Wales disability sport swimmer of the year named UK Sports Association Ambassador

Commonwealth Games bronze medallist and Wales Disability Swimmer of the year, Jack Thomas has received another accolade ahead of this week’s World Championship Trials in Glasgow.

The 19-year-old from Swansea is one of 13 high performance athletes who have been selected as ambassadors for the UK Sports Association’s project, My Sport, My Voice!

Jack Robert Thomas

The announcement comes as Thomas, who swims for Swansea University, vies for a place at the International Paralympic Committee World Championships, which are also taking place in Glasgow this July.

Thomas burst onto the scene last year when he won a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games and two silver and a bronze at the IPC European Swimming Championships. With his impressive victories, Jack went on to win the Wales Disability Swimmer of the Year Award.

Thomas said: “I’m delighted to have been chosen as an ambassador for My Sport, My Voice! I have learned a lot from my sport and it has supported me throughout my life and I think it is really good to give something back. I want to inspire the next generation and make people experience what I’ve experienced.”

Thanks to funding from Spirit of 2012, a trust set up to sustain the spirit and opportunities from the London 2012 Games, My Sport, My Voice! is raising the profile of the UK’s elite athletes with learning disability by providing a platform to showcase their sporting achievements and inspire others to succeed.

The Athlete Ambassadors who are leading the project have all excelled in their chosen sport at the highest level and have been chosen from each country of the UK.

John Morgan, CEO of Disability Sport Wales added: “Jack will be an outstanding Ambassador for the My Sport, My Voice! project. His recent success at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games is testament to his approach to sport, having worked tirelessly to ensure he achieves his own personal goals as well as his future ambitions.

“I have no doubt that Jack will bring many attributes to the project and will help to inspire many people to either get involved or support sport. I wish him every success in his role.”

Tracey McCillen, Chief Executive at the UK Sports Association said: “We are thrilled to be able to reveal Jack as one of our 13 Athlete Ambassadors. He is swimming at the highest level and has some incredible experiences to share, both in and out of the sporting arena.

My Sport, My Voice! provides a platform for our Athlete Ambassadors to share those experiences, to inspire others and to raise the profile of athletes with learning disability. The athletes are at the very centre of the project and are looking forward to having their voices heard.”

Debbie Lye, Chief Executive at Spirit of 2012 said: “My Sport, My Voice! is all about creating a positive, lasting legacy from the London 2012 Games through challenging perceptions of disability through the efforts of some fantastic athletes. We are delighted to fund this project and many others which empower people to get out, be involved and feel better.”

Chris Furber, National Performance Director at British Swimming, added: “It is great that Jack has been selected on to the My Sport, My Voice! campaign. It will help build his confidence and I am pleased to work with the UK Sports Association. The programme will really inspire the next generation of athletes and I know that Jack will have a motivational story to tell.”

Between now and June 2016, Jack will be taking part in a series of community visits and will co-deliver a My Sport, My Voice! workshop in Swansea. He will also be representing the programme in the media to educate and enlighten not just the sporting community but the wider general public too about learning disability.

To find out more about My Sport, My, Voice! you can visit the project website: www.uksportsassociation.org/mysportmyvoice

 Credit picture to the UK Sports Association.