Alex McCallum can boast that he has beaten Olympic champions in two recent sea swims in Grand Cayman and with that confidence booster is set for new challenges.
McCallum heads for the United Kingdom next month to test himself against some of the best prospects at a big meet where he hopes to qualify for the university team in the fall.
Lara Butler, another local champ, is also at competing at the same meet. She is already studying in England.
McCallum said: “I’m just building up my gym training and in the pool and just training hard for the next month for a meet in England, in Loughborough with Lara.
“It’s not a championship meet, just a regular one for people of all ages to test their times.”
He leaves on 15 March and returns at the beginning of April. McCallum, who is 19 in June, hopes to make the times to get into the University of Loughborough team when he starts studying in accounting and economics there in October.
Although he would love to be a full-time swimmer after graduating, he acknowledges that the sport can only take him so far and is grateful for having a three-year scholarship with Ernst & Young. “Hopefully, that will get me on my feet after swimming.
“I made the time for the Loughborough team in December but now I have to make it again for a different event. The 400 metres freestyle is what I qualified in, in Jamaica, but then backstroke is my speciality because I came fourth in that at CARIFTA last year.”