Stroud Seals trio to represent Australia at 2023 Global Games in France

Lakeside Leisure Centre head swim coach Mike Abel with talented swimmers Gabby Howells, Jakob Thomson and Isaac Howells, who will represent Australia at this year’s Global Games in France.

STROUD Seals Swimming Club sensations Jakob Thomson, Isaac Howells and Gabby Howells will fly the flag for Sport Inclusion Australia at this year’s Virtus Global Games in France.

The high functioning autistic swimmers are part of a squad of 120 athletes that are chasing medals in a variety of sports when the eleven day Global Games event kicks off on June 2 in the French state of Vichy.

They will head to Europe with their respected local mentor Mike Abel, who is Head Swimming Coach at their base at the Lakeside Leisure Centre in Raymond Terrace.

A proud Abel told News Of The Area, “All three have earned their spots on the Australian team with impressive performances across all swimming disciplines.

“The trio have clocked some fast times this year and look forward to swimming for their country in the S19 category at such a prestigious event as the Global Games,” quipped the experienced Abel, who has coached swimmers at the Lakeside Leisure Centre for the past sixteen years.

Other sports featured at the Games include athletics, basketball, cycling (track and Road), equestrian, Futsal, handball, hockey, judo, karate, rowing (on water and indoor), table tennis, Taekwondo, and tennis.

Seventeen-year-old Thomson underlined his potential by clinching four gold medals and a silver when Australia dominated the Oceania/Asia Games in Brisbane last November.

Rising nineteen-year-old freestyler Gabby and her fifteen-year-old sibling Isaac also nabbed medals as the Australian national team topped the overall medal tally with 56 gold.

Coach Abel is currently preparing the talented trio for the upcoming National Age and Open Swimming Championships on the Gold Coast where they’ll be joined by Stroud Seals club mates in sixteen-year-old William Bradshaw, fourteen-year-old backstroker Kaylee Blundell and butterfly ace Lachlan Webster, thirteen-year-old deaf swimmer Sebastian Webster and fourteen-year-old breaststroker Caitlyn McDonald.

“Our club comprises 20 swimmers so this is a tremendous achievement by the young group,” Mike added.

By Chris KARAS

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