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Swimming heroes inspire the next generation to take the plunge

16th August 2012

Rebecca Adlington and Michael Jamieson will be joined by a host of elite swimming athletes in the capital today for the start of The British Swimming Heroes Tour.

London 2012 swimming medallists Rebecca Adlington and Michael Jamieson will be joined by a host of elite swimming athletes in the capital today for the start of a special tour to inspire thousands of children to get in the pool.

Hopefully the kids on the Heroes Tour will continue in the sport and some may even be lucky enough to experience an Olympics or Paralympics.

The British Swimming Heroes Tour presented by British Gas is taking members of the swimming, diving, synchro and water polo squads on a tour around the country to meet with children and help them to try each aquatic discipline. Members of the disability swimming team will join the tour after the Paralympics.

The tour is part of British Swimming’s ambition to get more children in the water as a legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. It will visit five cities: London (17th August), Liverpool (18th August), Glasgow (22nd August), Swansea (13th September) and Coventry (17th September).

Speaking ahead of the first event at Gurnell Leisure Centre in Ealing, Adlington said: “London 2012 was an amazing experience with huge crowds, and if we as Olympians can inspire more children to get in the pool as part of the legacy of the Games that will be incredible.

“It’s great to be involved with the Heroes Tour and I hope all the kids taking part across the country have a fantastic time. Hopefully they’ll continue in the sport and some may even be lucky enough to experience an Olympics or Paralympics.”

Jon Glenn, ASA Head of Youth and Community said: “We are delighted that athletes from across our sport are going to be part of this tour. Their inspirational stories will help us to achieve our Olympic and Paralympics legacy to increase participation.

“Thousands of children will get to meet and learn from their heroes across the five cities, as well as find out about the opportunities to progress in aquatics.   We hope that this unique opportunity will help inspire some of our future heroes in the sport.”

London 2012 has captured the imagination of the nation this summer and the swimming events have attracted big audiences. Britain isn’t just watching swimming, it is getting in the pool.

The British Gas Free Swims for Britain campaign has seen 130,000 people take free swims since April. The campaign which runs until 30th August 2012 is giving families a few more weeks to take the plunge for free before the new school term begins www.britishgas.co.uk/freeswimming.

As principal partner of British Swimming, British Gas is also supporting the Heroes Tour.

Susie Plume, British Gas brand director said: “British Gas is passionate about getting more people swimming and it’s fantastic to see that so many Olympians from all the aquatic disciplines are so enthusiastic about inspiring children to follow in their footsteps.

“The British Gas Free Swims campaign has been a huge hit this summer which shows how popular swimming is in this country. I hope the Heroes Tour will help to bring even more children into the sport.”

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