The 18-year-old swimmer, Nick Layton broke the Deaf World Short Course Record of 25.12 seconds in 50m butterfly November last year. The International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD) has recently approved this and it is now officially recorded on the ICSD website.

Nick lives in Melbourne – a city that was critically impacted by the pandemic last year, which had forced the public to go into long period of lock-down. At the time, restrictions were in place for the Melburnians and this meant that people had to work from home where possible, participate in class via online from home and yes, this also meant that sports, social activities and events were also not allowed. It evidently loomed over everyone that their freedom was becoming limited too.

For Nick, this meant his views about swimming had changed permanently – he had realised the importance of having a purpose in the things people enjoy in life. Nick joined the MSC squad program in October during the lock-down period.

Coach Seb Bettiol describes Nick as an inspiration to younger swimmers.

“Despite the obstacles and frustrations that all athletes faced over this period, Nick immediately brought a positive energy to the squad and the wider team. [He] doesn’t shy away from hard work and shows incredible determination to better himself each and every session,” said Coach Bettiol.

“The support and encouragement he shows to all athletes during training and competitions has meant he is already become a vital part of the training group. It’s not surprising that Nick has been able to break a world record before he has even finished school when you consider his attitude, commitment and work rate.”

Nick began swimming when he was 1-year-old. He originally liked the idea of splashing the surface of the water and doing some underwater somersaults. Nick started swimming competitively when he was 12-year-old and now he currently swim for the Western Melbourne Propulsion Swim Club in Victoria.

His next goal is to represent Australia in swimming at the next Deaflympics. “Going international is certainly something to look forward to. It would be great to snag in some more World Deaf Records, maybe some other competition records as well. In the end, you’re only worry about yourself, and a record is just somebody else’s Personal Best waiting to be beaten.”

Media contact:
Lauren Townsend
Media and Community Liaison Officer
Deaf Sports Australia

The International Committee of Sports for the Deaf is a governing body responsible for the organisation of Deaflympics and World Deaf Championships.
A 25-metre pools are typically called short courses.