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Mark Foster helps launch first Big Splash Aquasplash Festival in Manchester

01 February 2012

Children from five Manchester primary schools were given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to swim with five-time Olympian Mark Foster to celebrate the launch of the Big Splash Aquasplash Festival.

Mark joined 80 children in the pool at the Manchester Aquatics Centre on Tuesday 31 January to take part in the launch.

It's a great way to give children a taste of what an Olympic experience is all about.

Developed by experts at the ASA, the Big Splash Aquasplash Festival is a national aquatic competition for primary schools consisting of eight fun activities which cover a spectrum of skills across all aquatic disciplines and lifesaving.

Foster said: “With 2012 Olympic fever on the rise, the Big Splash Aquasplash Festival offers young people the opportunity to take part in competitive swimming.

"It’s a great way to give children a taste of what an Olympic experience is all about and who knows some of them could go on to be our Olympic stars of the future.”

Jon Glen, Head of Learn to Swim and Young People, added: “The Big Splash Aquasplash Festival provides an aquatic competitive experience for primary aged school children.

"In the lead up to 2012 and the successful legacy years, this competition encourages young people to follow the Olympic and Paralympic values, such as working as a team, respecting others, promoting team play and being the best they can.”

As well as encouraging young people to swim and be active, schools can submit their scores online and view their position in regional league tables.

Who knows. Some of them could go on to be our Olympic stars of the future.

The winning school at the end of this academic year will have the chance to meet their Olympic and Paralympic heroes at the Kellogg’s Swimtastic Awards, the ASA’s celebration of swimming, taking place later this year.

Teacher Amanda Potter from Lancasterian School for special educational needs, in Manchester, said: “It’s not every day that the children have the opportunity to swim with an Olympic swimmer in an Olympic pool.

"It’s been a fantastic experience for everyone taking part and the children have absolutely loved taking part in the activities.”

CLICK HERE for more information about the Big Splash Aquasplash Festival.

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