Walliams joins British Swimming stars at Blenheim Palace

1 September 2013

David Walliams waded in for his latest swim challenge joining hundreds of eager swimmers from around the country to take on British Gas SwimBritain at Blenheim Palace’s Great Lake.

The comic actor joined forces with a host of Olympic and Paralympic swim stars including Keri-anne Payne, Duncan Goodhew, Cassie Patten and Graham Edmunds to encourage the nation to get back in the water this summer.

The event marked the first weekend in an action-packed month of SwimBritain events, with Paralympic champion Ellie Simmonds kicking off the series in Coventry on Saturday 31st August.

Elsewhere, London 2012 medallist Rebecca Adlington led the charge at Sheffield as Walliams took the plunge in Oxfordshire.

British Gas SwimBritain is a new programme which aims to encourage half a million more people to swim regularly by 2015, consisting of a swimming relay challenge for teams of four with each team member swimming a distance of 1000m. The event is open to swimmers of all abilities and is taking place at nine pools around the countryand one open water venue, between 31st August and 29th September.

Having previously completed a heroic 140 mile swim down the River Thames and crossed the Channel, the Big School star has already earned his swimming stripes but SwimBritain marks his first team challenge as he joined three lucky members of the public for the swim.

Walliams said: “My previous swim challenges were a test of endurance and stamina, but taking part in British Gas SwimBritain reminds me of why I love being in the water.

There are still SwimBritain events taking place this month and it's not too late to sign up - click here to find out more.“It’s such a refreshing way to escape the stresses of everyday life and doing a team challenge gave me a real boost - we were all cheering each other on and there was a real sense of comradery, so it was a completely different experience to my previous swims.”

Payne, who won silver at the inaugural 10km open water Olympic event in Beijing in 2008, joined Walliams to start the race: “Many people don’t realise how much of a workout swimming is – a gentle half hour swim can burn over 200 calories – and the British Gas SwimBritain series gives you a chance to get friends and family involved too, which makes it so much more enjoyable.

"There are other SwimBritain events going on throughout September so it’s not too late to join the fun.”

There’s still time to get involved, go to swimbritain.co.uk/signup to sign up for remaining events and find out which swim star will be coming to a pool near you.

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