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Webchat with Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington and her mum Kay (plus a chance to win a pool party for your child!), TODAY, Thursday 15 November, 12.30-1.30pm

(94 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 13-Nov-12 17:41:43

Olympic medallist Rebecca Adlington and her mum, Kay, are joining us on Thursday 15 November at 12.30pm for a live webchat. As well as talking about her own experiences as an Olympic swimmer, Kay will be sharing what it was like getting up every morning to take her daughter swimming for all those many years!

Rebecca will also be offering advice on how to get your children and you to enjoy swimming. Rebecca is currently working with Speedo on their Learn To Swim campaign, which was launched in response to research findings that an astonishing 40% of children can't swim. Join Rebecca at 12.30pm on Thurs or send a question in advance to this thread.

Rebecca and Kay have also just launched 'The S Factor' competition inviting kids under ten to draw a new sea character to join the Speedo Sea Squad. Anyone can enter at www.mumsnet.com/microsites/speedo until 29 November. The winner will be chosen by Rebecca and Kay and will win a free pool party hosted by Rebecca herself and the Speedo Sea Squad. The winning design will join the Sea Squad as an honorary member to front the campaign encouraging kids to take the plunge.

RebeccaAdlington Thu 15-Nov-12 12:58:35

EnglishGirlApproximately

Hi Rebecca and Kay smile

Do you find it odd to see your name on signposts around Mansfield now and have you been to Sherwood Baths to swim since they were renamed in your honour?

Kay - how has your life changed since Rebecca became so celebrated?

Its great to have such a positive female role model from my home town and we are all very proud of you. Well done on your amazing achievements.

hello!

Thank you!!

I love being home. Mansfield will always be home to me just as Sherwood Baths will always be Sherwood Baths. Amazing that its now named after myself though. I hope that another little swimmer can develop from there, its a fantastic pool!

becky

LaVitaBellissima Thu 15-Nov-12 12:59:19

Non swimming related questions for Becky, I know you love your heels, which are your favourite pair and why?

Also swimming must really damage your hair do use lots of conditioner?

KayAdlington Thu 15-Nov-12 13:00:59

AncientsOfMuMu

Hi Rebecca and Kay,

My 11 year old son swims at regional level and competes at a few open meets throughout the year. He struggles to eat more than a few snacks like dried fruit on the days he competes and won't eat breakfast if competing. Do you think this is a problem? He eats well the rest of the time.

Hi there. If your son is happy & healthy then I wouldn't push him to eat more that what he's currently eating. Everyone is different with this, some swimmers can eat loads before they swim, others can't. I would suggest you try to get him to eat something high in protein after he has finished swimming for the day to help his body recover. Hope this helps, Kay

Thanks for answering. I'm drowning teaching my baby to swim there so fingers crossed some of your magic will rub off smile

RebeccaAdlington Thu 15-Nov-12 13:01:27

whiskeytangofoxtrot

Hello Rebecca
Wow! Talking to a RL Olympian!
Just wanted to swoon a bit as think you are phenomenal and a great role model and agree with the poster who said you were so very gracious in your winning interview. What are you doing at the moment?

And what would people be surprised to know about you?

hi,

Thank you!!!

im very busy doing bits here and there at the moment. Taking a break from training and enjoying being 23!! Doing different bits of tv, media events as well as getting my level 2 swim teaching award. Doing my own swim days and hoping inspiring some kids to learn to swim as 40% of children cant swim which is shocking!!!

People might be surprised to know im scared of the sea and dont eat any fish- i dont eat my own kind ;-)

Thanks

Becky

Spree Thu 15-Nov-12 13:02:28

Thank you so much for responding. My 8 year old is really impressed & thrilled that an Olympian responded.

This will really encourage her to keep swimming smilesmilesmile

KayAdlington Thu 15-Nov-12 13:05:17

ajandjjmum

Hi Both
My son was a Games Maker at the Aquatics Centre, and saw you on a couple of occasions Becky - quite a highlight when you turned up! smile
On a serious note, my father saw his best friend drown at 11, and was always determined we would swim (almost before walking!). It's a great competitive sport, and so much fun to watch, but such an important lifeskill too!
Continued good luck for the future Becky!

