A talented East Durham College student has continued his progression both in the classroom and the pool over the last year.
Gareth Orr, 23, joined the college in February 2015, moving up from Peterborough to join the colleges’ foundation studies programme for students with special educational needs.
A hard-working student Gareth gained top grades throughout his time on the course, also completing an employability skills course.
And Gareth’s hard work has seen him now transition on to a mainstream BTEC sport course at the college.
But it’s his favourite interest away from college, swimming, that has helped him decide to take this route towards a future career in sport.
Once he moved to the north-east Gareth joined Sunderland Swimming Club, where his talents have gone from strength to strength.
Dedicated Gareth attends training at Sunderland Aquatic Centre four times a week, with sessions before college then again after.
This training has well and truly paid off, as Gareth has recently picked up five medals at the ASA Sunderland Short Course Gala.
Gareth was delighted to come away with another clutch of medals.
Gareth said: “It’s great to be able to see my training pay off and to win these medals.
“It’s been a great opportunity for me coming to the north-east and joining East Durham College, I enjoyed my time here last year and am having a great time studying on my new sport course this year.”
And Gareth’s lecturers have been extremely impressed with his achievements in the pool and believe this has been a catalyst to his success during his time with East Durham College.
East Durham College, curriculum manager for inclusive learning, Tracey Train, said: “Gareth has been a huge inspiration to us here at the college.
“Since he joined us last year after making a huge step moving from Peterborough he has continued to excel in his studies at the college.
“Gareth has proved how far you can get with hard work and dedication.
“He’s a fantastic student to have around college and we are extremely proud of his achievements in swimming with Sunderland.”
East Durham College sport lecturer, Martin Johns, added: “I have really enjoyed working with Gareth since he joined us this year in sport.
“He obviously has a natural talent for swimming but his dedication to the sport and making sure he is improving all the time is incredible.
“He has come so far during his time with us, I can’t wait to see what he goes on to achieve in the future.”
For more information on foundation or sport courses with East Durham College, please contact our student services team on 0191 518 8222 or visit www.eastdurham.ac.uk.