Jacob Leach ready for major championship debut

English para-swimmer Jacob Leach said he was filled with joy after qualifying for Team England’s Commonwealth Games squad.

The Cockermouth swimmer – pictured above with Team England teammate Luke Greenbank – is taking part in his first major event on Australia’s Gold Coast and is hoping to learn from the experience of a multi-sport games.

Leach was selected for last year’s World Para-Swimming Championships in Mexico, but saw his major championship debut put on ice after the event was rescheduled.

Jacob Leach
  • Age: 17
  • Club: Cockermouth SC
  • Coach: Sean Balmer
  • CWG: Making debut at Gold Coast 2018

“I’m looking forward to getting out there and showing everyone what I can bring to para-swimming,” said Leach, who swims in the S9 and SB8 classifications.

“I was filled with joy when I qualified. As soon as I found out, I started putting in the hard work as I usually do. I’m looking forward to working with the team.

“I’ve spoken to quite a lot of them I know them quite well.  I just gain experience from everyone really, learn from them and do what they do.

“It will be quite nerve-wracking but I have never been taken down by nerves. I just face them and get on with it and do what I do best and race the best I can.”

Cheered on in Australia

Leach, 17, says he will be cheered on by his family who are flying to Australia and many more who will be watching at home.

“My dad and his girlfriend are travelling out there a week before my first race so I’m looking forward to seeing them there,” he said. “And everyone back home will be up in the early hours to watch.

“I learnt to swim in Whitehaven, Cumbria, but I wanted to go further in swimming so moved to Cockermouth where Luke Greenbank and Edward Baxter used to swim.

“Since then I have met loads of people and learned from them. It’s been a great experience.”

Image credit: Cockermouth Swim Club website