British Swimming announced today that Rebecca Adlington will take an active role in helping develop the next generation of British swimmers. The 2008 Olympic champion in the 400 and 800 freestyle and former world record holder will work with six young athletes that include; Lauren Quigley, Ross Murdoch, Adam Peaty, Jessica Fullalove, Sophie Taylor and Harriet Cooper.
Both Murdoch and Quigley were members of the World Championship team that competed in Barcelona. Murdoch who was 18 at the time qualified for the semi-final in the men’s 100 breaststroke and finished 11th overall while the 18 year old Quigley finished 8th in the 50 backstroke and 12th in the 100 backstroke.
“I’ve already made contact with most of the group and everyone seems really open to the programme,” said Adlington.
“It’s completely up to the athletes how often we talk but what’s important is that they feel they can come to me with anything. If they’ve had a bad training session, or are concerned about something I hope they will contact me so we can talk through it.”
“The programme is a really good idea and I am looking forward to being able to access Becky’s support and expertise as much as I need,” said Quigley.
“Having someone other than my coach or immediate friends and family to help with decisions or hard times will be really useful. I’m also hoping to pick up some extra tips and knowledge from Becky’s years of being involved with swimming to help with my own journey.”
British Swimming has not seen a lot of success on the international stage over the last few years finishing 15th in the medal standings in London with one bronze and two silver and 20th in the medal standings at the World Championships in Barcelona where Fran Halsall was their lone medal winner.
They are hoping that the support that a past champion like Addlington can bring will help their up and coming athletes have more success at the senior level.
National Team Head Coach Bill Furniss guided Adlington during her swimming career and feels that she will be a very valuable resource for the young swimmers, “We have identified a group of six athletes that Rebecca will work with to help provide an additional support mechanism,” said Furniss.
“Rebecca has a great deal of experience and with that comes a unique perspective about what it takes to produce at the highest level. I am sure that sharing her advice about how to handle situations and expectations will be very valuable to these young athletes.”
Adlington, who also collected two bronze at the 2012 Olympics, is extremely excited to be working with the six young athletes, “I really wanted to get involved in a mentoring programme because I know how easy it can be within sport to feel on your own,” said Adlington.
“Having the opportunity to talk through issues or concerns with someone outside of your usual support network can really help, which is one of the main aims of the programme.”
“I’m really keen to pass on any advice I may have gained through my experience of swimming and do all that I can to support the next generation of medallists.”
Adlington retired from her swimming career in February of 2013 and over the last year has worked as a commentator for the BBC.