David Cumberlidge is hoping to make a big splash for his country after booking a dream trip to this year’s Commonwealth Games.
The 21-year-old from Hexham is part of a 24-man Team England squad heading to the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. This will be Cumberlidge’s first international as a senior, though he has been coming through the rankings in domestic competitions. Last year he claimed two gold medals in freestyle events at the British Summer Championships, including ducking under the consideration time for selection in the 100m freestyle. The former Tynedale Swimming Club member will contest the 50 metres freestyle down under – and will be joined in the squad by Newcastle Swim Team’s Emily Large. David – who now competes for Edinburgh University Swimming Club, is confident he can perform well on one of the biggest sporting stages of all.
He said: “I have taken part in the European and World University Games but this is the highlight of my career so far. It will be a fantastic experience and the atmosphere will be fantastic – the Aussies really take their swimming seriously – but I feel I am capable of doing really well.” David came through trials and competitions to book his squad place and is now hard at work preparing for the Games. He added: “There are a series of consideration times which you need to achieve to be selected and I gained mine last summer. I was always hopeful I would make the squad but it is still a relief when you find out – there is quite a wait before you discover if you have made it. I have been to a Team England training camp in Tenerife over New Year and I will also take part in the Scottish Championships in Edinburgh in March. Apart from that it will be just a case of training hard to make sure I am in the best possible shape for Australia.”
England Team leader Grant Robins said: “We have a blend of experienced athletes and new younger swimmers – this is what the selection policy was designed to achieve. We had a great National Winter Championships in Sheffield last month and it is looking good for the Gold Coast.”
Article Credit – Newcastle Chronicle’s Tony Hodgson.