19th October 2009

Local swimmer George Clarke struck gold on Saturday night when he swept the board at the Mid Sussex Marlins Disability Gala at the Olympus Triangle in Burgess Hill.  13 yr old George of Meiros Way in Ashington won gold in every event he entered, notching up six golds in total.  In an impressive display, which showed his versatility, George took gold in the 25m and 50m freestyle, 25m breaststroke, 25m backstroke and was part of the winning teams in the freestyle and medley relays.  He achieved personal best times in every race.  Not surprisingly after this performance, he was awarded the trophy for the top male swimmer at the gala and his team – the Sussex Squids – came out on top as well.

Other teams competing included Beacon SC; Brighton & Hove Special Olympic Team; Lewes SC, Marlins SC and Seahorses SC.  George, who is a pupil at Steyning Grammar School, has Autistic Spectrum Disorder.  He trains three times a week with Horsham's Atlantis Swimming Club at Billingshurst and competes with The Sussex Squids swimming team.  George also competes at other galas around the South-East of England. 

George’s dad Tim - a science teacher at Angmering School - said 'because George was getting so fast he was time-barred against competing with swimmers of his own age and went through a lean period whilst he caught up with the adults, but now he is really coming into his own. I'd like to thank the dedication of his instructors at Sussex Squids & Horsham Atlantis'. 

 Further Information: Tim and Rosie Clarke: 01903 893048 or Andrew Dunlop: 07710 352023