Big Splash Project Launched to Encourage Swimming Participation

May 13, 2011

A campaign named the ‘Big Splash’ has been launched by the BBC, British Gas, Kellogg’s and Speedo, aiming to encourage swimming in the run-up to the London 2012 Olympic Games. 

The project was launched yesterday, May 12, by Australian Olympic swimming champion Ian Thorpe and sport minister Hugh Robertson and will launch nationally over the coming weekend.

The UK’s national governing body British Swimming, will be working with the brands to encourage people to take up the sport, with brand work by Studio Output.

The BBC will include a special piece on children’s presenter Andy Akinwolere overcoming his fear of water and learning to swim – as well as a longer feature on the Great Salford Swim, to air on Sunday, with promotional pieces throughout the week.

BBC Sport director Barbara Slater said: “The Big Splash is part of the BBC’s commitment to the 2012 legacy, by working with British Swimming to make the nation healthier, safer, fitter and more active, ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

“Throughout the year, the BBC will highlight swimming as an important life skill and gateway to a host of fun activities, through a range of well-known programmes across TV, radio and online.”

Figures suggest 20 per cent of adults are unable to swim, while 20 per cent of children leave primary school without being able to swim.

David Sparkes, British Swimming chief executive, said: “The Big Splash is part of our ongoing drive to increase the participation in swimming. It’s got fantastic health benefits and it saves lives.

“Working with the pools and the BBC, we expect to see many more people getting active as we move towards the greatest sporting event in the world, the Olympic Games, coming to London next year.”