Gallery: Duncan gets in the swim

OLYMPIC gold medallist Duncan Goodhew swam laps of a Suffolk pool to raise awareness of the importance of sport and encourage more people to get active.

OLYMPIC gold medallist Duncan Goodhew swam laps of a Suffolk pool to raise awareness of the importance of sport and encourage more people to get active.

The former swimming champion, who won a gold and bronze medal from the 1980 games in Moscow, jumped into the pool at Ufford Park Hotel yesterday morning ahead of the Everyday Swim conference.

Mr Goodhew spoke at the conference about the positive effects offering swimming for free can have.

Everyday Swim was launched in nine parts of the country but Suffolk has been named one of only two good practice centres in the UK, pioneering the scheme to increase participation in swimming and get people more active.

In Suffolk, the project succeeded in encouraging people over 45 back into the pool by sharing positive stories via initiatives such as the “Swim Diaries”.

Everyday Swim has focused on improving the swimming experience for people, breaking down barriers and getting new and non-swimmers into the pool. It offers children and people over the age of 60 the chance to swim in the county's pool free of charge.

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Lisa Chambers, Suffolk County Council portfolio holder for cultural and economic development, said the scheme has been an outstanding success and is a great opportunity for the region to promote healthier lifestyles.

“It is terrific news that Suffolk's bid to become an Everyday Swim good practice centre has been successful,” she said. “This success is recognition for all the tremendous work that has been undertaken during the past two years, which has seen members from all sectors of the community engage in water based physical activity which they may otherwise have not considered.

“This award is a fantastic opportunity to ensure that Suffolk's pools stay at the forefront of innovative, creative and targeted programming to achieve a long and lasting legacy for the health and well being of residents across the county.”

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