Olympic open water swimming silver medallist and world champion Keri-anne Payne launched the British Gas Great Swim Series 2012 today and confirmed that two of the open water events will feature in her training plan for the summer.
The Stockport swimmer, who was officially named in Team GB over the weekend, will take part in the opening event of the series, the British Gas Great London Swim on Saturday 26 May followed by the British Gas Great North Swim on Friday 22-24th June.
The British Gas Great Swim Series is a group of multi-distance events, ranging from half a mile to 2 miles, which are open to swimmers of all abilities. The swims take place in various lakes, lochs and docks at five locations around the UK, to enable as many people as possible to take part.
In addition to the huge number of amateur swimmers, the series attracts the world’s top elite competitors.
Keri-anne said: “I really enjoy the British Gas Great Swim Series and it’s a great way for me to get in some open water training at different locations across the UK.
“The Great London and Great North Swims will play a useful part in my build up to the summer and I’m really looking forward to both events.”
Entrants for the British Gas Great Swim Series increased from 10,000 in 2009 to 22,000 in 2011, and record numbers of competitors are expected this year.
The 2012 British Gas Great North Swim at Lake Windermere will be televised by BBC Sport on Sunday 24th June.
British Gas Great Swim Series Director Alex Jackson said: “With over 25,000 swimmers set to take part in 2012, the British Gas Great Swim Series is firmly established as the UK’s favourite open water swimming event.
“We are privileged to have given so many people the opportunity to experience this fast growing sport. The involvement of incredible athletes like Keri-anne really inspires our swimmers, and they will be behind her all the way this summer.”
British Gas brand director Andrew Hogan said: “British Gas is passionate about supporting swimming at all levels in the UK and encouraging more people to swim regularly.
“It’s been inspiring to see the growing numbers of keen competitors at the British Gas Great Swim Series each year, and the 2012 series is set to be even more exciting, in what promises to be a fantastic summer for British sport.
The following events make up the 2012 British Gas Great Swim Series:
- The British Gas Great London Swim, Royal Victoria Dock – Saturday 26 May 2012
- The British Gas Great East Swim, Alton Water near Ipswich – Saturday 16 June 2012
- The British Gas Great North Swim, Lake Windermere, Lake District, Friday 22 to Sunday 24th June 2012
- The British Gas Great Manchester Swim, Salford Quays – Sunday 1 July 2012
- The British Gas Great Scottish Swim, Strathclyde Loch near Glasgow – Saturday 25 August 2012
For more information visit www.greatswim.org