Former Team Ipswich swimmer Lewis Coleman’s Commonwealth Games inclusion is welcome tonic after a difficult 18 months for his family

Lewis Coleman

Lewis Coleman - Credit: Archant

Former Team Ipswich swimmer Lewis Coleman says he is determined to put a smile back on his family’s face, after qualifying for two individual competitions at next month’s Commonwealth Games.

The 22-year-old former Kesgrave High School pupil will represent England in the 200m individual medley and 200m freestyle, in Glasgow, having already been selected for the 4x200m relay.

The news is a welcome boost for Coleman, who has been tirelessly juggling swimming with fundraising since his mum, Maggie, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in the summer of 2012.

“It’s been a pretty tough 18 months and one of my motivations was to give my family something to smile about,” said Coleman, who lived in Woodbridge and Colchester as a youngster.

“To see the pleasure it has brought to all my family is great and everyone is really happy and in a positive frame of mind.

“I wanted to qualify for the individual events and I am delighted that I will get the chance to race against some of the best swimmers in the world.

“Roberto Pavoni (England) is the British champion in the 200IM so he will be right up there, then there is Wales’ Ieuan Lloyd.

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“There are some great swimmers from Britain, before I even start talking about the guys from Australia and around the world.

“I have a few personal goals and my first aim will be to make the finals, but it’s my first senior finals and that is a great thing to achieve.”

Among the interested observers charting Coleman’s progress will be his former coach at Ipswich, Dave Champion.

Under Champion, between the ages of 14 and 18, Coleman won eight national medals, including his first gold, and represented Great Britain at the European Junior Championships twice.

“I still have a pretty good relationship with Dave and he is someone who had a big impact on my career,” Coleman added.

Coleman organised a successful record-breaking 100x100m swim to raise money for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research earlier this year – an event that included a number of Team Ipswich swimmers and has raised just over £25,000 so far.

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