Hi ajandjjmum - sorry to hear of your father's experience, but I couldn't agree more, learning to swim is such an important life skill - did you know that 40% of children can't swim. This is such a shocking stat. I also agree that swimming is a great sport to be involved in an to watch.
Your son (and all the other games makers did an amazing job in London - well done).
All the best Kay

RebeccaAdlington Thu 15-Nov-12 13:06:16

moonbells

Hello!
Rebecca, I have a 5yo who earlier this week had a bit of a panic attack in his swimming lesson - he didn't want to put his face in the water and he was shaking and crying and wanted to get out. He has since maintained he hates water and never wants to have another lesson. He's only been learning for 2 months, so has polystyrene armbands etc but is actually doing quite well. How can I best build his confidence back up please so he goes to next week's lesson happily?

He's very skinny and without floats does tend to sink a bit and swallow a lot of water, which understandably he doesn't like. We do have mask goggles.

Would a 1 to 1 lesson help, perhaps? At the moment he shares his half hour with two others so spends 2/3 of the time hanging onto the poolside getting cold.

I would really appreciate any tips! Thanks!

hello

So sorry to hear that. I would say try using different techniques. There are some great toys out there that can help get kids to put there face in. Could start doing it in the bath and when hes got abit of confidence try the pool again. Also using a back float might help him.

Try this link as speedo have some great bits... store.speedo.co.uk/c/accessories/learn-to-swim

Hope that helps.

Becky

Hi Becky and Kay,

Firstly, I want to congratulate Becky on all that she has achieved so far in her swimming, she is a real inspiration to young girls.

My eldest son is almost 13, and a few years ago, he was selected for a school programme provided by one of the London rugby clubs. We were recently told, that after his 13th birthday, he will be "promoted" to the junior elite programme because of his enormous potential. Only those believed to be in with a real chance of playing professionally are moved into this programme.

Obviously we are thrilled for him, because he works so hard, and his dream is to play rugby for England.

We want to encourage and support him, but my husband and I also want to keep him grounded, and not to let this get to his head.

So my question is, do either Becky or Kay have any advice on how we can make sure our son stays grounded, while at the same time continue to encourage him?

Thanks
Tess

RebeccaAdlington Thu 15-Nov-12 13:08:17

RatherBeOnThePiste

<inflates arm bands>

Morning to mum and daughter smile

My 15 year old daughter has asked to put forward a question. She used to be a club swimmer until turning to rowing, but she always had a problem caring for her hair. She asks how on earth you keep your hair looking so healthy and lovely with all the swimming you do?

We are enormously proud of you Rebecca, in terms of your achievements yes, but you epitomise good sportsmanship. You are a really strong role model for our girls. Bless you for that.

<doggy paddles off>

hello

Thank you very kind of you!!

I like to use a hair treatment mask or an oil at the weekend to help with my hair. I use l'oreal shampoo/conditioner in the week! try not to bleach your hair if you can as that will react with the chlorine!

Thank you

Becky

RebeccaAdlington Thu 15-Nov-12 13:09:02

JeanBillie

Thank you for making this summer so exciting smile

Very important question: who did your amazing, patriotic nails? grin

Thank you!!!

And i did my nails ;-) I like to paint my nails but can get nail stickers to make it easier!!

Becky

RebeccaAdlington Thu 15-Nov-12 13:09:45

TheBlackShiksa

Hi Rebecca- firstly you are such a fantastic role model.
The amount of focus and determination you've shown is awe inspiring-
What's your favourite biscuit? grin

hello

ohhhhh either custard creams or homemade chocolate chip cookies ;-)

Thank you
Becky

KayAdlington Thu 15-Nov-12 13:10:50

RebeccaAdlington

EnglishGirlApproximately

Hi Rebecca and Kay smile

Do you find it odd to see your name on signposts around Mansfield now and have you been to Sherwood Baths to swim since they were renamed in your honour?

Kay - how has your life changed since Rebecca became so celebrated?

