Swimming pair receive European Games call-up

Glenn Smith with Ollie Hynd MBE and Charlotte Henshaw.' Mansfield District Council's swim coach and development officer, received the prestigious Para-Coach of the Year Award for 2015 from the British Swimming Coaches Association.
Glenn Smith with Ollie Hynd MBE and Charlotte Henshaw.' Mansfield District Council's swim coach and development officer, received the prestigious Para-Coach of the Year Award for 2015 from the British Swimming Coaches Association.

Nova Centurion pair Oliver Hynd and Charlotte Henshaw have been named in the Great Britain squad for this year’s IPC Swimming European Open Championships.

They are part of the 25-strong squad selected for the event in Madiera that begins on April 30 - May 8, just four months before the Paralympic Games in Rio.

It is expected to be a big year for the swimmers not least Paralympic, Commonwealth, British, European and World swimming champion, Hynd, from Kirkby-in-Ashfield.

He said: “It’s great to be selected for the Euros and get the momentum going for Rio later in the year.

“I’m feeling really good at the moment and surrounded by a great team, so looking forward to this year, building on the buzz that was London 2012 and inspiring a new generation on the way.

“Nothing’s a dead cert in sport, but feel positive in selection for the Paralympics and putting in some great performances, just need to keep the pace going week in, week out for now.”

His mum Helen added: “I’m immensely proud of him. It’s a massive year and we can’t wait for it all to begin.”

The announcement was made by British Swimming on Monday (January 4) and Henshaw took to social media site Twitter to write to her 5,000 followers.

She posted: “Really excited to race at another European Championships!”

The Great Britain squad includes Jessica-Jane Applegate, Josef Craig, Tully Kearney and Hannah Russell, as well as five debutants, preparing to take on Europe’s best.

National performance director Chris Furber said it is a great opportunity for valuable long course racing ahead of the Paralympic Games in Rio.

“This is an exciting team of youth and experience,” Furber said. “More opportunities to race against international competitors is important as we move closer to the Paralympic Games.

“Having five athletes making their senior international debut is great and it’s going to be good to see them taking the step up to a new level.

“I know our more experienced athletes will be on hand whenever they need advice.

“For the likes of Ollie, Jessica-Jane and Jonathan the meet will give them the chance to race against some tough competition just four months out from the Games.”

The British Para-Swimming Team selected for the IPC Swimming European Championships consists of:

Josef Craig – City of Sunderland

James Crisp – City of Sheffield

Jonathan Fox - National Performance Centre/City of Manchester AST

Thomas Hamer - National Performance Centre/City of Manchester AST

Oliver Hynd – Nova Centurion

Michael Jones - National Performance Centre/Loughborough University

Andrew Mullen – National Performance Centre/Ren 96

Scott Quin - Warrender Baths

Lewis White – City of Derby

Matthew Wylie – City of Sunderland

Jessica-Jane Applegate – UEA Norwich

Claire Cashmore - National Performance Centre/Wyre Forest SC

Bethany Firth - Ards SC

Charlotte Henshaw – Nova Centurion

Tully Kearney - National Performance Centre/Boldmere SC

Harriet Lee - National Performance Centre/Northumbria University

Amy Marren – Romford Town

Stephanie Millward – National Performance Centre/Aqua Sulis SC

Zara Mullooly – Woking

Rebecca Redfern - Worcester

Eleanor Robinson - Northampton

Susie Rodgers - Beckenham

Hannah Russell - National Performance Centre/Guildford City

Stephanie Slater - National Performance Centre/Preston SC

Alice Tai – Bournemouth Collegiate School