Olympic sporting stars join more than 2,000 locals at free open day at London Aquatics Centre

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More than 2,000 local residents joined Olympic champions Mark Foster and Molly Renshaw at a free community open day hosted by Everyone Active at the iconic London Aquatics Centre on Saturday, June 1.

The free event, organised by the facility's new operators, showcased the centre's world-class amenities on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, along with its diverse programming to the surrounding community.

Six-time world champion swimmer and five-time Olympian Mark Foster led competitive start workshop for local children, and also participated in gym challenges and group exercise classes throughout the day.

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Two-time Olympic swimmer Molly Renshaw, who holds the British record for the 100m breaststroke, hosted specialised swimming clinics for 56 children focused on breaststroke technique and water turns.

Mark Foster and Molly Renshaw.Mark Foster and Molly Renshaw.
Mark Foster and Molly Renshaw.

Participants of all ages and abilities took advantage of the centre's top-tier facilities, with 1,585 adults and children attending swim sessions like inflatable challenges, aqua splash, lane swimming and swimming discos.

A total of 561 children also received free swimming lessons during the open day, providing an invaluable opportunity to develop essential water safety and swimming skills.

The open day also celebrated the launch of the centre's brand-new group exercise offerings. Prior to Everyone Active taking over management in March, the London Aquatics Centre had never before hosted group exercise classes.

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To celebrate the new programmes, the open day featured a packed schedule of complimentary group fitness classes. Nearly 100 residents participated in sessions like body pump, body combat, body balance, and group cycling.

Three sisters taking part in the family inflatables session.Three sisters taking part in the family inflatables session.
Three sisters taking part in the family inflatables session.

Olympian Mark Foster even joined in on the body pump class, getting an up-close look at the new group exercise studios.

Locals also had the opportunity to try something different like scuba diving water polo and artistic swimming.

A number of prestigious clubs like Dive London and the West London Penguins water polo team hosted taster sessions.

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Mark Basker, Everyone Active's regional contract manager, said: "Seeing the facility so full of energy was incredibly rewarding. Our goal was to showcase the world-class facilities, diverse programming and new fitness offerings that are now available to the community - and the response exceeded all of our expectations.

Mark Foster leads a swimming workshop.Mark Foster leads a swimming workshop.
Mark Foster leads a swimming workshop.

“With Olympic champions Mark Foster and Molly Renshaw leading diving workshops, swimming clinics, and even joining in on group exercise classes, the open day provided a unique opportunity for the local community to engage with elite athletes while exploring all the London Aquatics Centre has to offer.

"We also saw an incredible number of locals eager to try new activities for the first time. Whether it was scuba diving, water polo, or artistic swimming, the event provided a valuable opportunity for the community to explore unfamiliar sports and expand their horizons."

The open day marked an exciting new chapter for the London Aquatics Centre, which has undergone a recent revitalisation under Everyone Active's management.

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In addition to the world-class swimming pools, the centre now offers a refurbished gym, new group exercise studios, and a dedicated spin studio - providing something for every member of the community.

As of March this year, the leisure company runs the site on behalf of the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), as part of an eight year contract.

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