Luke Turley hopes Commonwealth Games will help youngsters ‘aspire and achieve’

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.

Luke Turley says he ‘didn’t believe it’ when he found out he was selected as part of Team England for the Games in Birmingham.

He described the prospect of making his Commonwealth debut at a home Games as ‘surreal’ and hopes the event will drive young athletes to ‘aspire and achieve’ in their chosen sports.

Turley began his career at Stevenage Swimming Club, but has spent the majority of his journey to date with Hatfield Swimming Club, before moving to Bath.

Competing in Birmingham will mark his first appearance at any major Games, as he gets set to swim in the Men’s 400m and 1500m Freestyle events alongside teammate Toby Robinson.

When asked what motivates him, Turley said: “I love the sport. I just enjoy doing it.

“I think if you do enjoy doing it, you’re always going to go a lot further than if you are trying to force it.

Learn from everything

“So I just say find what you love, if you love doing it, it’ll just take you as far as you can go.

“This is my first serious Games, my first senior team, so obviously I’m dead excited to be here.

“I didn’t believe it at first [when I was selected]. I think it’s going to be a bit surreal when you get there, but when it does kick in, you realise you’ve earned it.

“You’re here, you deserve to be here. It’s just go and enjoy it. You have worked hard for everything and just show all the hard work you’ve done and performances come alongside that.

“I’m not one for saying your goals out loud before you’ve done it, but the main one is just enjoy the Games, have fun while you’re there and learn from everything.”

Turley says a home Games is the ‘best opportunity’ for the nation’s young swimmers to see everything ‘first-hand’.

You do get brought up with them

“To actually go and watch in person at a major Games just provides that extra motivation,” he added.

“It provides a little bit more relatability for younger athletes when they are moving through to say, ‘oh, I’ve seen them do that. I’ve seen them do this’. It’s more personal when they’re there.

“They can get behind it and see it more and hopefully drive them to aspire and achieve as well.”

As a debutant, the Bath swimmer explained just how important it is to have a blend of youth and experience in the squad.

He said: “They say you are a product of the five people who you spend most time with.

“If you’re with people who are always trying to achieve, always going for the highest, you do get brought up with them.

“So with all their experience and all their knowledge, they do pass it on to you even without them realising.

“Listen to everyone, take in as much knowledge as you can and just enjoy the experience while you’re there.”

Main picture: Team England