A GOUROCK teenager who once hated water has become a Scottish swiming champion and now has his sights set on the Olympics.

Matthew Garrity, 14, was one of 15 swimmers who competed for Inverclyde Amateur Swimming Club at the Scottish National Age Group Championships.

Matthew, who started swimming at the age of seven, ended the championships with an impressive medal haul and the title of Scottish champ.

He took part in eight individual events in the 15-year-old age group, and was crowned Scottish champion in the 100m and 200m breaststroke with two new personal best times.

Not content to stop there, he was fastest Scot in the 200m and 400m individual medley, with another two personal best times.

On top of this he claimed silver in the 800m freestyle and bronze in the 50m breaststroke and finished fourth in the 400m freestyle.

Matthew said: “It feels really good to be a Scottish champion.

"I was aiming for it in the 100m and 200m breaststroke because I was seeded first and I was delighted to get it.

“The other two for individual medley were a surprise because I was only seeded fourth or fifth but it was great to get them too.

“I am really proud."

The talented teenager puts in a lot of effort to excel in his sport.

He told the Tele: "I train nine times a week and really enjoy it.

"I have lots of friends at the club and we all support one another.

“I hope with hard work and the help of the coaching team I'll be able to swim to a level where I can compete in the Olympics.”

Matthew’s mum Jennifer says she never expected to have a Scottish champion in the house.

She said: “Matthew was a slow starter with swimming - he hated the water when I took him along when he was younger.

"At the age of nine he started to realise he was pretty good and in the past four years he has really improved.

“I am so proud of him.

"He puts in lots of hard work and so do the coaching staff, who are a great support to us all and have really helped Matthew improve.

“Matthew has grown up with the club and all the members, coaches and parents are like a big family.

“We all cheer each other on and support one another and they were all delighted for Matthew.

“You can work so hard in swimming but its about being good on the day and Matthew had a great day.

"We are delighted.”