Its great to have such a positive female role model from my home town and we are all very proud of you. Well done on your amazing achievements.

hello!

Thank you!!

I love being home. Mansfield will always be home to me just as Sherwood Baths will always be Sherwood Baths. Amazing that its now named after myself though. I hope that another little swimmer can develop from there, its a fantastic pool!

becky

Hi there, my life has changed in some ways as I get to do things like being here at Mumsnet this morning talk to all of you guys. That would never have happened without Becky's achievements in the pool.
I also get to have a very small involvement in the Speedo Swim competition - the S factor which is a new programme designed to make learning to swim feel fun. As a mum I found it really shocking that so many children (40%) can't swim. As a family we have had an amazing journey with the sport of swimming, so hopefully with this new programme many more youngsters may get the chance to have fun and enjoy.
All the best
Kay

RebeccaAdlington Thu 15-Nov-12 13:11:47

jepa

Hi Rebecca
I was also lucky enough to see you at the Olympics, you were amazing.
I want to echo again the other posts with a huge thank-you for being such an amazing role model for our girls.
My question is for both of you I guess. Both my children can swim but now don't want to progress beyond the basics. For me as an avid swimmer it's not enough that they can swim I want them to be able to swim well ie have a good technique and stamina. What do you think I can do to persuade them to keep going?
I just want them to enjoy swimming as much as I did and still do
Thank you

hello

I would suggest going with friends, or try competitions to bring out there competitive sides!!

Also using different equipment store.speedo.co.uk/c/accessories/learn-to-swim

Or join a club too ;-)

Swimming is amazing and hope they can get into it more!!

thank you
Becky

RebeccaAdlington Thu 15-Nov-12 13:14:28

noidles

Hi Rebecca - I think you're fab. I'm not particularly sporty myself, but got TOTALLY swept up in the spirit of the Olympics and loved it. You really did us proud!

Anyway, I'm not sure if anyone else has mentioned this, but you obviously had to deal with a lot of sh*t from a bully comedian (who shall not be named!). I thought it was brilliant that you didn't take it lying down and fought back. I think it sets a great example to young people especially, that they can speak up when someone who is bigger and louder and saying not very nice things!

So my question is this, do you find it a bit weird and surreal that you get judged on how you look, when your career has nothing to do with your looks? You presumably didn't want to be a 'celebrity' and haven't courted publicity, and haven't invited criticism.

Kay - how did you deal with this? It must have been really upsetting.

Hope that wasn't too morbid a question.

hello

Thank you for saying that, very kind.

I think its all part of being in the public eye and being a female. unfortunately women get criticised for the way they look. I know it has nothing to do with my swimming ability which is good and i have to remember that!

It makes more what my family and friends think of me :-)

Thank you

Becky

BartimaeusNeedsMoreSleep Thu 15-Nov-12 13:15:45

Amazing job at the Olympics Rebecca.

As a pre-teen/young teen I used to swim at regional level, training 7 times a week plus galas.

Many of my friends and I had a real problem juggling swimming and school, as our schools wouldn't let us miss any classes (like say PE or art) in order to do the homework for more academic 'important' classes.

How did you manage school and swimming?

Do you think schools should be more supportive of young athletes and more flexible with their timetables/homework loads?

AncientsOfMuMu Thu 15-Nov-12 13:16:28

Hi Rebacca and Kay.

Thanks for answering my question - just off to order the steaks! smile

Can I be cheeky and ask another?!

Rebecca-you mentioned you are holding Swim Days. Are these going to be held in different parts of the country? Can you be bribed to come to our local 50m pool? grin

RebeccaAdlington Thu 15-Nov-12 13:16:43

cm22v077

Hi Rebecca and Kay!
Great to have you come onto mumsnet! Well done on your olympic success.
I love going swimming but it's so expensive, it's over £6 for an adult to go to my local council run leisure centre which isn't even nice! It really puts me off.
Anyway, my question for Rebecca is, what's the most impressive venue you've every swam at? And you can't say the Aquatic Centre at London 2012! smile

hi!!

Thank you!!

