Take on the summer swimming challenge at Impulse Leisure in Thurrock

FANCY making a real splash this summer? At Blackshots Leisure Centre in Grays, Thurrock you can take the plunge by getting involved in British Gas SwimBritain 
2014. Sign up for a SwimBritain passport and you’ll even get some of your swim sessions for free.

SwimBritain is a series of team swim relays taking place throughout September in pools around the country, including the Aquatic Centre used in the London 2012 Olympics. The event is supported by a host of big-name swimmers including London 2012 medallists Ellie Simmonds and Rebecca Adlington, plus comedian David Walliams.

SwimBritain’s aim is to get 500,000 of us to swim more regularly, and in doing so get fitter and healthier.

Impulse Leisure is providing some free pool training sessions at Blackshots Leisure Centre for all swimmers who’ve entered SwimBritain. Impulse will hold two instructor-led sessions on Monday from 8-9pm & Wednesday from 12-1pm, but swimmers can also attend any public swim. Sessions will provide all the motivational tips and techniques you need to get the most out of your training and perform at your very best on race day.

Lee Clary, Impulse Leisure Contracts Manager, said: “Swimming offers a huge number health benefits. It’s a full-body workout without any stress on the joints and even a gentle half-hour in the pool can burn up to 200 calories. We’re encouraging local people in Thurrock to challenge themselves to take part in SwimBritain1000, a four-person relay where each team member swims 250m four times around a specially-designed course in a dedicated 50m pool.”

If that sounds a little too strenuous, there’s always the option of SwimBritain500, where team members use the same course, but swim half the distance (125m four times).

David Walliams, who has already completed numerous swimming challenges, including his heroic 140-mile swim down the River Thames for Sport Relief in September 2011, said: “Taking part in the British Gas SwimBritain open water event last year was brilliant fun – I was really bowled over by the buoyant atmosphere on the day, so I’m excited to be back again for 2014. I feel at home in open water, so I’m excited to try the swim in the pool at the London Aquatics Centre this year – it’s a new challenge.”

Registrations are now open. For further information on venues, how to sign up your team and get training plans and tips, visit swimbritain.co.uk/challenge.

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