Athlone swimming star, Robbie Powell, has come away from the 2016 School Games with a haul of five medals - two golds and three silvers.
While the majority of School Games action took place in Loughborough, Leicestershire the swimming was held at Ponds Forge in Sheffield on Saturday. Powell, a student in St Aloysious College, helped himself to gold in the 4x200m freestyle and 4x100m freestyle mixed relay events, and silvers in the 100m butterfly, 200m butterfly, and 4x100m freestyle relay.
The School Games is a major multi-sport competition for school-age elite athletes. Around 1,600 of the nation’s finest young sports stars were competing across 12 current and future Olympic and Paralympic sports, seven of which included disability competition.
Despite his incredible success in front of vociferous Irish support in England, the 16-year-old claimed he was not exactly full of confidence heading into the event: “I wasn’t too sure going into the day how I would do, although I felt so strong in training in the couple of weeks before,” explained Powell. “To get a couple of individual silvers was nice, but to win the relay golds was amazing. The boys deserved it and we celebrated afterwards really well.
“We are pretty good friends and had been on lots of different trips before. The team on the side were cheering us all on the whole time and it was great to give them a few medals to shout about. I knew I would do better than last year, but I did not think I would set that time in the individuals, it was a great team.”
The 2016 School Games is supported by a range of partners including the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Sport England, Youth Sport Trust, and the Department of Health and British Paralympic Association. The Games took place in Loughborough from September 1 to 4.
Visit www.2016schoolgames.com for more information.