Banbury's star swimmer will take to the pool in the Commonwealth Games tonight (Monday)

William Perry will be representing the town when he challenges for the men's para 50m freestyle final in the S7 category this evening

By Jack Ingham
Monday, 1st August 2022, 5:04 pm
William Perry will be representing the town when he challenges for the men's para 50m freestyle final in the S7 category this evening.
William Perry will be representing the town when he challenges for the men's para 50m freestyle final in the S7 category this evening.

Banbury's star swimmer will take to the pool in the Commonwealth Games tonight (Monday).

William Perry, who was born with dwarfism, will be representing the town when he challenges for the men's para 50m freestyle final in the S7 category this evening.

Perry, who has just returned from the World Para Swimming Championships in Madeira where he broke the British record, is now setting his sights on smashing more personal records at the Birmingham games.

Since making his international debut at last year's Tokyo Olympics, 21-year-old Perry has been ever-improving and exceeded all expectations at June's World Championships by breaking two British records and missing out on a medal by just 1.57 seconds.

The athlete who trains out of the successful Northampton swimming club will make up part of a 400-strong English squad at this summer's games but remains calm about his medal prospects, focussing more on achieving his own goals and making the most of the special occasion.

"I'm actually quite relaxed about the Commonwealth Games", said Perry.

"I'm swimming up a category in S7, not S6 which takes the pressure off in a way, knowing that if I don't medal then people understand, and if I do then it's an extra wow.

"My aim is to hopefully get top five. It will be incredible if I win a medal. I'm fully aware of my expectations. I always like to be realistic.

"I've got my own personal targets which I keep to myself until I've achieved them and if a medal comes along then that's even more amazing".

Alongside Perry's record-breaking efforts in the pool, the Banbury athlete has been commended for his social media posts highlighting the abusive behaviour towards dwarfism he has been subjected to in public spaces.

The abuse has often meant that Perry avoided busy places and spent a long amount of time at home.

Posting openly about his discriminatory experiences on his Instagram page is just the start of the star athlete's ambition to educate and create positive change for a more accepting society.

To watch William Perry's race tune into the BBC and BBC iPlayer at 8.15pm.