Under The Spotlight: James Scully talks to us about tough training, long sessions and his dreams of swimming faster

As the countdown to Rio gets more intense, we're kicking off a new feature series here at Paralympics Ireland where we will be putting athletes, coaches and mentors 'Under the Spotlight' to find out how training, competitions and indeed, life in general is going. 

This week, we spoke to 22-year-old swimmer James Scully who told us all about the tough sessions in the pool and why he's looking forward to spring time. 

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Being an elite athlete with the hopes of representing your country at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio is not something to be taken lightly.

Indeed, when you are training hard, preparing for competition and trying to juggle all other elements of your life at the same time, you would be forgiven for being tired, and perhaps even a little bit cranky.

That’s not the case though for swimmer James Scully who, when we caught up with him, had a grin from ear to ear and was passionate in his explanation of his sport, his training and what drives him to get up every day and work harder than ever before.That passion of course lies in the depths of a swimming pool, in the miles upon miles of water he pushes his body through in order to achieve greatness, in order to achieve success and above all, in order to try and do what many of us dream of doing: turning something he loves so much into a career.

“We’re training really solidly now, and finally coming out of the winter block,” he said speaking at the announcement of OCS Group Ireland's sponsorship earlier this week.

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“It is going well, it’s intense, it’s long, and some tough mileage has been done over the last few weeks, " he reflected. "I'm glad to be coming out of that phase and heading towards spring where we can start swimming faster. It’s getting exciting now."“While the winter training is long and tiring, it’s really important in order to build up your fitness. You won't be able to swim faster unless you have that base first.

“Now, we've competitions coming up, we’re down in Limerick this weekend and that'll be a good opportunity to try and register a fast time. I’m ranked fourth in three events now so I’m hoping to put in a good performance and with a bit of luck hopefully it’ll go well," he added.

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“Aside from training, I have a lot of free time on my hands as I finished up college before Christmas but that's good, as I’m looking forward to exploring a new chapter in the life of James Scully.”You can listen to the full interview with Scully below, and keep an eye out on our site in the coming weeks for more behind the scenes chats with other athletes hoping to carve out a path to Rio, along with their coaches and mentors.