Bethesda boccia ace Jacob Thomas was given a hero’s welcome on his return to Pembrokeshire College.

Jacob represented Team GB in singles and doubles boccia at the London 2012 Paralympics and was greeted by fellow students, staff, carers and former teachers with a specially made banner.

Jacob said: “I’d like to say thank you to the college for all their support. The experience was fantastic.”

Seventeen-year-old Jacob said of his Paralympic debut: “The noise and all the support was incredible. I was really proud to be out there representing my country.

“I played quite well. I was a bit unlucky but felt I played fairly well.”

He said he had met some of the people he looked up to in the sport, including Greece’s Grigorios Polychronidis.

He said: “We’ve had a couple of good matches. It was a good match at the Olympics and he’s a good player.

“It’s been a really good welcome back and good support.

I’m having a couple of weeks off then I’m back in training for the European championships next year.”

Jacob’s mother Caroline said seeing him perform at the Paralympics was “overwhelming”.

She added: “The support from people who hadn’t even met Jacob was fantastic.”

Caroline said the games had done a lot to raise the profile of sports such as boccia.

She said that everyone from Jacob’s home in Bethesda, near Narberth, was “so proud and excited”.

College principal Sharon Lusher said: “We’re so proud of him, it’s got to be one of the best days in the college’s history.

“It’s such a brilliant achievement and he’s an inspiration to other students, it’s fantastic.”

Jacob will now start the second of his two-year extended diploma in sport, which combines his training with study.