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How Steven overcame asthma
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Welsh swimmer Steven Evans
Steve loves the water - his hobby is body-boarding

Welshman Steven Evans is one of his country's most talented young swimmers.

He first took up swimming in a bid to beat his asthma.

Now it's mostly his opponents who are left breathless!

Welsh swimmer Steven Evans

I started swimming when I was eight to help my asthma.

It was my doctor who came up with the idea.

Apparently swimming is one of the best sports for asthma sufferers because it teaches you to control your breathing.

So my dad took me along to the local pool in Swansea for lessons.

Sure enough my asthma got a lot better.

Before that I couldn't even run 400m without my chest getting tight.

I still get the odd wheeze now and again - especially if the chlorine level in the pool is high or if it's a particularly cold evening.

Nothing a few puffs on my inhaler can't sort out though.

Bee's knees

I certainly don't let my asthma hold me back.

But it's taken a lot of perseverance to get where I am today.

As a kid I thought I was the bee's knees when I won the local club championship.

But I bombed at the regional finals.

That's when I realised I needed to be a lot better to compete at that sort of level.

In fact, I didn't clinch my first West Wales title until I was 17.

At 18 I finally made the breakthrough.

I can't put my finger on exactly what happened because my training regime hadn't changed.

Something just clicked.


Three months after clocking a time of 24.7 I knocked a full second off.

That gave me a massive confidence boost and I just went for it.

I clocked my first Welsh record at 19.

And the highlight of my career came last summer when I reached the semi-finals of the 50m and 100m free at the Commonwealth Games.

Clinching a record or winning a championship makes all the hard work worthwhile.

Now each time my time improves, all I can think about is going even faster.

Just a little faster and I'll reach another milestone.

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What is asthma?
Steven's story
Athletes with asthma


Steven Evans

With practice you'll improve. It might take time but you'll get there.

Steven's fast facts
Age: 22
Club: Swim Swansea
Coach: Mike Roberts
Education: Steven is in his final year of a maths degree at Swansea University
Hobbies: Body-boarding, also watching football, rugby, boxing and athletics

National Asthma Campaign
Tel: 0845 7 01 02 03

:: All about asthma

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