Royston swimming duo earn national recognition for impressive efforts

Up and coming swimmers Harry Arnold-Pepper and Edward Ormsby of King James Academy in Royston.

Up and coming swimmers Harry Arnold-Pepper and Edward Ormsby of King James Academy in Royston. - Credit: KING JAMES ACADEMY

Two young up and coming swimmers from Royston have had their impressive performances in the pool recognised.

Harry Arnold-Pepper and Edward Ormsby, who both go to King James Academy, are both on the pathway to potential national selection and more with top-level national meets helping their causes.

Arnold-Pepper travelled to Wales to compete in the National Para Swimming Championships, earning his spot with a silver medal in the 100m breaststroke at the East of England Regional Championships.

Held in Swansea, the 13-year-old was up against swimmers aiming for Commonwealth Games qualifying times but did not look out of place.

He smashed PBs in three events, the 50m and 100m freestyle and 100m breaststroke, and was on course for a fourth before a disqualification in the backstroke for a technical infringement on the turn.

The undoubted highlight, however, was a age-group bronze that came with his efforts in the breaststroke.

Coach Alice Barnes said: "It was his first time swimming at this level and in a 50m pool but he approached the event in a calm and mature way.

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"In each race Harry improved on his qualifying times and [third in] the 100m breaststroke was a fantastic achievement for someone so new to para swimming,

"I'm excited to see how his swimming progresses."

He has now been selected for the Swim England Para Talent Programme 2022.

Fourteen-year-old Ormsby also achieved qualifying times for the National Swimming Championships at Ponds Forge in Sheffield, normally a feat only attained by those aged 16 or over.

He put in two superb performances in Sheffield too, finishing first in his age group in the 50m breaststroke, leaving him first in the UK rankings for both long and short course at the distance, and third in the 200m.

Ormsby has benefited from the link programme between Royston Swimming Club and City of Cambridge, a pathway for swimmers from a small club to gain access to a variety of coaching styles and increased training time.

He usually trains six times a week, juggling it with rugby training as well, and is in his second year on the national talent pathway.

Rob Dowler, head of PE and school sport at King James said: “It is fantastic to hear about how well Harry and Edward have been progressing with their swimming.

"Both boys not only show fantastic commitment to their swimming, but are also excellent sporting ambassadors for the school.

"They both take every opportunity available to them and have represented the school at a wide range of sports.”