London residents to celebrate adult swimming success at European Aquatics Championships

London residents to celebrate adult swimming success at European Aquatics Championships
 
What: Swim London 2016 special swimming relay event
When: 22 May 2016
Where: London Aquatics Centre, Olympic Park, London, E20 2ZQ
Opportunities:
Interview opportunities will be available with the following people from 12noon – 2pm:
 
·         Participants from the Swim London 2016 project  
·         Harley Hicks, Project Lead, GLL Swimming Teacher and creator of the project's social model of teaching swimming
Please indicate the time you would like to attend.
 
Interviews are available on request with LadyXsize.
 
Over 50 London residents will swim at the London Aquatics Centre on Sunday 22 May to celebrate learning to swim as part of the first Swim London 2016 adult swimming courses.
Swim London 2016 was set up as legacy project for the London 2016 European Aquatics Championships and offers those living in boroughs close to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park who are currently unable to swim, an exciting opportunity to take part in subsidised local swimming courses.
The first group of participants in the project will showcase their new found confidence in the water during a special swimming relay whilst the iconic venue is in full event mode for the London 2016 European Aquatics Championships.
 
The project is open to adults from all backgrounds and encourages them to learn the fun, life-saving skill as a group and support one another through the sessions.
 
Radio and TV presenter LadyXsize, a dynamic fitness instructor and host of the weekly UK Health Radio show 'LadyXsize Fitness Hour', signed-up to take part in the first Swim London 2016 swimming course at the iconic London Aquatics Centre due to her lack of confidence in water.

 
“When I heard that 1 in 5 adults in England can't swim1, I was shocked. I was determined to learn how to swim properly. Previously I could only do around five or six strokes then I was done. Now, thanks to Swim London 2016, my confidence and ability in the water has grown immensely. I can honestly say that I now love swimming. 
 

“London is an incredible city, with its diversity and mass of different activities on your doorstep, and the Swim London 2016 project is part of this rich kaleidoscope. I enjoyed learning with a group of people for different communities and for me it's important that anyone can swim.

 
“I hope that my journey and those of my fellow Swim London 2016 participants, will inspire others to get involved and start swimming.” said LadyXsize. 
 
During the first stage of the project, 12-week swimming courses were held at participating pools in Waltham Forest, Hackney, Newham and Tower Hamlets, with Greenwich set to join the programme for the second and third block of classes. 
 
Tom Chambers, London 2016 European Championships CEO said: “The London Aquatics Centre is at the heart of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and we wanted this historic event to touch the lives of as many people local to the venue as possible. 
 
“Swim London 2016 is a fantastic project which offers a unique opportunity for people to learn to swim, whilst also making friends that we hope will last a lifetime. Grass roots participation and providing a wider social experience is key to Swim London 2016 and we are looking forward to seeing the project continue grow.”
 
Nick Caplin, Director of Participation at the ASA, said: “The London 2016 European Aquatics Championships is a fantastic opportunity to inspire many local people to have a go at swimming and prove that it is never too late to learn to swim and have fun in the pool.
 

“While swimming is accessible for all, we know that there are barriers for some people to get in the pool and that's where this project's ground breaking social model for learning to swim has already made a huge impact. It is helping to break down these barriers and engage new people with the sport who might not otherwise have had the opportunity to be involved.”

 
The courses are being held at GLL pools and Andrew Clark, GLL National Sport and Aquatics Manager, commented: “The key message is that you are not alone and it is never too late to learn. As a social enterprise and the largest operator of swimming pools in the UK, we are committed to giving everyone the opportunity to learn to swim and we are delighted to help more adults access this programme and to leave a legacy of London 2016.” 
 

To get involved with the next block of Swim London 2016 – London Learns to Swim courses follow @SwimLondon2016 on Twitter.

For all corporate enquiries, please contact  SwimLondon2016@swimming.org . For information on participation in the project please email  Harley.Hicks@GLL.org
  For more information about the London 2016 European Aquatics Championships, visit www.euroaquatics2016.london .

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