Cloughton-based teenager Jake Mensah is rapidly making waves in the world of swimming after a first-class display in his home pool at a high-quality gala.
The 19-year-old multi-disability athlete, who is a member of Scarborough Swimming Club, is hoping that his efforts at the club’s A/B gala earned him a place in the North-East Swimming Championships for the second year running - and possibly a spot in the national finals at Ponds Forge.
Proud father John Mensah said: “Jake is weak on his right side from birth due to cerebral palsy. Swimming is an ideal sport to build up his confidence and improve his fitness.
“He learned to swim at the age of eight and for the past six or seven years he has been going along to the Scarborough Disabled Swimming Group every fortnight at the indoor pool, then 18 months ago he started to swim with Scarborough Swimming Club.”
He added: “Jake is an S7 classified Paralympian swimmer and last year he qualified for the NE Disability Championships in Harrogate, and he did so well there in the 50 metres butterfly and freestyle that he went on to compete in the national championships at Ponds Forge, Sheffield.
“He did so well in last month’s A/B gala that he knocked eight seconds off his best in the 50m free and also set a personal best in the 50m fly and 100m individual medley, taking 30 seconds off the latter time.
“We are waiting to see if his times meet national qualifying requirements, as then he will be able to compete in the NE finals in September and hopefully onto Sheffield again.
The Mensahs travelled to watch the Olympics last year and John feels that this acted as inspiration to his son.
He said: “Spending three days down in London watching the football, archery and athletics was an excellent experience and this kind of enthusiasm during the Olympics obviously rubbed off on Jake.
“I am very proud of his achievements over the past year or so. Jake is exceeding all his goals that he set at the start of the year. He was aiming to set personal bests and to go below a minute in the 50m events and he has been nearer the 55-second mark.”
Jake, who used to attend Lindhead School, Scalby School and Scarborough Sixth Form College, is also a keen supporter of Scarborough RUFC, attending every home match at Silver Royd with his father.