A TALENTED swimmer from Long Preston has been named in the Swim England national junior squad for 2020-21.

Skipton Swimming Club’s Ned Sharp, 17, will link up with 70 other swimmers aged under 18 this month.

In normal circumstances this would mean national and international competition and camps, but in the current climate, the athletes will attend a number of online camps which aim to turn them into the swimming stars of the future.

The first Zoom seminar will take place this weekend, and it is hoped that in the new year Coronavirus restrictions will be lifted allowing for the resumption of competitive activity.

Sharp has been on the Swim England Talent Pathway for a number of years, along with being enrolled on the Diploma of Sporting Excellence in partnership with Loughborough College.

Mother Susie says it has always been Ned's goal to be selected for the junior squad and thinks it is a fantastic opportunity which will provide him with more focus going forward.

She said: "He is bursting with pride. It is something he has always wanted to achieve.

"Given the situation it is all a bit muted because it is on Zoom.

"I know Swim England are hoping to start up competitions again as soon as they can.

"They are all going to have to prove themselves next year because the times they have been selected from are all from their last competitions at the back end of last year. "

It was difficult for swimmers during the two lockdowns, with no access to a pool to train in. Therefore, Sharp had to adapt his training in order to keep fit.

For cardiovascular fitness, the youngster runs and cycles, both road and mountain biking.

He has also built strength and conditioning workouts into his routine at home.

During the first lockdown, he tried his hand at open water swimming at Capernwray Dive Centre too.

Susie added: "It has been tough for all competitive swimmers and anyone who wants access to a pool.

"For Ned, it has been really frustrating.

"He was supposed to be competing for English Schools Swimming.in China in October but obviously that didn’t happen.

"There has been lots of competitions he has missed out on so it has been difficult.

"To get this has been a huge incentive for him to keep going."

After a month layoff, the Craven College Public Services student returned to the water yesterday and his mum is keen to praise the efforts of his club and coach.

"Skipton Swimming Club is absolutely amazing. They are really supportive of Ned.

"Skipton have been really lucky in that there has been access to their own pool and Barnoldswick's. A lot of clubs haven’t been able to open.

"Scrivs (Ian Scrivin) is so dedicated to the swimmers. He has got Ned to where he is today. "