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James set to make a splash at Commonwealths

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Former Newbury District swimmer James McFadzen has been named in Team England's squad for this summer's Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

James qualified following a podium finish at the recent British Championships in Sheffield.

He said: "I'm so excited, it's only my second senior team and we'll have a home crowd supporting us."

James McFadzen in the pool (56832537)
James McFadzen in the pool (56832537)

Next week, James travels to Barcelona as he steps up his preparations.

He'll have the chance to compete against some of the world's best swimmers while experimenting with race strategies.

"We're not really looking at times, it's more about trying different things, practising processes and race tactics."

Come the Commonwealths, it'll be all about times - qualification for the European Championships in Rome are on the line.

James will be aiming to build on his experiences at last summer's Europeans in Budapest.

He said: "It was my first senior team so I was a small fish in a big pond. It was amazing just to watch them, soak it all in, take in the atmosphere and learn from them."

For James, though, whether in Budapest, Barcelona or Birmingham:

"Every pool is the same. You're there to do a job and that doesn't change no matter where you are."

James swam a personal best at last year's Olympic time trials but missed out on Tokyo by just 0.4 seconds.

The 2024 Olympics are set to be staged in Paris, and James will be doing everything he can to get there.

In a normal week, he swims nine times.

When it comes to fundraising, James is swimming against the tide - he has to finance all his accommodation, travel, training and competition costs.

"It's quite difficult to raise funds. The training is pretty intense and my main focus is swimming so it's difficult to find a job that works with my schedule and doesn't take too much out of me."

If James can make it to Paris, he'll compete as an individual. To get there, however, he needs help from a team of people - coaches, friends and family.

That team could yet include you, reading this paper right now.

James is looking for sponsorship to allow him to continue on the road to Paris.

You can contact James on james.mcfadzen@outlook.com.

Sponsorship will help James to train, travel, compete and, above all else, to dream.

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