Commonwealth and European champion Tom Hamer says a change of scenery has reinvigorated his love for swimming.
The 20-year-old stormed to S14 200 freestyle glory at both of last year’s major international championships – breaking the world record on each occasion.
However, despite that success in 2018, Hamer has opted to make a significant change to his training programme.
After five years at the British Para-Swimming National Performance Centre in Manchester, he began training at Stockport Metro Swimming Club in January under the tutelage of coach Sean Kelly.
Explaining his decision, the Lancastrian said: “After so much success last year I got a bit down. I didn’t know what to do next and felt I needed to mix things up a bit.
“I’m absolutely loving it at Stockport. There’s a big group of us and it’s a great combination of good banter and very hard training. It was the right time for a change and that’s brought my love back.
“I wasn’t getting stale because I was swimming really well but the best time to make a change is when you’re swimming well, not when things are going south.
“It’s an able-bodied programme and I’m the only para guy there. When I was at Manchester I was the target for everyone else to chase, whereas now there are a few very quick guys at Stockport and I can try to chase them down. That can only help me go even faster in the future.”
Hamer, who claimed Paralympic silver in Rio, jetted off to South Africa earlier this year for a training camp as his preparations for the World Para Swimming Championships stepped up a notch.
He added: “Obviously, the Worlds are massive but the main priority is next year when we head to Tokyo. You want to get all the little things right this year so everything falls into place perfectly for 2020. The Paralympics are the big one.“Tokyo is still a long way off, so I’m just taking it step-by-step. I need to see how the trials and Worlds go and then it’s about that final push and seeing what I can achieve in Japan.”
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