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Max Litchfield supports ‘amazing campaign’ in Swim England’s outdoor pledge

Olympic swimmer Max Litchfield has labelled Swim England’s new outdoor swimming pledge as an ‘amazing campaign’ that he is ‘happy to get behind’.

During lockdown, Litchfield became more involved in environmental work which saw him complete a number of litter picks, amongst other projects.

Following the recent launch of the national governing body’s outdoor swimming pledge, the 26-year-old added his support.

He said: “I think it’s an amazing campaign, the fact that we even have to do this in the first place is crazy.

“The fact that people can’t go and swim in the majority of places outdoors in the UK is pretty bad.

“It’s pretty self-explanatory that this campaign has to happen. You can see from the amount of stuff on social media and through going out myself and doing litter picks and stuff, you see how much pollution is in our countryside.

“That’s even more apparent in our waterways as well because that’s where it ends up half the time, it’s where it gets washed to.

“When you have big thunderstorms and rainstorms it gets put into the drains and then eventually it ends up in rivers and lakes and stuff.

“The fact that’s the case is terrible, but it’s amazing that Swim England and everyone behind it are aiming for cleaner waters and safer waters for everyone to use.

“It’s amazing that it’s something that is starting and I’m just happy to get behind it.”

A main statistic, which shows the importance of the new campaign, was that sewage was pumped into rivers more than 400,000 times in 2020 alone.

Reacting to that startling stat, Litchfield added: “It blows your mind when you hear things like that really doesn’t it?

“That’s sewage you’re dealing with there, that’s something that we trust that the councils and the Government will deal with and sort out and be disposed of in a safe manner that’s not going to affect anyone and it’s not going to affect humans, it’s not going to affect wildlife.

“Obviously that isn’t happening and that is something that is very worrying.

“It’s something that needs to be taken to the top and needs to change, and it’s amazing that the campaign is able to get behind that.”

The medley swimmer explained that he has always been ‘climate conscious’ and tries to do what he can.

The recent lockdowns as a result of the coronavirus pandemic have allowed Litchfield to ramp up his involvement.

He said: “I started researching a bit more with the spare time I had in lockdown and looking into things more with a company called Bambuu Brush who make bamboo toothbrushes.

“I saw a stat that was something like, every plastic toothbrush you’ve ever used is still on the planet today and it’s still sat there in landfill, and that run home with me.

“I thought it’s such an easy thing to change, and from there that spiralled into everything else and went into litter picking at one point during lockdown when I was back in Loughborough.

“Once you notice it, you can’t not notice it. It’s something that ever since then, myself, my family and friends, have just got into a bit more.

“It is crazy, when you do start looking, we’ve got such green countryside and you look and you think ‘oh it’s beautiful, it’s not been touched by anyone’ – but when you actually look closer you start seeing it more.”