AFTER more than 400 days, the Welshpool Sharks Swimming Club has returned to competitive action.

Club member Richard Healey was selected to travel to Sheffield as a technical official for the British leg of the World Para-Swimming World Series, which took place at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre.

Almost 100 athletes from 21 countries made the journey to Sheffield to participate in the first international swimming competition since the pandemic began.

Richard, aged 23, is currently the youngest qualified swimming referee in Wales and one of the youngest ever to qualify to the highest level of technical official in the UK.

He said: “It’s always a great privilege to be selected to officiate at competitions like these.

“What was more special this year was that it was my first weekend away volunteering since March last year, it was very emotional seeing the swimmers compete after so long, I just can’t wait now for my opportunity to compete again.”

Richard has recently moved to Welshpool Sharks, a club which is currently working towards its Insport Silver Award.

He added: “We want to give every swimmer the opportunity to reach their potential, regardless of ability.

“Our coaching team has recently completed disability inclusion training, and along with my knowledge of the technical rules for Para-Swimming, we now have a great base for growing the number of para members within our club.”