THRIVING Vale swimmers Tazmin Pugh and Will Gearey have both earned call-ups of a prestigious nature.
Pugh, 16, has been selected to take part in the British Swimming high altitude training camp in Flagstaff, Arizona, USA, whilst 13-year-old Gearey has been made part of the England Talent Development Programme.
For Pugh, this has all come about due to her hugely successful results from her six previous international meetings and startling domestic championship results, together with two British junior records.
Pugh won six medals at last year’s Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa and secured first places in her age group in Luxembourg, Italy, Toronto, Texas and Antwerp.
In addition, she won ten gold medals at the East & West Midlands District event, five golds in the National Short Course Championships and more recently eight golds in the British Summer Swimming Championships.
She also took the the European Junior Championship title in the 200m backstroke as well as silver in the team relay and fourth in the 100m backstroke, now holding 16 regional junior and open records.
Pugh has also been selected as part of the young swimming elite invited to the National Junior Camp for four days in Aberdeen for 40 boys and 40 girls.
As well as being ranked first in Europe in the 200m backstroke (U17), Pugh has now entered the world rankings in this event in fifth and lies in the top 20 in the world in six events.
Head of British Swimming’s Performance Pathway, Tim Jones, said: “At the start of the Tokyo Olympic cycle it is a good opportunity to be as inclusive as possible with a group of athletes who potentially see the 2020 and 2024 Olympic Games as long-term goals.”
Prince Henry’s High School pupil Gearey is overjoyed at receiving his first invite on to the England Talent Pathway Programme.
Pool sessions are hosted at Warwick and theory and physiological testing sessions at Loughborough, which will see him looking forward for selection on to the specialist stroke camp around the UK on stage two.
Again this invitation arises from his recent results at the British Summer Championships, winning his event at the English Schools’ Swimming Association Championships and being ranked first (13-year-old) in 50m freestyle, 50m butterfly and 100m freestyle in the UK.
Gearey recognises it as the start of his long journey to emulate fellow Vale swimmer Pugh to full Team GB junior selection.