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Long Eaton Train With Mark Foster

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It is not every day that you get to meet a true sporting legend, but for twenty seven members of Long Eaton Swimming Club and two pupils from Trent College that is precisely what happened last Sunday. In fact they were able to go one step further when they had the opportunity to train with five- time Olympian, and Strictly Come Dancing contestant, Mark Foster.

Mark visited Long Eaton to give a swim clinic that had been arranged by new Masters Coach, Dave Akers, to a group of Long Eaton’s Masters swimmers, aged between 18 and 65, and two pupils from Trent College, where the event was hosted.

Mark spent an hour with the swimmers in the pool giving tips and advice on technique as well as doing a number of demonstrations that saw him strip to his Speedos! The session wound up when he took on Pete Irving, one of Long Eaton’s elite men, in a 25 yard sprint. Mark, as expected, cruised to victory in a time of 9.72 seconds 1.8 seconds in front of Pete and a pool record was claimed. I suspect it will be some time before the pool at Trent College has its record broken again!

After the pool session they decamped to the Obolensky building at Trent College for a much needed boost of caffeine and sugar in the form of tea, coffee and biscuits. They were then treated to forty five minutes of Mark talking about his career, why he has been so successful, and passing round a couple of mementos including his first international medal from 1986, his last from 2008, and the jacket he wore when carrying the Union Flag when he led out the British Team at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Mark is a very down to earth character, and was happy to mingle with the swimmers and chat about anything. In fact he led the birthday celebrations for Maggi Tuck, lighting the candles on her cake and starting a chorus of Happy Birthday.

His final duty, before photos and autographs, was to help distribute the 30 pairs of goggles kindly supplied by Speedo to all of the attendees.

This was a fantastic event for all those involved, and has provided fresh motivation for a very talented group of swimmers. Expect to read more about the exploits of this team in the very near future.

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