Louth swimmer Harvey Phillips chasing Paraympics debut in Paris

Louth Dolphins Para-swimmer Harvey Phillips is focused on making his Paralympic debut in Paris this year.
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That follows a successful 2023, which saw him set a new British record in the SB3 100m Breaststroke.

Harvey will take a year out to work towards his Paralympic dream, before then heading to university to study sports coaching.

“Hopefully I’ll qualify for Paris, whether it be either as part of a relay or hopefully individual,” he said.

Louth's Harvey Phillips - chasing Paralympics dream.Louth's Harvey Phillips - chasing Paralympics dream.
Louth's Harvey Phillips - chasing Paralympics dream.

The youngster is in the S4 classification after having both his legs and parts of his arms amputated as a baby due to contracting meningitis.

Harvey said his decision to go into coaching was partly due to the fact that there are not many Para-swimmers who have gone on to coach.

“It helps you understand more when you can see someone similar to yourself who’s been there, done that, and they’re able to pass on their experience and everything they’ve learnt to you,” he said.

As Harvey plans ahead for a future inside the sport which has had such a positive impact on him as a person, he gave a final piece of advice for those who may be thinking about getting into aquatics, no matter which discipline.

He added: “It just gives you a lot of opportunities, you meet loads of new people and see loads of different places.

"It’s definitely a good thing to get into.”

When asked what it would mean to see his son competing at a Paralympic Games, emotional father Darren said: “It would just mean everything.

"It’s what he wants to do and if it happens, it happens. And fingers crossed it will.”

Harvey’s first, and only swimming club, is Louth Dolphins where he remains a member under the guidance of performance lead coach, Mark Anstey.

Both Harvey and Darren paid tribute to Louth and the positive impact that the club has had. Darren explained that ‘no one bats an eyelid’ at Harvey being a Para-swimmer. They treat him as a swimmer, racing alongside able-bodied athletes.

“He really has completely and utterly changed through swimming. I think its self-grown confidence as well.” he said. “Harvey’s one of the most laid back people you’ll ever meet in your life, but his sense of humour now is just unbelievable. He’s just a character.”

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