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The Afternoon ShowRTÉ One, Weekdays, 4.00pm

The Big Swim - Louise Lennox Catch - Up

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

We've started an exciting new project to help you get ready for the summer. It's called "The Big Swim". We have chosen two or our viewers along with one of our contributors (Louise Lennox) and with the help of former Olympic Swimmers and qualified swimming instructors we are going to help them achieve their goal of learning how to swim. On the last day of the season (21st of May) we will see them take their first plunge live from the National Aquatic Centre. We will also attempt to set two new Guinness World Records.

Today Louise is in studio with her swimming coach Carole Walshe to find out how she is getting on and is she nearer to reaching her goal of learning how to swim.

Louise Lennox TAS Pastry Chef

Louise has always wanted to learn to swim, but thought that maybe people might make fun of her for not learning at a younger age and that she might be a bit too old to learn. She is very determined. She does not like putting her face in the water "if there was a million pounds at the bottom of the pool she would not swim down to it". She is sick of sitting on the side lines on holidays and wants to be able to have fun in the water.

She is enjoying her training and is putting the effort in. She meets with Carole and then Nick once a week to have lessons and she is working on her breathing at the moment. She is delighted with the progress she is making. Her arms and shoulders are a bit sore, her instructor Carole says this is because she is not doing the technique right but she is working on it. The one thing she is going to work on is swimming out of her depth.

Swimming Instructor Carole Walshe

Carole has been teaching for about 20 years and she coached to Olympic and World Championship standard for about 7 years. She coached Nick O'Hare (Louise's Olympic Mentor) when he went to the Olympics in Atlanta and she coached Chantal Gibney (Hanna's Mentor) from the age of 10 to when she went to swim in the Sydney Olympics. She has always loved the water and got involved in coaching because her two sons swam. Her eldest son Michael swam on the Irish team and her younger son Dermot swam for Leinster.

A big thank you to Westwood Gyms where Louise and Carole are carrying out their lessons.

GUINNESS WORLD RECORD: Mention this at the end of item (we are still not saying what the record is but asking people to get involved) Check with Colm on the Monday to see how the locations are doing as we might need to plug some more than others)

Would you like to help The Afternoon Show set a new Guinness World Record? With the help of the following locations around the country and Swim Ireland you can do just that. You need to be free on Friday the 21st of May between 2pm and 6pm and over the age of 16 in order to participate. We do need you to get into the water for this. For further information call into your nearest location.

The National Aquatic Centre - Dublin -

JJB Sports Centre - Dundalk please call ph: 042 939 1300

Jackson's Hotel - Ballybofey, Donegal -

Sligo Regional Sports Centre - Sligo -

Kingfisher - Renmore, Galway -

Athlone Regional Centre - Athlone -

Coral Leisure - Killarney -

Sanovitae Leisure Centre - Cork City -

Sean Kelly Sports Centre - Carrick on Suir -

Waterfront Pool - Enniscorthy -

For information on Swim Ireland go to

Swim Ireland: Encompassing the four provinces of Ireland, Swim Ireland is the governing body of swimming in Ireland. The organisation was formed in 1893 and adopted the trading name of Swim Ireland in 1998. It incorporates the Irish Swimming Association, the Irish Water Polo Association and Swimming Teachers and Coaches in Ireland. It has over 12,000 members and 140 Affiliated Clubs.