'Try your best' pays off for young swimmer

Turning heads: "I've been doing it so long, when I'm swimming I feel good, while I'm training," Tim Hodge said. "Many times in competitions I make a lot of new friends with people I'm competing against." Picture: Helen Nezdropa

Turning heads: "I've been doing it so long, when I'm swimming I feel good, while I'm training," Tim Hodge said. "Many times in competitions I make a lot of new friends with people I'm competing against." Picture: Helen Nezdropa

PATRICIAN Brothers student Tim Hodge is enjoying a year of incredible swimming results including breaking old records, winning national medals and swimming with his idols.

At the recent 2014 School Sports Australia Swimming Championships in Melbourne, Tim, an amputee swimmer, won eight medals from his 10 events including relays.

His haul of precious metal included two gold medals, four silver and two bronze to go with two fourth finishes.

Tim broke five records in the S9 category for his age group — his time in the under-13s 200-metre individual medley was four seconds quicker than the one set by Matthew Cowdrey, who has 13 Olympic gold medals to his name.

Tim, from Kings Langley, recently received a letter requesting he participate in the Tokyo Paralympics development squad, joining the group of kids Swimming Australia wants to nurture, working with sports scientists and elite coaches.

Tim was excited to be asked to join after being part of the Rio Olympics development squad.

"It gives me a bit of an extra edge to try and get further in the competition.

"When we go to camps we train altogether and work on techniques, endurance and sprinting.

"For the Tokyo squad we are going on a camp at the AIS for five days in September."

Earlier in the year Tim, who trains at Blacktown Aquatic Centre, competed at the 2014 Australian Swimming Championships in April — an open age event — at just 13 years.

It was very exciting swimming with the older people," Tim said.

"I was thinking 'Try your best, it doesn't matter where you come if you try your best'."

For Tim swimming is a big part of life and a way to make good friends.

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