Backstroke sensation hails Fenland Sports Stars of the Future campaign as he chases Olympic dream

BACKSTROKE sensation Liam Knight has hailed the campaign which is helping him make waves as one of the country’s brightest swimming talents.

The 17-year-old, from Wisbech, became the first winner in the Fenland Sports Stars of the Future campaign last year.

The scheme, run by Fenland District Council in conjunction with the Cambs Times/Wisbech Standard, gives him free use of all council leisure facilities.

Knight said: “It has been really helpful for me with my training. I live about five minutes from the Hudson Leisure Centre, so it’s perfect really.

“It saves me travelling all the way to Peterborough and it has been really beneficial.

“I’ve been doing four gym sessions and 10 pool sessions every week, which is very hard work.”

Knight, who won four gold medals at the East Region Swimming Championships at the weekend, has enjoyed a memorable year.

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The teenager qualified for July’s European Junior Championships by smashing his personal bests at the televised Olympic trials in March.

“I have watched the video over and over again,” he said. “It was an amazing experience.

“Watching the Olympics is always inspirational. Every time I watch it I just want to be there - hopefully in 2016 or 2020 I could be.

“At least I can watch this year’s and know I have competed in the same pool!”

Knight also thanked his physio David Jakeman, who has helped him overcome niggling shoulder injuries.

“This year has been a really big step up and I don’t think I would have been able to take it without him,” he said.

The council has agreed to extend Knight’s sports stars prize for another year.

Verity Allen, the council’s leisure projects officer, said: “We have been really impressed with Liam this year and we want to continue to help him excel in his sport.”