PRO FU­TURE?

Ver­sa­tile A&C young­ster Ziana Alexis tipped by coach for pro­fes­sional ca­reer

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - SPORT -

The 11-year-old, from Ger­rards Cross, who is al­ready part of the Eng­land Paraswim­ming De­vel­op­ment Por­gramme, has re­ceived a £1,000 grant, which he will put towards ad­di­tional train­ing and travel to var­i­ous com­pe­ti­tions.

Tul­loch, who swims for Chal­font Ot­ters, was born with an arm de­fect known as lon­gi­tu­di­nal cen­tral dys­pla­seia, but he does not al­low that to keep him down. He trains five days a week, spe­cial­is­ing in the 100m and 200m freestyle and but­ter­fly and com­petes around the coun­try.

Proud mum Alice said: “Max started out just swim­ming for fun at Wex­ham Pool, but it was soon clear how good a swim­mer he was, and we were told we needed to get him a clas­si­fi­ca­tion, which cat­e­gorise swim­mers based on their level of dis­abil­ity.”

Max was clas­si­fied as S9, which is the same cat­e­gory as the swim­mer he most looks up to – mul­ti­ple world and Euro­pean champion and dou­ble Par­a­lympic sil­ver medal­ist Claire Cash­more, who he has had al­ready met.

He was also put in touch with Dave White, paraswim­ming path of­fi­cer for the south-east re­gion, who tracks Max’s progress and maps out a pro­gramme of train­ing for him, as well as giv­ing him tar­gets to aim for.

Alice said: “Max was given a set of goals and tar­get race times by Dave, and he has al­ready ticked off all the things he is sup­posed to achieve by Novem­ber!”

That should come as no sur­prise to the Thorpe House School pupil, who will grad­u­ate to the Royal Gram­mar School, in High Wy­combe, af­ter the sum­mer.

He has al­ready made a splash this year by win­ning sil­ver in the 100m but­ter­fly at the Na­tional Para-Swim­ming Cham­pi­onships in Manch­ester, be­fore adding per­sonal bests in the 200m in­di­vid­ual med­ley and 50m freestyle at this month’s Glas­gow In­ter­na­tional, where he was com­pet­ing along­side some of this sum­mer’s Par­a­lympic swim­mers.

Tul­loch was awarded the grant at a Bucks Sport­ing Lunch last Fri­day, which raised £4,500 towards fu­ture fund­ing for young ath­letes and where the guest speaker was 2010 Win­ter Olympics skele­ton gold medal­ist Amy Wil­liams.

Max Tul­loch with Olympic skele­ton gold medal­list Amy Wil­liams

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