On Friday 17th August 2012, I had the pleasure of visiting the Team GB aquatics team at the Heroes Tour; an amazing opportunity for children to take part in free master class lessons in the aquatic disciplines in a bid to ‘inspire a generation.’ Alongside my brilliant Simply Swim team we were lucky enough to get an inside on the lives of an Olympian.
The day began with a 5am start, I’ve not been up that early since early morning training as a teenager! Meeting up with the film crew we began our journey to Gurnell Leisure Centre in Ealing.
At 7:45am the centre was buzzing with over 200 children; perhaps due to the Olympic team inside? We started filming outside and interviewed parents and swimmers excited about their day ahead and ready to meet their sports idols.
We were lucky enough to have the freedom to wander on poolside, chatting with the swimmers, divers, water polo players and synchro swimmers. Steve Parry was hosting the event whilst keeping the crowds involved and the event running smoothly.
Rebecca Adlington and Kerry Anne Payne were roaming poolside with their Olympic medals and posing for photos left right and centre. Other Olympians were in the water with the lucky children or instructing group lessons.
The first part of our day ended at about 12pm where we had managed to pull together interviews with:
- Jenna Randall, GB synchronised swimming captain
- Olivia Federici, GB synchronised swimmer
- Nick Robinson Baker, GB diving team
- Monique Gladding, GB diving team
- Roberto Pavoni, GB swimmer
- Simon Burnett, GB swimmer
- Steve Parry, host and ambassador of the event and also previous Olympic swimmer
Over the moon with the interviews so far and the Olympians wanting to speak to our Simply Swim audience, we were then invited to lunch with them all and the British Gas sponsors at The Park Club in Acton.
Arriving, we wandered through the outside dining area as the weather was exactly how our British summer should be and team GB were sat as were QPR football team. Our table consisted of the divers Nick and Monique who over lunch told us of their incredible journeys through the sport – both shocking and hilarious accounts!
The Park Club featured a lovely outdoor swimming pool and the same routine began with interviews and watching how British Swimming were inspiring the next generation. This was a much more intimate venue with a smaller group of children so they had a truly once in a lifetime experience.
A golden opportunity came up for as right at the end of this session. We were warned before hand that Rebecca Adlington and Kerry Anne Payne would be virtually impossible to get some time with for an interview but Producer Holly managed to bag them for a few minutes together!
For me as a swimmer, I can safely say that this was not just the best day at work I have ever had but simply one of the best days of my life! The Olympic swimmers and the British Gas hosts were so accommodating for us and made it all so easy, I can’t thank them enough for all their support. You can check out the video we made from the event below!
And the video: