For Nate Atkinson, losing is not an option.
His competitive drive, determination and strength is what's given the 14-year-old an edge when it comes to the pool.
At 11 years of age, Nate first began competing in swimming carnivals, and while he admits he's not a natural swimmer, it's a sport he's since pushed himself to strive in.
"I enjoy winning, I don't like losing," he said.
"I work hard at swimming. I train everyday of the week and sometimes twice a day, and I attend carnivals most weekends to compete. It is very time consuming but I enjoy the fact that I can continually improve through training hard."
One of his most memorable moments was when he earned a medal at the NSW Country Championships earlier this year in 100m butterfly and 100m backstroke.
Another highlight for Nate was when he clocked his first national time in December last year at Senior Stage Age in 100m freestyle.
Of the four swimming strokes, breaststroke is Nate's most difficult to master.
But the stroke isn't the only challenge faced by Atkinson.
"This is my worst stroke, it also affects my performance in the medley," he said.
"Another major challenge I face, along with other swimmers, is I have to compete against swimmers who are able to swim all year round. I am not because the pool closes for months each year in Mudgee."
Nate will be competing at Nationals this year in a month's time on the Gold Coast; "I will be swimming with the best in Australia".
"My goal is to continue to improve and keep getting better. I've been successful in obtaining a couple of national times this year so I'm looking forward to competing at that level. I'm hoping to see some Olympic swimmers there," he said.
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