Isle of Man based slots giant Microgaming have announced a key new recruit to their PlayItForward scheme.
Local Manx lad Ben Grainger – a highly rated young para swimmer – has become the latest member of Microgaming’s Ambassador Programme, with the firm keen to support his and his team’s ambitions for competing at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games.
Microgaming and Ben have been affiliated since the company took up sponsorship of the Island’s Para Swimming Team back in 2015, and during the interim the squad have achieved almighty success participating in national and international meets.
Travel, expenses and pool fees don’t come cheap and the investment has certainly helped reap reward already, with the athletes able to concentrate fully upon their training (and homework of course!).
Despite only being 14 Ben is the most experienced swimmer in the team having taken to water at a particularly young age. Already he has accrued an impressive tally of medals.
Back when he was just 11 years old he competed in the National Para Swimming Championships as the youngest participant in the under 14’s category. Over the course of the event he totted up an outstanding five medals – including two golds in the 50m and 100m freestyle.
Like all good prospective champions that proved to be no flash in the pan success. Just a year later Ben went on to perform superbly at the 2015 British Disability Championships. Competing at under 13’s level this time, he finished up with three golds and two silvers to add to his collection.
As may well be expected he was now considered as one of the nations brightest up and coming prospects, and in due course was selected for the British Swimming Para Academy alongside another 49 hopefuls. Not bad at all for a 13 year old!
Eyes were all on the youngster when he subsequently participated against some of the world’s best at this years British Para Swimming International, competing in seven events and finishing with personal bests across the board. So impressive was his raise in prominence that he was elected as first reserve for the Men’s 100m Breaststroke Final.
So now quite rightly regarded as one of the brightest hopefuls in UK Para swimming, the sponsorship provided by Microgaming is certain to help even further. Ben is the third Microgaming Ambassador in this category alongside triathlete Joseph Ricciardi and fellow swimmer Laura Kinley.
Greeting Ben to the fold, the Head of Microgaming’s PlayItForward initiative Claire Colman stated “Working tirelessly to improve his times whenever he competes, he is determined to succeed, and we have high hopes for him as he aims for the biggest stage of them all, the 2020 Paralympics!”. No pressure there then!
Usually when we think about Microgaming and ‘sign-up’s’ it’s along the lines of the great bonuses that online casinos offer players to enjoy their games. For example, key partner Red Flush Casino sign up bonuses are among the best going – and it’s thanks to the license fees that they pay to host these world class slots that community initiatives such as PlayItForward can exist.
Next steps for Ben are set to be attending the top-ranked Mount Kelly School over in Tavistock. The independent school possesses superb pool training facilities that will be perfect to help maintain his progress in a professionally coached environment.