22-year old Stephen Clegg made the decision to relocate from Stirling University in Scotland to Sunderland at the start of this year to train as part of the elite City of Sunderland ASC, which are based at the Sunderland Aquatic Centre, alongside award-winning coach, Danny Thompson.
Stephen, who is registered blind, spends on average 18 hours a week in the pool at Everyone Active’s Sunderland Aquatic Centre training alongside the elite training group based with Danny Thompson at City of Sunderland ASC in preparation for the GB trials in June for the upcoming European Championships, which will take place in Dublin this August.
At the Para-Swimming World Series in Copenhagen last month, Stephen representing team GB, broke the world record in the heats for the (S12) 50m Butterfly, and in less than 24 hours smashed his own record, shaving off 0.5 seconds.
Stephen, who specialises in Butterfly events and currently holds the British and World Records for the 100m and 50m Butterfly, he also aims to retain his title at the Summer European Championships.
Danny has coached a whole-host of Paralympic stars including Everyone Active’s Silver Sporting Champion, Matt Wylie MBE, who won a Gold medal at the Rio Paralympics in 2016. Danny tailors Stephen’s sessions to enable him to develop his race profile and improve his performance ahead of Tokyo 2020 Paralympic games.
Danny works with Stephen to achieve this by using physical methods, such as body manipulation to help Stephen to understand how to improve his swimming technique.
“I met Stephen as part of the Team GB at the European Championships in Eindhoven, Netherlands 2014 and then at the Berlin International Open 2017. I was inspired by Stephen’s determination and drive, and we discussed how we could work together to improve his performance and race strategy. In just two months, Stephen has shaved 1.5 seconds off his time and we are now preparing him for the European Championships. Stephen hopes to represent Team GB at the competition deliver a lifetime best performance at the benchmark meet of the season and continue to lead the world-record, which I am confident we will achieve together.”
“Stephen is an inspiration to not only colleagues, but the local community. He trains tirelessly each week to become the best swimmer possible, and we wish him all the best at the trials for the European Championships.”