ISLE OF MAN – Microgaming PlayItForward is extending its support locally with the establishment of the Microgaming Isle of Man Para Swimming Team.
Providing the opportunity for everyone to compete in the sport of swimming, Microgaming has become title sponsor of the Isle of Man Para Swimming Team. The company’s support will assist the team with pool costs, coaching and travel on and off island to compete.
The team currently consists of three inspirational members. Tom Callister, 15, is an S9 swimmer, Letisha Ellis, 11, is an S15 swimmer, and Ben Grainger, 12, is an S10 swimmer. All three athletes have qualified for the National Para Swimming Championships in December in Manchester (taking place at the 2006 Commonwealth pool).
Ben, the most experienced member, has been swimming for a number of years, and won five medals at last year’s British Para Swimming Championships, in the under-14 age category, including two golds. The then 11-year old won both the 50m and 100m freestyle events. Since, Ben has continued to dominate the Para Swimming scene, and in 2014 won Disability Sportsperson of the Year at the Isle of Man Sports Awards.
Inspired by Ben’s story, Letisha was very keen to take up the sport. After only 18 months in the water, Letisha is set to gain a national ranking after the Championships in December. She will follow in team mate Tom’s footsteps, who already ranks 2nd and 3rd in his age group in Britain for his favoured Breaststroke events, as well as being Top 10 in the men’s category.
Looking ahead, the long-term goal for the newly established team is to compete in the Paralympics, Tokyo 2020.