A SCHOOLBOY inspired by Paralympic champ Josef Craig is aiming to make waves in the world of swimming.
Jake Whitelock, 14, has been tipped for the top by his coach at South Tyneside Swimming Club, Gary Kirsop.
The St Joseph RC Comprehensive School pupil – who specialises in the breaststroke – has already won a series of medals and made it to the finals of a number of swim meets since taking up the sport competively.
Now, he has set his sights on one day representing his country in the Commonwealth or Olympic Games, spurred on by seeing the success of fellow swimmer and clubmate Josef Craig.
Josef, 16, who is also a member of South Tyneside Swimming Club, took gold in the mens’s S7 400m Freestyle in last summer’s Paralympic Games.
Jake, from Lumley Terrace, Jarrow, competes in the 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke and recently took part for the first time in the British Gas International Swimming Championships, held at Leeds.
His proud mum, Jane Whitelock, said: “Jake has been swimming since he was a baby but he has only been with South Tyneside Swimming Club since 2008.
“It was all about Jake doing something he enjoyed, but over the years he is taking much more of an interest in the competitive side of the sport.”
Jake, who trains for 17½ hours a week, has swum his way to gold in the 100m and 200m breaststroke in the recent Northumberland and Durham championships and has beaten his personal best on a number of occasions.
His mum added: “Seeing Josef doing so well has really inspired not only Jake but also the other swimmers.
“Josef has shown what can be achieved with hard work and determination.”