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Inspiring families with fresh thinking on parenting

Yano — Inspiring families with fresh thinking on parenting

Rebecca Adlington launches campaign to get kids swimming

Posted on 21st November, 2012 | filed under Featured, Well Being

Rebecca Adlington2

Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington talks to Melanie Goose about the importance of getting kids swimming, as a study reveals that 40 per cent of children can’t swim

At just 23 Rebecca Adlington has an impressive list of achievements under her swim cap, including two gold medals for the 400m and 800m freestyle at the 2008 Olympics and two bronze medals from London 2012. She was the first British woman to win a swimming gold since 1960 and the first British swimmer to win more than one gold medal in an Olympics since 1908.

Getting kids swimming is something very close to Adlington’s heart, which is why she and her mum Kay have joined forces with Speedo to launch a Learn to Swim campaign to encourage kids and parents to have fun in the water. ‘We should all commit more time to swimming and see it as an essential life skill,’ says Adlington. ‘I learnt to enjoy swimming and being in the water through my mum taking me swimming with my sisters.’ And when’s a good time to start? ‘As early as possible!’ she says.

Adlington’s training was a huge commitment. Did she mind making sacrifices or missing out on parties? ‘Not at all!’ she says. ‘Just early starts really, but as this was my hobby and I was doing it for my own enjoyment I didn’t see anything as a sacrifice.’ Her mum adds: ‘As a family we don’t know any different, so for us it was normal and not hard on any of us. I really appreciate the discipline, motivation and focus that swimming gave Becky, and it’s given her great social skills as well.’

So what advice would Adlington give budding young swimmers? ‘Just make sure you enjoy it – if you don’t enjoy it you won’t progress,’ she says. ‘It helps to go with people you feel safe with in the water such as an older brother or sister. Play lots of games with friends or family and when you are older make sure you have a good coach whom you get on with.’

How does she cope with the responsibility of being a role model to youngsters at the age of just 23? ‘I try not to let the responsibility get to me and always think twice before doing anything,’ she says.’ Adlington is very down to earth and genuinely appreciative of the support she has and the esteem in which she is held in her home town. Sherwood Baths in Mansfield, where she trained, have been renamed the Rebecca Adlington Swimming Centre in her honour. Can she imagine taking her own kids to swim there one day? ‘It is such an honour to have the centre named after me, but kids are a long way off,’ she says. ‘But I am sure I’d love to do that one day.’

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Rebecca Adlington launches campaign to get kids swimming was posted on 21st November, 2012 by Melanie Goose under Featured, Well Being

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Melanie Goose

About the author: Melanie Goose

I grew up in a very female dominated household so I guess it’s no surprise I ended up working on women’s interest magazines. I dreamt of a creative career but was told ‘everyone wants to work in the media, it’s virtually impossible to get in’ by the careers advisor at school. That just made me more determined than ever to have the role I wanted.I went to college, did various jobs and got into modelling. I also contributed to a free style magazine and helped out at a local radio station. Then I landed my first magazine job as an editorial assistant on a new magazine launch called ‘Me Magazine’ and moved from Cheltenham to London two days before I started my new job. From there I worked on Inspirations where I became deputy features editor and then onto Bride & Groom magazine where I was promoted from Fashion Editor to Deputy Editor. All through my career I have loved styling fashion, homes and beauty shoots as well as writing and it’s been a thrill to combine my two passions. It’s also given me the chance to travel extensively and meet and work with some incredibly talented photographers, celebrities and professionals from every area of the creative world.My last full-time role was as Editor of Cosmopolitan Hair & Beauty magazine, a sister title to Cosmopolitan. It was a buzz to be at work there every day. I left Cosmo to go on probably the biggest adventure of my life in 2006 when I became a mum. I’ve taken my foot off the accelerator a little and become a ‘freelancer’ for the first time in 20 years. Now I’m one of the millions of women trying to perfect the work/life balance for the benefit of my family and also for myself.