A swimmer with his sights set on the 2020 Olympics has represented Yorkshire at a competition for elite young competitors.
British record holder Jarvis Parkinson, a student at Trinity Academy, was invited to compete in the Sainsbury’s 2013 School Games after his success at national level earlier this summer.
In July, Jarvis, 15, came away from the ASA British Gas National Championships, held in Sheffield, with three gold medals, one silver and two bronze, as well as setting a new British record for under 15s in the 200m medley with a time of 2.08.02.
The outstanding performance led to the invitation to compete against swimmers from all over the UK and Brazil at the 2013 School Games.
He got to join 1,600 other young athletes in the opening and closing ceremonies at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield, and came away with a silver medal in the 4 x 200m relay.
Jarvis, of Hatfield Woodhouse, said: “I have never done anything like that before, it was amazing. The arena was packed so the atmosphere was brilliant. It has made me want to get to the Olympics even more now because it was such an incredible experience.”
Jarvis believes the 2020 Olympics in Toyko are a realistic possibility, as the previous holder of the British record that he beat is now swimming at world level.
“It’s gong to mean a lot of work, but I am focused on that right now,” he said.
Jarvis, who trains with Doncaster Dartes, started swimming competitively at the age of eight.
“My mum and dad got me lessons when I was younger and we found I was good at it. Now I do nine two-hour training sessions in the pool and three sessions in the gym every week, and I’ve been doing that for three or four years,” he explained.
It means getting up at 4am each weekday to be at the pool by 5am and completing two hours of swimming before starting at Trinity Academy at 8.45am.
“Half way through really hard sessions you do think ‘why am I doing this?’, but then you get to the nationals and win three gold medals and a British record and you sit back and say ‘that’s why you do it’. I enjoy winning, and that keeps me going.”
Ian Brew, principal at Trinity Academy, said: “Jarvis is a fine young man, extremely committed and with real talent. With the right support and opportunities we are hopeful that he will go all the way.”