Rebecca Adlington, a double Gold medal Olympic swimmer, has opened a refurbished swimming pool in Wigston, Leicestershire.
Rebecca visited the refurbished Everyone Active Wigston Pool and Fitness Centre on Sunday for its grand reopening Total Swimming event.
More than 250 young people took part in the free event which included the opportunity to try fast swimming, water polo, synchronised swimming and lifeguarding.
The Midlands born double Olympic gold medallist said that it was lovely to come back to her roots to visit the incredible new venue.
“After Beijing I have been trying to go around to a number of swimming
clubs, to events like these, and into schools as much as I possibly can.
“Retiring after London has given me a massive opportunity to go to more
events and interact with these guys and hopefully encourage them to keep
going with their swimming and give them a little boost,” She said.
Total Swimming aim to help people to learn to swim, what they see as an important life skill, through innovative and enjoyable classes that combine learning with fun.
Having moved in to the new facility, Chairman of Oadby and Wigston Swimming Club Patrick Foster said that one of the clubs goals is to go around the schools of the borough and promote the importance of swim schools and school swimming.
“I think there is an understanding that learning is important, and that
once you learn to swim that’s enough.
“We find people come to us at the club for swimming lessons and yes they
can swim and they can possibly swim fast in one length but swimming
efficiency is not there.
“That’s where I say true water safety comes in, if they get into
difficulty in deep water or cold water they have more opportunity to
save themselves as they have swimming efficiency,” he said.
Becky believes that days like Sunday are essential in building people’s life skills and opening them to the benefits of being active in water:
“I think a lot of people forget that with water there is diving and
water polo, synchronised swimming, there are other sports around it as
well and it is really nice that they can engage with other people and
just have a fun day,” she said.
When asked about the benefits of swimming for our younger generation and it’s connection with tackling obesity, Becky had this to say: “If you get kids more active and more healthy I am sure it will save a lot of money on the NHS.
“The stats that came out this year show that one million people in
primary school are unable to swim, and that’s just insane that that is
the number that’s just over 50% and I just think why?
“Especially in this country where we are surrounded by water, we have an
obesity issue, and I think swimming and a lot of sports can save that.
“It is healthy and burns so many calories, it’s an all over body work
out, there are just so many benefits, I’m just like why wouldn’t you
take part!” she said.
By Imogen Harry – Pukaar News