HIPPERHOLME Grammar School swimming star Luke Smith is hoping to make a big splash at a host of major competitions in 2018.

Twelve-year-old Luke celebrated a stunning eight-medal haul including four golds and two silvers at the Yorkshire County Championships and Sunderland's North East Regional Finals back in October.

The Brighouse-based swimmer has been training hard with Borough of Kirklees Swimming Club as he prepares for two top events at the beginning of the year – the Independent Schools Association Championships and Yorkshire County competition.

Luke is currently ranked number one in backstroke for his age group and reached number three in the British rankings for 12-year-olds.

Luke's dad David said: "We're incredibly proud of what Luke has achieved so far in the sport. Whilst he is very happy to have won five medals at the Yorkshire Championships, he is confident he can do even better in his upcoming events and is training hard to achieve his potential.

"Hipperholme Grammar School has been fantastic in encouraging Luke to pursue his sporting successes and his teachers are always asking how well he's done at competitions. They continue to support his progress in swimming as well as ensure he stays on top of his work.

"Swimming is highly competitive and to reach the very top, you have to be extremely good. We are hoping that with sufficient training, Luke might reach a level where he will be considered for the Yorkshire county team in backstroke or butterfly- his two favourite disciplines."

Luke first took up the sport only three years ago with Brighouse Swimming Club. He also featured for Halifax Swimming Club before moving to Kirklees where he trains six times a week alongside National Performance and Senior squads.

Matt Crouchman, Head of PE at Hipperholme Grammar School, said: "Luke has a tremendous work ethic when it comes to sport. His swimming accolades are extremely impressive and we as a school are very proud of him. We endeavour to support his progress over the coming years and hope for more continued success.

"It's the competitive side of the sport that appeals to Luke the most. His progress and increased speed drives him to achieve success as well as his ranking.

"We're very proud of his dedication and achievements. It demands a lot from him in terms of commitment and a lot of early starts and late evenings."

Businesses and groups able to sponsor Luke and keep his medal successes going should contact: kaskasr@gmail.com