BRIDGWATER NEWS: How swimming lessons at a Bridgwater pool helped a ten-year-old lad to swim his way to a life changing scholarship
WHEN ten-year old Austin Ranson first began swimming lessons at Trinity Sports & Leisure in Bridgwater little did he and his family realise that it would be the start of a life changing journey which would see him winning a swimming scholarship.
Austin is set to join the prestigious Mount Kelly School at Tavistock in Devon as a border in September, an establishment which has produced an impressive roll call of elite international swimmers and Olympians such as Sharon Davies and Mark Foster.
When Austin began lessons at Trinity Sports & Leisure, which is run by 1610, staff soon spotted and nurtured his potential and guided him towards competitive club swimming with Bridgwater Amateur Swimming Club. Austin progressed further and excelled at numerous swimming competitions.
His mum Colette says having local superb facilities and specialist swimming staff was key in unlocking Austin’s swimming potential.
“The staff at Trinity helped immensely in developing Austin’s confidence and ability, he loves going there because there is a very supportive atmosphere,” she said.
“They also have excellent links with Bridgwater swimming club which was also crucial in supporting Austin.
“For us as a family having such good local facilities ten minutes away was very important so he could get enough time in the pool without us spending hours driving him in the car.”
Austin, who lives at Cannington, currently trains at Trinity for an average of five and a half hours per week but soon he will be swapping the Bridgwater pool to swim alongside the elite swimmers at Mount Kelly.
Mum Colette, who is very proud of his achievement, added: “We are all so thrilled for Austin as Mount Kelly will allow him to pursue his swimming and academic potential in a balanced way.
“It really will be life changing for him and we are very proud of all the hard work he has put in. He has also had great grass roots support from 1610 staff and the Bridgwater Swimming Club who have helped to make this all possible.”
1610 swim and sports development manager Ricky Hayes says that it is not just young swimmers who can benefit from the expertise and facilities at Trinity Sports & Leisure.
“We are delighted that Austin has done so well and wish him all the best for the future,” he said. “His story shows how young swimming talent can be nurtured to follow a pathway into competitive swimming with Bridgwater Swimming Club and beyond.
“The facilities and specialist knowledge we have at Trinity help swimmers from all ages, such as Rich Hill who in his thirties is achieving some of the best times of his career through smart training and access to great facilities.”