LAST month saw Team Wales have a successful Commonwealth games in Australia.
Two City of Swansea Aquatics Swimming club swimmers took a slice of the cake making a splash at the Gold Coast Optus Aquatics Centre. They are Alys Thomas (aged 27) and Daniel Jervis (aged 21).
Dan, who gained a bronze medal in the 1500 metres in Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014, went one better and produced a silver medal in the 1500 metres front crawl in a time of 14:48.67.
Alys gained her first international medals grabbing a bronze medal in the 4×100 medley relay with a time of 4:00.75 and breaking the commonwealth record in the 200 metres butterfly gaining a gold medal in a time of 2:05.45.
Both swimmers are coached by Adam Baker and Stuart McNarry at the Swim Wales High Performance Centre with assistance from the support staff who give every swimmer in the centre the best possible support and performance outcomes possible at the Wales National Pool in Swansea.
Both swimmers had very touching stories to share on the road to success in the Gold Coast. The road wasn’t easy but persistence and determination got them the results.
Speaking about her journey, Aly’s said “Some things take some time. It is about the journey and persistence to carry on what I believe is my dream.
“I haven’t given up over the 18 years despite achieving an international medal within those years. I just kept going where other people may have felt they couldn’t.”
Alys went on to say that she overcame her injuries and used those set backs to motivate herself to achieve her dreams.
Dan, who was originally with Neath Swimming club, moved to City of Swansea Aquatics when he was 15-years-old.
He said: “At the time of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014 I was 18-years-old, which was a really good achievement but when I came home I did struggle to get back into training.
“I struggled to enjoy the sport again because of all the pressure, but I managed to overcome this.
“To come back and win a silver medal allowed me to trust my coaches and my team around me and have fun.”
Dan also expressed why he participated in sport and the enjoyment it brings as well as inspiring younger swimmers to do the same.
With both swimmers not having straight roads to success, Alys and Dan went on to success against the odds on the international stage. Both swimmers were speaking at a “meet and greet” evening where they showed their medals and spoke to the younger members of City of Swansea Aquatics.
Hayley Baker, Head coach of City of Swansea Aquatics added: “The journey and success that both Dan and Alys completed shows the talent that we have on our door step.
“We are looking to continue this success for many years to come. Swimmers can join the club at 6-years-of-age and be part of the journey to Commonwealth and Olympics success.
‘The performance club produces a fun and structured environment for all to enjoy.”