Olympic champ in Crowborough

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Former Olympic medallist swimmer and 1989 world record holder Nick Gillingham MBE will make a splash as the guest of honour at the Beacon Swimming Club Championships at Crowborough Leisure Centre on December 14.

Beacon Swimming Club trains at Freedom Leisure’s Crowborough Leisure Centre every Wednesday and Friday.

The club invited Nick to hand out medals and talk to young swimmers and their parents at the Championships. As well, the two fastest swimmers from both boys’ and girls’ 50 metre breast stroke have the chance to race against Nick in a charity swim.

Keen swimmers who aren’t members of the club can also take part. Anyone aged nine or over is invited to take part in a qualifying heat on November 27 at the Centre between 8 and 9pm to be in with a chance to race Nick at the championships.

To qualify for the heats, children must be able to swim at least 50 metres. Female swimmers will be given a two second advantage against their male counterparts.

They must register through the Club’s website www.beaconswimmingclub.co.uk by Friday, November 21 or by calling the Championships secretary Fiona Wood on: 01892 513758. A £5 fee is payable with all proceeds going to a charity selected by the race winner.

Centre manager Aysen Sinclair said: “We’re excited to welcome a world class swimmer to our championships. Nick has had an outstanding career and it’s great he’ll be able to share his knowledge and expertise with our young swimmers. We’re also looking forward to seeing him race and hope it will be a great event all-round.”