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Rising Star: Young Cirencester swimmer Joseph Giles is making big waves

Cotswolds > Sport > Swimming

Author: Roger Jackson, Posted: Monday, 26th June 2017, 09:10

Joseph Giles Joseph Giles

At 6ft tall and with size 10-and-a-half feet Joseph Giles has all the attributes necessary to be a top swimmer.

And the 14-year-old is certainly making the most of them as he’s making big waves in the sport.

The Cirencester Swimming Club member has just returned from the South West regionals with a gold and two silvers in his back pocket and is now preparing for the nationals in Sheffield in the first week in August where he will compete in the backstroke over 50m, 100m and 200m.

Joseph, who lives in Cirencester and is a pupil at Pate’s Grammar School in Cheltenham, has been impressing those that matter in the sport ever since he joined his local club six years ago.

His mum Sharann told The Local Answer: “He’s had swimming lessons since he was four and I remember his coach Vic Cook told me when he was six that he was a natural swimmer and that I needed to get him to a good club.

“He joined Cirencester Swimming Club at the age of eight and they soon realised that he was a natural at backstroke.

“That in itself was amazing because when he first went to swimming lessons he wouldn’t put his head in the water when he did backstroke!”

He was particularly impressive at the 400m backstroke but it’s not just the one stroke at which he excels.

“He does the individual medley and is also very good at butterfly,” said his proud mum.

In the South West regionals, he won his gold in the 50m backstroke and silvers in the same stroke over 100m and 200m.

The teenager also showed what a good all-rounder he is by finishing eighth in the 1,500m freestyle.

“It’s amazing really,” said Sharann, “because he can only get 7-and-a-half hours’ training a week and the boys he’s up against are all training for 16 hours.”

It’s not just his physical attributes that are so impressive - his mum says he is “still growing” - it’s also his mental strength that has caught the eye of respected swimming judges.

“Joseph’s very driven, he knows what he wants,” said Sharann. “He knows the times he needs and he’s very sensible. His head coach Howard Green told me that he was not a typical 14-year-old because he is so focused.

“This year he decided he wanted to break the club’s under-15 records.

“He does have a plan and he wanted to reach the nationals in 2017 and next year he wants to make it to the British Championships.”

Sharann was reluctant to say how far she thinks Joseph can go in the sport although if he got to Commonwealth Games standard the Cirencester-born youngster would be eligible for Wales, through his mum, as well as England.

So where did he get all his talent from?

“Definitely me,” laughed Sharann, before adding, “No, not really. It was my grandparents who were really good swimmers.

“I like swimming but I’ve no talent at it. I splash about a bit!”

Joseph, who was given plenty of early encouragement by Cirencester’s former head coach Nigel Masters, is not the only swimmer in the family, however.

Sharann, who is married to Jeremy, said: “Joseph’s sister Jessica is very good as well.

“She’s ranked number three for the under-11s at the 100m and 200m breaststroke and she’s one of 12 girls who have been chosen for the talent camp by Gloucestershire.

“If you start them off at an early age you give them a much better chance.”

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Jessica Giles

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