Royal praise for Down's syndrome DofE award winner

Jack Archer meeting the Duke of Edinburgh
Jack Archer's fundraising for his swimming club impressed the Duke of Edinburgh [The Duke of Edinburgh's Award]

A swimming enthusiast with Down's syndrome won the admiration of the Duke of Edinburgh during an awards event at Buckingham Palace.

Jack Archer, 21, from Addlestone, Surrey, met Prince Edward after receiving a Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) gold award for his work with a synchronised swimming club.

The duke said he was "really impressed" with Mr Archer.

Mr Archer said: "It was great sharing the special day with my friends who have also completed their gold award, seeing the Palace itself, the band, and of course, eating the cupcakes.”

He told the duke about the Electric Eels club - a synchronised swimming group for Down syndrome participants - and how they choreographed a routine to the James Bond theme.

“Oh fantastic. Excellent,” the duke said.

The DofE celebration was one of four taking place over two days at the palace, recognising more than 8,000 young people who had shown "extraordinary perseverance, creativity and resilience".

To complete his award, Mr Archer raised more than £1,000 for his swimming club with cake sales, raffles and film nights.

He said: “It was an honour to have met the duke.

"I've made lots of friendships through the DofE scheme and it has made me determined not to ever give up.

"Taking part in this was great. I would love opportunity to do it all again.

"I really liked it when the duke shook my hand and was interested in what I did at Electric Eels."

"When I started with the synchronised swimming I was a boy. But taking part has all helped to turn me into a man."

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