Over 70 children learnt life- saving skills when three Olympic swimmers visited Daventry Leisure Centre at the weekend.
Robbie Renwick, Nick Robinson-Baker and Jake Vincent took part in the ‘Get Safe’ campaign led by the Amateur Swimming Association which coincided with the opening of new £300,000 changing rooms at the centre by Cllr Diana Osborne.
Over 1,150 activity places were taken up and over 750 children’s activity packs given out over the weekend.
Youngsters tried out swimming, rollerskating, various sports and soft play.
Powerchair, a competitive team sport for those who use power wheelchairs, also proved popular as part of the wheelchair football festival at the centre.
Cllr Osborne said: “There were so many children at the leisure centre I have never seen it so busy!
“As I walked around I asked people what they thought of the new changing rooms and the feedback was brilliant. One couple even came over from Rugby to see it.”
She added: “The refurbishment has improved the facilities no end, it’s made such a difference and they look efficient now.”
Mr Renwick, a Commonwealth gold medallist and Olympic swimmer, together with Olympic diver Nick Robinson-Baker and Olympic water polo player Jake Vincent, taught youngsters how to stay safe in the water including how to tackle swimming against a current and how to rescue someone. The children also learnt CPR and practiced resuscitation on plastic dummies as part of the exercise.
Contract manager for Everyone Active in Daventry Luke Parratt said: “Three Olympians loved the centre and said they enjoyed the event thoroughly - which is a complete success.”
He said the Campaign was a great way of addressing the statistic that only 1 in 3 children in the county can swim 25m unaided when they leave primary school.
CEO of the ASA David Sparkes said the campaign was about encouraging competence and confidence in the water.