A Mansfield teenager has been honoured at a prestigious county events ceremony for his determination and dedication to swimming despite his disability.
Nathan Beckett, 13, was the Mansfield district winner at Nottinghamshire County Council’s 4Uth awards.
The 4Uth awards recognise the outstanding achievements of young people across the county for a variety of different areas such as outstanding achievement, caring for others, vital contribution within a local community and overcoming adversity.
Nathan, who has autism, was nominated by Maria De Rosa from the county council’s schools swimming service.
Maria nominated Nathan, who is also known as Natty, because of the way he has progressed during swimming lessons despite the difficulties he has due to his disability.
Maria explained: “I nominated Natty because I felt he needed to be recognised for his outstanding achievements.
“Five years ago he didn’t want to go into the swimming pool, if water was near his face he froze and got very upset but he’s come such a long way. I don’t think he realises what he’s achieved.”
After overcoming his fear of water Nathan has won awards for his swimming in competitions and has been able to take part in underwater activites at Center Parcs as well as riding flumes on holidays and visiting water parks.
Nathan’s mum, Helen Beckett-Wilson, added: “Natty has developed in confidence and it’s thanks to the swimming club and its instructors, they’ve made such a huge difference to Natty’s life.”
Nathan added: “I feel happy to be nominated because it shows a lot of people you can do swimming like me.”
Councillor Liz Plant, vice-chairman of the children and young people’s committee, at Nottinghamshire County Council said: “Nathan’s award highlights his immense success and personal journey.
“It is clear from his inspiring story that he has had so much to contend with in life already at such a young age.
“We are very proud that he has been named as the Mansfield 4Uth award district winner to recognise his achievements.”