GREAT Britain swimming star Sascha Kindred believes the “fantastic” support from people in Herefordshire will drive him on at the Paralympic Games in Rio, Brazil.

The 38-year-old has been offered support by a host of well-wishers while he’s been put through his paces by long-term coach Emma Patrick at Hereford Leisure Pool.

Kindred flies out to South America with his GB team-mates today (Thursday) for his sixth and last Paralympic Games.

The opening ceremony takes place next Wednesday.

“It will be my last Paralympic Games but it won’t be the end of my swimming career because I still think I will be able to do another World Championships,” he said.

“But I am so grateful for the support that people in Herefordshire have given me ahead of Rio and I want to thank everyone who is backing me.

“People in Hereford and the surrounding area have always been fantastic and incredibly supportive of my swimming and they always say nice things when I am training."

Kindred has won a remarkable 12 Paralympic medals during his glittering disabled swimming career – six golds, three silvers and three bronze.

He has won the same number of medals as GB team-mate James Crisp, with whom he shares a room on their swimming trips for the national squad.

Despite breaking his own world record and setting a new best time in Europe at London 2012, Kindred had to settle for second spot in the 200m individual medley after China’s Xu Qing beat his old mark by nearly three seconds.

Kindred will compete in three disciplines in Rio, starting with the 50-metre butterfly on September 9 and then the 50m freestyle on September 10 before his main event, the 200m individual medley, on September 12.

“I may have a chance of scraping a medal in the 50m butterfly but the opening two events are more about getting acclimatised to the pool and the conditions before my main event,” he said.

“I know getting a silver medal in London four years ago was not the result I wanted at the time, particularly because it was our home games, but I am proud of it and hopefully I will be able to swim more quickly in Rio.”

The City of Hereford Swimming Club representative will be without his wife Nyree, a former Paralympian, who has retired from international duty since the last Games, where she took silver.

“It will be a bit of a change not having Nyree out there but she will be looking after our daughter Ella who is now five years old and making excellent progress with her own swimming," said Kindred.

It is not the first time Kindred will have competed in Brazil and has fond memories of his last trip to the country.

“I competed at the World Short Course Championships in Brazil in 2009 and swam well but I know it will be a different game this time," he admitted.

"But I am very excited and I still have the energy and passion to do well and give 100 per cent.”

He added: “Hopefully, after September 12 I will have an opportunity to watch some of the other Paralympic sports for a few days which I have never had a chance to do in the past."