Olympic swimmer makes a fond return to Stradbroke pool

Former Olympic swimmer Duncan Goodhew is special guest at the 25th anniversary celebration of Stradb

Former Olympic swimmer Duncan Goodhew is special guest at the 25th anniversary celebration of Stradbroke swimming pool, which opened in March 1991. Left to right, Len Phoenix, Duncan Goodhew, Maria Smith. - Credit: Gregg Brown

Young swimmers in a north Suffolk village have been treated to a visit from an Olympic gold medallist.

Duncan Goodhew, who won gold and bronze medals at the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, gave swimmers as young as six at Everyone Active's Swimming Pool and Leisure Centre the opportunity to get a hands-on swimming lesson ahead of this year's Swimathon, which takes place between March 18-20.

Goodhew, who returned to Suffolk after opening the pool in Stradbroke, near Diss, in 1991, said: 'What happens always here is a great level of enthusiasm.

'People care and raise money for great causes – you get an exceptional feeling.'

During last year's Swimathon, the pool had the second highest number of participants out of 604 pools throughout the UK, behind only London's Olympic Park.

The centre had 181 swimmers taking part, between them raising £10,035 for Marie Curie Cancer Relief.

This year there are more than 100 swimmers already signed up to raise funds for Sport Relief, but they are still looking for more to take part.

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Goodhew added: 'The thing about swimming is it's the best form of exercise for you. It's a great way of getting people engaged and getting fit and raising money for a wonderful charity.

'I think Stradbroke's success is a testament to everyone's hard work – the encouragement and when someone gets out of the pool and everyone is cheering them, the feeling is amazing.'

To sign up for the Swimathon at Stradbroke, call 01379 384376.