Alex- Murphy – young achiever

Alex Murphy, aged 13, took up swimming to support his training for his black belt in Karate at age 11. He and his brother joined a new swim club at the Wave in Didcot and it was the coach, Iryna Kobzar, who realised Alex had potential.

In his first season Alex made Counties and Regionals and was 1.9 seconds off a National qualifying time. Last summer the family holiday was skipped so Alex could train everyday and in the Autumn he was rightly rewarded with a National Qualifying time of 1.11.22 seconds for 100m breaststroke.

He has been selected for the County team (Oxford and North Bucks) on 3 occasions. Last October he attended the Inter County Nationals at Pond’s Forge, Sheffield, where he won the only Gold for the team. He was selected for the English Schools Swimming Association (ESSA) Division 10 and represented King Alfred’s in Enfield. He qualified for the Winter Championships held in Aldershot Garrison Pool and broke the record for 50m breaststroke in his age group (34.30 secs.). He was for a while ranked number one nationally for his 100m breaststroke. He swam breaststroke for the City of Oxford SC in the National (Speedo) League – they were promoted to the Premier Division.

In January, this year, he competed in the Dragon Meet at the National Pool, Swansea over 3 days, having qualified for 6 events. He made 3 finals and gained 2 Golds, again in breaststroke, the 100m (new Pb – personal best, of 1.10.80) and 200m (2.41.86).

He has qualified for the Counties Championships in 13 events, this March. He has the Regionals at the end of May and the Nationals in July. He continues to train 4 mornings before school and 3 evenings a week totaling 10/12 hours. Weekends are often taken up with galas in various locations across the country.

The sleeping bag, for rest between races, and camping stove (soup and cups of tea!) are permanent features in the back of the car and then of course there is the very supportive Mum and Dad who make all those achievements possible.

Good luck Alex, keep us informed of your progress.