The Guernsey Sports Commission has revealed Ian Powell as the 21st sporting hero of the Sporting Hall of Fame.
Ian started swimming at the age of three at Beau Sejour and went in to the Beau Sejour Swim School at the age of five, and then on to Barracudas at the age of 11.
Ian made his way through the ranks and ended up representing Guernsey in 5 Island Games; the first in Gotland in 1999 at the age of 13 and the last in Aland in 2011 at which Ian won 7 gold and 3 silver medals breaking 7 Games and Island records in the process.
Ian’s swimming career progressed when he was selected to join the Great Britain World Class Performance Programme in 2002 after finishing in 2nd place at the Nationals in the 16 year and under age group for the 200m Backstroke.
Ian also became British Short Course Champion in 2002 for 200m backstroke also in the 16 and under age group.
Recognising that in order to train for competition in a 50 metre pool, Ian made the decision to spend 2 years at Millfield School and during this time he became Under 18 200m Backstroke National Champion and also represented
Great Britain at the European Junior Championships in 2003.
It was whilst competing at the Olympic Trials in 2004 where he finished 5th in the 200m Backstroke, Ian was offered a free scholarship to study and train at Florida State University, where he spent 6 years.
Ian represented Guernsey at three Commonwealth Games; Manchester 2002, Melbourne 2006 and Delhi 2010 and went on to swim in two individual finals, which no other Guernsey swimmer has achieved to date.
Ian’s closest finish to an Olympic qualification came in 2008 where he finished 4th for the 200m Butterfly.
In the same year he finished 2nd place at the American Short Course Championships and at the following summer World Championship Trials in 2009 finished in 3rd place in the 200m Butterfly and was world ranked for that event.
Ian’s other highlights include winning gold in his home Island Games in 2003 and ranking 1st in America for the 50 yard Backstroke for the 30-34 years masters category in 2016 when he came out of retirement for the summer.