With a maiden appearance in a Great Britain squad on the horizon, the future is looking rosy for Wycombe swimmer James McFadzen.
McFadzen specialises in backstroke, but his main event is the 200 individual medley, the event he will be competing in at the European Junior Swimming Championships in Israel next month - the first time he will represent Great Britain.
And when he pulls on the red, white and blue of his country, the 18-year-old says he will be bursting with pride to represent his nation in the pool.
“I’ve always watched sport from a young age, not just swimming but a lot of sports, and watching things like the national anthem gets you excited,” said McFadzen, a member of Wycombe District Swimming Club.
“To think I have the chance to represent my country with that experience is such an exciting opportunity.
“It’s really exciting and that’s my focus for the rest of the season.”
McFadzen has put his development down to a change in clubs two years ago, a move from a club in his native Newbury to his current one in Buckinghamshire.
The improved facilities and coaching cranked up his development, as well as his training schedule, which nearly doubled as he focused even more on his swimming.
“Wycombe was bringing in a new 50m pool and was bringing in an Olympic standard coach who was at the 2012 Games in London,” said McFadzen.
“I didn’t have the background fitness as some of my opponents did, and it’s taken a couple of years to build that up, so I’ve gone from five training sessions a week to nine, and a lot more gym too.
“That change has really given me the edge to improve.”
McFadzen will benefit further after being selected as part of this year’s SSE Next Generation scheme – the first time he is on the programme.
The financial support on offer will go towards covering the costs of his swimming, with competition entry the first port of call.
“I was chuffed – I wasn’t expecting such a large amount of money, so when it came through I was a bit shocked, but also really pleased,” said McFadzen.
“It will go such a long way. Even from the British Championships, which has just gone, it costs a lot to enter for all my races – the money will help especially in that sense. It’s also the all round support from SSE which is great.”