Morley shows his class with golden victory

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Arthur Morley is celebrating a golden weekend at the British Gas Open Disability Championships.

The 15-year-old Fareham Nomads swimmer, who has spina bifida and familial spastic paraplegia, secured victory in the S8 100m breastroke event.

He followed that up with second places in the 50m and 400m freestyle as well as a hard-fought third in the 100m butterfly.

The Swanmore College student was inspired to take up the sport after watching the London 2012 Paralympics.

He now has his sights set on joining his heroes at Rio 2016.

Coach Stewart Crowe was delighted with Morley’s performance in the championships.

He believes the swimmer’s progress has been remarkable after he only joined Fareham Nomads in January.

Crowe praised Morley’s attitude in competition and training.

He feels the talented teenager can go on and achieve plenty of success in the sport.

He said: ‘Arthur performed fantastically at the disability championships and should be proud, having beaten some strong swimmers.

‘Over the past 12 months he has shown much improvement and is gradually edging towards his goal of Paralympic squad selection.

‘Arthur doesn’t make excuses if he can’t do something.

‘Every now and again I have to tell him if he’s not performing.

‘But he keeps pushing himself further and never expects special treatment.

‘I dont think Arthur really comprehends how far he has come.

‘Sometimes he thinks he should have done better.

‘Earlier this year, he left a competition disappointed that he set only four personal bests in five races.

‘This is a great achievement for any swimmer, so he needs to put in perspective how much he has achieved.’

Over the past year, Morley has gained recognition for his increasingly impressive performances in the pool.

He was selected as part of the Hampshire Talented Athlete Scheme for 2014-15 and also for the Amateur Swimming Association Development Programme.

That is a further step on the road to his Paralympic dream.

He is also currently ranked first in his age range for S8 breaststroke and second for S9 butterfly and freestyle, marking a meteoric rise for the teenager.

Looking ahead, Crowe is certain the Fareham youngster can continue to improve.

Morley now has his sights set on the Hampshire Championships in February and March next year.

Beyond that, his target will be to swim in the competition that first ignited his passion.

Crowe added: ‘He is an intelligent lad who does well in school and is really well accepted within his peer group.

‘He’s been racing competitively for only two years, so the progress he’s made has been fantastic.

‘If he continues as he is going, he stands a good chance of making the Paralympics.

‘It’s up to him and how hard he wants to work.’

Fareham Nomads provides competitive opportunities for swimmers from novice up to national standards. For more information about the club see the website