Bebington Swimmer Nathan Young Selected for World Deaf Swimming Championships 2015
December 1, 2014
A young lad from the British Isles is going to get his first taste of international competition. 15-year-old swimmer Nathan Young will join 14 other accomplished British athletes on a trip to the USA to compete in the World Deaf Swimming Championships. The event will take place in San Antonio, Texas on August 17-22 next year.
At Home in the Lanes
Nathan Young lives in the town of Wallasey in Wirral, a peninsula located on the West Coast of Britain sandwiched between Wales and the city of Liverpool. A member of the Bebington Swimming Club, he first began his swimming career at the age of nine.
Born with a genetic condition, his hearing began to rapidly deteriorate since he was a toddler. After becoming almost completely deaf, he had trouble acclimating to school and social life. Swimming helped reconnect him with others and gave him a hobby worth passionately pursuing.
His mother says since swimming does not require the typical amount of verbal communication required in other sports, he can feel like he has a “normal” routine during practice. Once he hits the water, it is just him, his breath and his strokes standing between himself and victory.
Young’s determination has earned him national recognition on the British youth swimming scene. He regularly outperforms others and caught the attention of the GB Deaf Swimming Club last December.
Most astounding of all, Young’s success has been achieved after taking an extended 18-month hiatus. Usually this kind of break in training would hurt a swimmer’s ability to progress, but Young returned to the water as if it were second nature. He also recently had two cochlear implants installed, but was back in the water in no time flat.
On the International Stage
The 2015 World Deaf Swimming Championships is one of the biggest swimming events of the year. The narrowed criteria for participation does not limit the athleticism in the slightest bit, but it does help establish an accessible albeit highly competitive environment for deaf athletes to compete on an international level.
This year’s competition will take place at the Northside Integrated School District’s George Block Aquatics Center in San Antonio, Texas. The facility boasts a regulation 50m Olympic swimming pool, sophisticated video scoreboard systems, cutting edge starter systems for deaf swimmers, and enough room for up to 2,400 spectators and 1,200 athletes.
The World Deaf Swimming Championships are particularly important this upcoming year, as they can be seen as a precursor to qualifying trials for the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.
A Long Road Ahead
Before Nathan Young can make it to San Antonio, he has his work cut out for him. He will have to first compete in Britain’s National Deaf Swimming Championships in Loughborough.
He must also rigorously train up until August. Each day he will be required to record a certain amount of practice hours in a personal training log so that he can monitor his improvement. On top of all this, his trip to Texas must be self-funded before he can join his teammates.
Young thinks that all of the effort will be well worth it. Between his new hearing abilities and the potential to make both figurative and literal waves in an international venue, Young is happier than he has ever been before.