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Chingford disability swimmer Ryan Nicholls wins three gold medals at Sainsbury’s School Games
11:00am Saturday 28th September 2013 in Latest Sport
Chingford disability swimmer Ryan Nicholls competed in the Olympics Aquatics Centre at last year’s Sainsbury’s School Games but he insists winning triple gold made the 2013 edition far better.
The 15-year-old helped test the London 2012 venues in May of last year as the School Games were held across the Olympic Park, winning 100m butterfly silver and 100m freestyle bronze.
And, while Sheffield took over from London as the host city of the Games this year, the change of scenery also brought with it a change of fortunes for the Chingford Foundation School pupil.
Nicholls claimed gold in the 50m and 100m freestyle as well as the 100m backstroke at Ponds Forge – and he was in no doubt as to which Games now rank higher.
“It was my second School Games but it was better than last year because I won gold. I won a couple of medals last year so it feels very good to get gold,” said Nicholls.
“It felt different but it felt amazing and I felt better and better in the pool. I was expecting to win. It was tight but as soon as I stopped I felt happy.
“The best thing about the School Games is swimming and winning in an international pool. And I came first so I’m happy for that.”
The School Games, supported by National Lottery funding from Sport England and delivered by the Youth Sport Trust, has helped launch the careers of multiple Paralympic champions such as Ellie Simmonds and Hannah Cockroft.
And, with wheelchair racer Cockroft, a four-time world champion as well as a double Paralympic gold medallist, in Sheffield to pass on her wisdom, Nicholls was all ears.
“It was amazing hearing from the Olympians and Paralympians.
“They’re good athletes and very good at what they do and it just feels great to hear from them,” he added.
“My aim for this season is to get as many personal bests as possible. I’ll be back in the pool training soon but my next competition is not for a few weeks yet.”
The Sainsbury's 2013 School Games, which is supported by National Lottery funding from Sport England and delivered by the Youth Sport Trust, was held in venues across Sheffield from September 12 to 15.
Visit www.2013schoolgames.com for more information.