A swimmer who trains at Hemel Hempstead Swimming Club will be part of Saint Helena’s team as he competes at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Josh Yon, 25, trains six times a week at Hemel Hempstead Leisure Centre and will swim in the 100m and 50m backstrokes as well as freestyle and relay races.
Josh, who lives in Luton, is a health care professional who works for Connect Health.
He has had the past two weeks off from working to focus on his training and get some much-needed recovery in before he swims in the competition.
Swimming has always been part of his life and family with his mother competing internationally as a synchronised swimmer and his grandmother coaching swimmers too.
Despite living in the UK, Josh will represent his father’s home nation of Saint Helena which is something he is very proud of.
He said: “It means so much just to represent such a small part of the earth, basically. I like to spread the word and get the information out there and say that we are here and we're here to compete.”
Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games is the swimmer’s second international competition after he took part in the Gold Coast Games in 2018.
He said: “It feels more like a home games because my mum is from the UK. It’s different but it'll be a lot nicer because I'm able to have family come and watch me.”
For young people wanting to follow him in his footsteps and swim at an elite level, Josh has some advice.
He said: “You've got to put in the hours. It's not easy getting up at five in the morning or four in the morning to go and swim. But those are the sort of commitments that you have to make.”
With a background in health care Josh encourages children to keep active by swimming, even if they don’t pursue it at a high level.
He said: “Enjoying sport and activity is enough. It doesn't necessarily mean that you will become the next big name in swimming or whatever sport you do, but being active and doing those things will add so much more beneficial to your life than not doing those things.”