A Paralympian fresh from his double-silver win at Rio has dived into action to inspire foundation students at Nelson and Colne College.

Professional swimmer Tom Hamer spent time speaking to students about his journey from being a nine-year-old at Burnley Bobcats to breaking records and winning prestigious medals in international competitions, including the Commonwealth Games and Paralympics.

The 18-year-old, from Rawtenstall, shared how he has had to overcome obstacles, including learning difficulties, to overcome his success, and urged students to always pursue their aspirations.

He said: “I have enjoyed going to schools and Colleges and spending time inspiring the next generation.

“I have learnt to never give up on my dream to be a professional swimmer, and now that I have that dream I want to be able to turn those two silvers into gold.”

As well as sharing his journey, Tom spent time answering questions from staff and students, and was able to relive his Rio experience by playing the YouTube clip of his silver win.

Foundation student Tamika Bate, 17, said: “Tom has been an inspiration. This has shown me that you might have struggles, but if you have a dream you should do your best to achieve it.”

Level 1 Care Tutor Sue Hartley added: “This is a real story of being able to overcome obstacles in your way and achieve what you want to do with the right help and support. Thanks to Tom for spending this time with our students – we are extremely grateful, and hope to welcome him back to NCC in the near future!”

Nelson and Colne College is dedicated to offering students opportunities, such as guest speakers and trips, to enhance their learning experience and get them ready for their future.

For more information about studying at Nelson and Colne College visit www.nelson.ac.uk or contact 01282 440272.