Bournemouth student, Leo McCrea, has been selected to represent the Swiss National Paralympic Team at the World Para Swim International Series Meets.
The Bournemouth Collegiate School pupil will be making his international debut in the British International Para Swim Meet in Glasgow in April and at the International Disability Meet in Berlin in June.
Leo, aged 15, was born with achondroplasia, a form of restricted growth that affects his limbs. His motivation and ambition have made him a real inspiration to his sporting peers.
Initially, Leo was invited by Team GB to join the British podium potential squad last year to target a medal for the Paris 2024 Paralympics. However, the opportunity to join the Swiss team gave him the chance of qualifying for this year’s World Para Swimming championships in August, and Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
“It has always been my dream to get into the Paralympics, not only in Tokyo 2020 but also Paris 2024,” said Leo. His mother is Swiss, which allows him to compete for Switzerland.
His father Neil, said, “I would like to thank all the coaches at Bournemouth Collegiate School for the terrific encouragement and support shown to Leo, and I am sure they will continue to enjoy the challenge that awaits in the pursuit of Leo’s Paralympic dream.”
Leo’s half term holiday involved a mad dash to the Swiss Embassy in London where the Swiss Paralympic Committee fast-tracked Leo’s Swiss passport for international clearance for his races. As part of the qualifying process, he is now required to make his international debut for Switzerland at the World Para swim series meet.
Headmaster of Bournemouth Collegiate School, Mr Slatford said, “Leo portrays an incredible amount of talent and determination to his sport. His intense training regime and ambition has got him where he wants to be, and the school can’t wait to see what else is in store for him this year.”
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