Now in its second year, British Gas SwimBritain is supported by a host of big-name swimmers including fellow London 2012 medallists Ellie Simmonds, Michael Jamieson and Becky Adlington alongside funny man David Walliams, who all completed the challenge at events around the country last year alongside thousands of swimmers.
Find out more and register for this year’s events at swimbritain.co.uk
Full Press Release
DAVID WALLIAMS JUMPS IN THE DEEP END AS HE TAKES ON OLYMPIC SUPERSTAR BECKY ADLINGTON AT THE LONDON AQUATICS CENTRE
David Walliams and Becky Adlington made a splash at the London Aquatics Centre to encourage Britain to get back in the water this summer for British Gas SwimBritain 2014.
The tables were turned as the Britain’s Got Talent judge took to the water to see how he measured up against the Olympic gold medallist, who was making her return to the pool which saw her claim two bronze medals at London 2012.
Channel-conqueror Walliams and gold medallist Adlington swapped swim notes as they kicked off their training ahead of the British Gas SwimBritain challenge, a programme that aims to encourage more people to swim more regularly and help the nation rediscover their love of the water.
Now in its second year, British Gas SwimBritain is supported by a host of big-name swimmers including fellow London 2012 medallists Ellie Simmonds, Michael Jamieson and Becky Adlington alongside comedian David Walliams, who all completed the challenge at events around the country last year alongside thousands of swimmers.
There are two ways to take on the challenge; SwimBritain1000 is a four-person relay where each team member swims 250m four times around a specially-designed course in a dedicated 50m pool.SwimBritain500 is a shorter distance where team members use the same course, swimming half the distance (125m four times). Every participant will have access to two free coaching sessions to help them train for their challenge.
Back on dry land, Adlington and Walliams also completed the SwimBritain Fitness Test, a simple step up test that enables swimmers to track their progress as they train for the challenge. The Fitness Test is available online at swimbritain.co.uk and can be completed at home.
Walliams, who has already completed numerous swimming challenges, including his heroic 140-mile swim down the River Thames for Sport Relief in September 2011, said:
“Taking part in the British Gas SwimBritain open water event last year was brilliant fun – I was really bowled over by the buoyant atmosphere on the day, so I’m excited to be back again for 2014.
“I feel at home in the open water, so I’m excited to try the swim in the pool at the London Aquatics Centre this year – it’s a new challenge. Training against Becky today was a bit nerve-wracking as she’s such a swimming icon. It was a case of sink or swim so I think I gave it my best shot!”
Adlington, who retired from competitive swimming at the age of 23 last year as Britain’s most successful swimmer, said:
“I may have retired from professional swimming but I will always love being in the water and a challenge like British Gas SwimBritain is brilliant as it’s really inclusive – not just for professional swimmers, as David proved today!
“Joking aside, swimming offers everyone a full range of health and fitness benefits so the more people we can encourage to swim regularly, the better. It’s a full body workout without any stress on the joints. A gentle half hour swim can burn up to 200 calories, so I’d love to see as many people as possible joining in and giving SwimBritain a go.”
British Gas ambassador, Duncan Goodhew said: “We’re excited to be able to bring British Gas SwimBritain back for another year following last year’s success with thousands of people taking part across the country. By offering free coaching sessions and new for 2014, the fitness test, we hope to inspire all ages and abilities to swim more regularly with a range of tools to help them along the way.”
Registrations open today. For further information on venues, how to sign up your team and get training plans and tips, visit swimbritain.co.uk/