The latest in the Grass Roots-Sheffield City Trust series Ones to watch for Rio - MAX LITCHFIELD.
For all the jet-setting and despite competing against the most decorated Olympian ever, one of Yorkshire’s leading young swimming stars, Max Litchfield, still feels as though he owes a lot to his roots.
“My mum and dad are my main inspirations, even now. I don’t see them as much as I used to as I train a lot, but they’re special to me and always support me,” said Max, now 20. Max first started swimming at the age of five, and after a few lessons became addicted to the sport – he’d caught the swimming bug.
He’s swum everywhere from Yorkshire to Dubai, and even competed against 22-time Olympic medallist Michael Phelps at the American Nationals recently.
Max trains 10 times a week at Sheffield’s Ponds Forge International Sports Centre.
“The facilities are second to none, of course. It really does help being able to train here and the fantastic coaching I receive. I can’t praise it all enough,” said Max.
After first swimming in his hometown of Pontefract Max eventually joined Doncaster Dartes swimming team at the age of 10. There he stayed until he was 18, when he moved to the City of Sheffield Swim Squad, before recently turning senior.
Max competed as a senior in both the Commonwealth Games and the European Championships in 2014 after swimming at the very top of the junior level in Antwerp, Poznan and Dubai.
And it was following the Glasgow Commonwealth Games that Max began to aim even higher – and now has hopes of qualifying for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
“I’ve got to get there first, of course, but my goal is to reach the very top,” said Max.