20 July 2018
For degree student Ben Rees, his studies have come to an end at West Nottinghamshire College, but life is about to get a whole lot busier next month.
The twenty-one-year-old will by flying to Sant Cugat in Spain to take part in a series of swimming competitions in this year’s Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association’s World Games (CPISRA).
Ben, from Mansfield, has cerebral palsy and the spastic diaplegic element of his condition, means he has limited use of his legs and regular muscular spasms, so he uses a wheelchair. But this has never impeded his zest for life and swimming skills.
In 2015 his skills earnt him a place in the England swimming team in the CPISRA World Games which were staged in Nottingham and saw him achieve four silver and two gold awards. He got personal best in every race and took 35 seconds off his personal best in the finals.
Now his BA (Hons) in Sport Science is complete, he has been putting his time and effort into training at Water Meadows Swimming Complex in Mansfield and at Nottingham’s Harvey Hadden Stadium, often waking at 4am to train.
Ben has qualified for seven events for this year’s World Games but can only choose five. He will be taking part in the 100m breast stroke, the 400m freestyle, 50m fly, 100m back stroke and the 200m individual medley.
He is now training daily in the lead-up to going to Spain and said he’s “eating lots of food for energy and stamina.”
Ben said: “After the World Games my next goal is to compete in the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo which is run by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) so if I do well in Spain I can build up to Olympic year.”
Ben will graduate with his former college classmates in November which he is looking forward to. He added: “I’ve applied for an apprenticeship at the college, so I’m checking out all my options. I’d really like to study further, but for now I’m concentrating on the games and will make my decisions after the summer.
“Overall, life at West Notts College has been thoroughly enjoyable. I’m so grateful to everyone who has worked with me and helped me to develop during my time there.”
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