Video: Ellie leading way for SwimBritain

Sheffield’s Olympic Games swimmer Ellie Faulkner gave the Telegraph a preview of the SwimBritain challenge this week.

Faulker, aged 20, put sports writer Richard Fidler through his paces at Ponds Forge ahead of yesterday’s launch of the British Gas-sponsored scheme which is aiming to encourage 500,000 more people to swim regularly by 2015.

Richard Fidler with Olympian Ellie Faulkner at Ponds Forge.

Richard Fidler with Olympian Ellie Faulkner at Ponds Forge.

One of the goals of the SwimBritain challenge is to teach correct technique. Those signing up to one of three different challenges will receive four coached swimming sessions led by British Swimming.

Ellie, who is hoping to take part in the World Championships in Barcelona later this summer, said: “The SwimBritain challenge is a great way to get people involved in the sport again.”

Richard said: “Like most people I know the fitness benefits that swimming can give but I’ve always found it difficult to get most out it.

“Ellie and Vicky, the swimming instructor from Ponds Forge, gave me some excellent advice and I immediately felt more confident.

“It will take more practice to perfect but getting tips from an Olympic swimmer can only help!”

The three different challenges are, ‘SwimBritain’ a four-person relay of 250 metres each, that is repeated four times. There is a ‘Little SwimBritain’ which is a relay but in legs of 125m.

And a ‘SwimBritain DIY’ for solo swimmers.

Sheffield’s challenge day is Sunday, September 1 at Ponds Forge. For more details visit