Oliver strikes gold at Loughborough

WEST Norfolk swimmer Oliver Kenny was in medal-winning form at the National Deaf Swimming Championships at Loughborough on Saturday.

Oliver (11), of Watlington, competed in the 12/13 age group but proved he was undeterred by having to swim against older competitors.

He gained a gold medal in the 50 metres breast stroke race and silver medals in the 50 metres freestyle, back stroke and butterfly races.

Hopes are also high that Oliver put in a record-breaking performance.

His mum, Amanda, said: "We are awaiting confirmation at the moment but it would appear he has got four age group 12 years British records."

Oliver is a keen member of Downham and District Swimming Club. Despite his profound deafness, he holds the club record for 200 metres and 100 metres freestyle.

Dedicated Oliver is one of more than 20 local youngsters who have been nominated for this year's Lynn News Super Kids Awards.

The winners of the awards will be announced in a special ceremony at Lynn Town Hall tonight.

Lynn swimmer Sarah Bowling graduated from her sporting apprenticeship on Saturday – and is in line to pick up an additional honour for her efforts in education.

The 19-year-old disability swimmer is among 94 athletes from the world of aquatics who will graduate from the Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (AASE) – an initiative that aims to help young people to excel in sport (their main career goal) while continuing with their education.

The West Norfolk Swimming Club member is also one of two disability swimmers nominated for the discipline's "Advanced Apprentice of the Year" title and Bowling will discover if she has clinched the title over Portsmouth Northsea's swimmer Shane Scullion in an Oscar-style ceremony at the graduation ceremony at the Nottingham Belfry.

Bowling said: "The AASE programme has helped me learn more about my sport, how to progress and more about how to get the career I want."

Bowling had a great 2008 season, competing at the ASA's East Region Youth Championship, where she won gold in the multi-disability events 50m and 100m butterfly and the 50m and 200m freestyle.

She also came second in the MD 50m and 100m breaststroke and the 400m freestyle. At the 2008 ASA National Youth Championships, Bowling came eighth in the MD Women's 100m butterfly.

The graduation ceremony will also honour names from swimming, diving, synchronised swimming and water polo who completed the AASE programme in 2008.

These include swimming's double Olympic Champion Rebecca Adlington.