Swim star Gareth Mills eyes 2016 Rio Olympics

Gareth Mills
Gareth Mills

Scarborough swimmer Gareth Mills insists he is already turning his attentions to bigger and better things having won Commonwealth Games silver last summer.

All eyes were on Glasgow last year as the Commonwealth Games rolled into town, and former Scarborough Sixth Form College pupil Mills ensured he didn’t miss out on the party after being called up by Scotland.

And the 22-year-old certainly played his part, competing in the 4x200m freestyle heats to help Scotland qualify for the final, and then watching on as his teammates claimed a silver medal.

And with the British Swimming Championships fast approaching on April 14, Mills is hoping history can repeat itself as he turns his attentions towards the 2016 Rio Olympics.

“At the beginning of the season I set out to qualify for the Commonwealth Games,” former Pindar School pupil Mills explained.

“I didn’t swim too well at the trials but still made the team for the 4x200m relay.

If I can try and get into the top four in my events at trials that will be great for moving forward and looking ahead to 2016

Gareth Mills

“We ended up getting a silver medal in the relay and that was huge because it was my first one so that will help me move forward into other major competitions.

“I have not made the final at trials before so it was good to do that in qualifying for the Commonwealths.

“Although it didn’t quite go to plan hopefully I can put that right this time with the Olympics.

“If I can try and get into the top four in my events at trials that will be great for moving forward and looking ahead to 2016.”

Mills’ feat certainly didn’t go unnoticed as he was named as one of 100 athletes selected for the SSE Next Generation programme.

The programme supports young athletes across the United Kingdom and Ireland who have been identified as potential Commonwealth Games and Olympic medallists of the future.

Along with financial funding, the SSE scheme provides workshops and events with sporting legends to help mentor the athletes, such as six-time Olympic cycling gold medallist Sir Chris Hoy and former Olympic champion Darren Campbell.

And having also swapped the City of Sheffield Club with that of Leicester, Mills believes he is in the perfect place to achieve his goals.

“I’m in a better position and the training I have put in this year should help me move forward,” he added.

“I think the change in clubs has really helped and I have a lot of input into what is needed. It’s getting the mixture and balance right and I think we have got that now.

“I have to be realistic with my goals and think I am not going to go to an Olympic games and medal this time around. But in four years time I think that is one of my targets.

“I think I’m in a great place at the moment and it’s just about getting out there, putting it together and showing what I can do.”

SSE’s Next Generation programme partners with SportsAid to provide financial support and training to the sports stars of the future. Keep up to date with the latest @SSENextGen