m safe around water.

He then met his first coach, who gave him everything he needed to reach the highest level.

“My first ever coach was called Shirley and she saw potential in me at a very young age so ever since then I’ve just kind of stuck to her word, stuck to swimming and I’m now here so I can’t complain.”

“Shirley was a massive influence, she taught me everything I needed to know at a very young age.

“Obviously you learn a lot coming up as well but she was a massive influence on me and I wouldn’t be here without her I don’t think.”

‘Home crowd will be essential’

Catchpole won gold as part of the mixed 4×100 m freestyle relay S14 team at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.

That team set a world record to win gold and despite the success he was surprised to have been picked for Team England in Birmingham.

“I was very happy I was a bit surprised as well because you never expect to get picked so it’s always a nice surprise.

“Having a home games as well as my first one so I’m really looking forward to it and it will be the first time racing with a crowd for a long time so it’s going to be very good.”

Catchpole is no stranger to a home crowd, having both competed and won medals at the 2019 World Para-Swimming Championships in London.

He came home with both a silver and a bronze in 2019 and is believes the crowd will be vital to his and the team’s success at the games.

“It helps massively, especially when you hear the big raw coming into the last 50m when we’re all tiring. So yeah the crowds going to be essential.”

“But I’m just here to have fun I don’t want to put any pressure on myself.

“I’m just going to go into it nice and relaxed and whatever happens, happens.

“Obviously we all know why we’re here, we all want to win but like I say no pressure at all.”

Catchpole believes the games in Birmingham provide a massive opportunity to find the next generation of swimmers.

“I hope so yeah I feel like it will inspire the young ones for sure I think at home games is a massive opportunity to inspire the young ones so this is this is big.”

See Team England’s full swimming team here.

Photo credit Team England.