30 Aug 2006

David Vaughan, Swansea’s number one S14 swim star, has returned home from Hungary with a clutch of medals after he was selected as the only Welsh swimmer to represent Great Britain at the European Disabled Swimming Championships in Budapest.

Swansea's David Vaughan representing GB in BudapestHaving fought hard for a third place podium spot in the 200m backstroke, Vaughan displayed such skill and versatility as to match the result in the 200m fly and 1500m freestyle, ranking himself third in Europe in each event and earning three bronze medals.

Vaughan’s success assisted the 12-strong GB team in seizing the overall European Championship title, which finished with a hugely impressive haul of 47 medals - 22 of which were gold.

Gerwyn Owen, who was appointed Head Coach of the GB team, is delighted with Vaughan’s performance:

"David did Wales proud, swimming three personal best times and gaining three bronze medals in his class.

"David Vaughan is so committed to his swimming at the moment, and he put in a huge number of hours training for the European event. He won silver and bronze in the World Championships last year, and we're confident he will continue to be as successful.

"He's a great role model to other learning disability swimmers in Wales.

"It was a great Championships, with most of the swim team experiencing swimming in an outdoor pool for the first time and thankfully we had sunshine for the whole four days.

"I know David would like to thank his coaches Kelvin Jones and Mark Thomas, and the generosity of many local businesses and friends who were willing to donate money to help fund his journey to Hungary."

Swansea Stingrays coach, Mark Thomas, who was also selected to assist the GB swimming team after volunteering countless hours to teaching and developing Wales’ young swimmers, has worked closely with the Swansea swimmer:

"David trained extremely hard for this at Pontardawe pool with Swansea Valley Swimming Club and at the Welsh National Pool in Swansea with the FDSW swimming academy. I’m delighted his commitment and enthusiasm has paid off."

Owen was also impressed with the professionalism and commitment shown by the GB assistant coach, Mark Thomas. Owen said:

"The event was also a great stage for Mark to continue his own personal development, and I hope this will be the first of many international duties for this committed volunteer coach."