I know it may seem expensive but a macdonalds or cinema trip is more expensive and your being active and healthy ;-)

The most impressive venue would be the Cube in Beijing which was used as the Olympic pool in 2008! Was incredible.

Thank you

Becky

KayAdlington Thu 15-Nov-12 13:17:35

TessOfTheBaublevilles

Hi Becky and Kay,

Firstly, I want to congratulate Becky on all that she has achieved so far in her swimming, she is a real inspiration to young girls.

My eldest son is almost 13, and a few years ago, he was selected for a school programme provided by one of the London rugby clubs. We were recently told, that after his 13th birthday, he will be "promoted" to the junior elite programme because of his enormous potential. Only those believed to be in with a real chance of playing professionally are moved into this programme.

Obviously we are thrilled for him, because he works so hard, and his dream is to play rugby for England.

We want to encourage and support him, but my husband and I also want to keep him grounded, and not to let this get to his head.

So my question is, do either Becky or Kay have any advice on how we can make sure our son stays grounded, while at the same time continue to encourage him?

Thanks
Tess

Hi Tess
Wow you must be very proud of your son - hard work and a dream is a great life goal. Really hope he continues and make it happen for himself.
How can you help? - well we found by simply being the parents was our most important role. By that I mean, trust the coach & athlete relationship - mistakes will probably be made, but lessons are learned that way. As parents we concentrated on our family life - family meals with grandparents, not allowing Becky any special favours just because she swam, encouraging her to have her friends round whenever she could. Just be yourselves as mum and dad to your son - you have obviously done a great job so far, good luck in the future.
All the best
Kay

Blimey, I'm shocked that 50% of children can't swim shock I hope the Olympics can help to get more kids swimming.

RebeccaAdlington Thu 15-Nov-12 13:17:57

littlemrssleepy

Hello Rebecca and Kay

My son shows great promise at swimming. He got his 50m badge on the opening day of the 2012 Olympics at just 4 years of age. I shall keep the photo for my proud mum interview at the 2024 Olympics when I shall claim it must have been destiny If this continues, what ungodly time am I going to have to get up in the morning to take him to training?

haha!unfortunately you might unless you know a friend that you can share lifts with!!

Hes only 4 though so that a while off yet! Just enjoy it for you! Amazing achievement for him!

Thank you

Becky

RebeccaAdlington Thu 15-Nov-12 13:19:02

VLF99

Hi Rebecca and Kay

My daughter is a really keen swimmer - she's only 9 so has just started competing but has qualified for most events for her county championships next year.

Rebecca - you are her absolute idol - she has pictures of you all over her wall. It would make her day if you could say hello to her (Isabella) and give her any advice.

Thanks so much

hello isabella!!!

Really hope you enjoy swimming. Keep working hard. Good luck with it all. Sounds like your doing amazing and only 9 years old!! incredible

Good luck

Becky

RebeccaAdlington Thu 15-Nov-12 13:19:20

EnglishGirlApproximately

Blimey, I'm shocked that 50% of children can't swim shock I hope the Olympics can help to get more kids swimming.

me too!!!

RebeccaAdlington Thu 15-Nov-12 13:20:10

AncientsOfMuMu

Hi Rebacca and Kay.

Thanks for answering my question - just off to order the steaks! smile

Can I be cheeky and ask another?!

Rebecca-you mentioned you are holding Swim Days. Are these going to be held in different parts of the country? Can you be bribed to come to our local 50m pool? grin

haha!! I've only ran 2 days in Derby so far. Maybe in the future i will!

Thank you

becky

KayAdlington Thu 15-Nov-12 13:20:51

EnglishGirlApproximately

Thanks for answering. I'm drowning teaching my baby to swim there so fingers crossed some of your magic will rub off smile

Hi there, I'm sure you are having a magical time in the warm waters of your local pool with your baby. So pleased to hear you are NOT going to be among the very high number of parents who don't think of teaching their children to swim. Have fun and enjoy. As baby gets older there are so great little toys that may help you to give baby confidence to progress.
Have a swimmingly great future with baby, all the best Kay

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