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Kian Saville finds solace in swimming after life-changing brain surgery

Para-swimmer Kian Saville is enjoying the life-changing benefits of swimming after recovering from brain surgery to compete on the national stage.

The 18-year-old was invited to join Daventry Dolphins after progressing quickly through his swimming lessons.

Kian’s early days in the pool were a struggle as he battled regular epileptic fits, which interrupted his training regime.

But in 2014, he underwent surgery to remove a brain tumour, which was causing the seizures, and he has been able to swim freely since then.

He told Northants Sport: “The first thing I wanted to do the moment I got out of the hospital was get back in the pool, because I love swimming to bits.

“I never thought I was going to compete but it shows the commitment pays off, when you get to the places you want to be.”

Finding freedom in the water

As a result of the surgery, Kian lost some feeling in the right side of his body, which led to him being classified as an S10 para-swimmer.

He now trains five days a week with Daventry and won two medals at the 2018 National Para-Swimming Championships.

Kian added: “The best bit by far is all the friends, the family, the team that is always behind me. Knowing that I’ve got a team to come back to at the end is really humbling.

“Sometimes you might not find that perfect sport for you straight away, but if you keep on giving it a go, you will find that true sport you really love.

“It will take time to adapt it so you can fit in and enjoy it, but the sooner you believe, the quicker you get to actually enjoy the sport you want to do, and you’ll carry on doing it for the rest of your life.”

Making a difference

Kian joined the Swim England National Youth Advisory Panel in June 2018, with a passion to share the experiences which have led to his many opportunities within swimming.

Alongside his work with the panel, Kian is an active ambassador for British Blind Sport, Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Northamptonshire Sport.

Claire Coleman, Swim England’s Head of Volunteering and Pathways, said: “It is clear from Kian’s story the life-changing benefits that swimming has brought to him.

“His commitment to the sport both in and out of the water is inspirational, and his knowledge and experience as a para-swimmer brings great value to the Youth Advisory Panel.”

To find out more about Kian and the rest of Swim England’s National Youth Advisory Panel, click here.

If you want to get involved in para-swimming, visit the para-swimming hub.

Photo:  Northants Sport