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Mark Foster's blog by Mark_Foster

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Five time Olympian swimmer Mark Foster gives an insight into his life since his his hugely successful competitive swimming career. Three decades compe...

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Total posts: 92

Started: 29 Mar 2010

Last post: 4 May 2012

  • Making a big splash....

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    May0420124:50 p.m.

    Hello everyone. Sorry it’s been a long time, but I’ve been very busy and so much has happened. So here’s a round-up. It was The Big Splash at the end of April. This was my kind of gig. All the things I love doing, getting people active, making it fun, inspiring people to swim and raising money for charity. What more could I ask for? It’s a partnership between the BBC and British Swimming to inspire the UK to get into the water. Thousands of people around the UK will make a Big Splash this weekend, by swimming to raise money for charity. A record 645 pools will host fund-raisers, swimming a Big Splash Mile for Sport Relief, or one of the traditional Distance Challenges as part of the 25th Swimathon Weekend. Money raised by Milers will be spent by Comic Relief to help people living incredibly tough lives in the UK, and across the world's poorest countries Yes!! Come on all you swimmers!

    I had the good fortune recently to get tickets for the home legs of Chelsea’s Champions League games against Benfica and Barcelona. Despite all the team rivalries at home, this was a chance to support a British team in Europe. I put the fact that they won both games and progressed, down to fact that I am their lucky charm!!! Well my friend Emma who works at Chelsea FC says that her husband Terry and I are the lucky team!! We all have superstitions. So on that basis, I am waiting for the tickets to the Final. Frank, Didier, come on boys, you know you need me there!! They were a couple of great games and a fantastic atmosphere down at the Bridge. It’s amazing how the team has turned it around since the new manager has come in. Good luck in the final Chelsea.

    Now to birthdays and firstly my nephew Oscar. How excited was he about being 6? Well he loved the attention and all the presents!! For me it was all about the CAKE!!! My sister had organized a football party for all his friends, the only bad thing, adults could not join in!!!! How ageist can you get? The second birthday belonged to my best mate Emma. I’ve known Emma for nearly 30 years (how did that happen?) I know I don’t look that old! It happens to us all I guess. I spent the evening with Emma and a few friends at her house with some great food and party games. And can I say a big thank you to Terry for cooking a fantastic meal, because if it was left to Ems, I’m afraid it would be; “Beans on toast anyone?” Happy Birthday Oscar, Happy birthday Em……

    Now on a different note I’m an Active Face. So, what is “Active Face” I hear you ask? Well it’s a subject and an initiative which is very close to my heart. It is a community based Health and Wellness membership programme that is out to change the face of fitness in the UK. It’s about fun, fitness, family, friends and affordability. It’s open to anyone, regardless of their level of fitness. And it offers members the chance to get fit and active ‘just at the bottom of their road’. The program focuses on local communities, offering outdoor and indoor activities, using schools, community centres, sports grounds and public spaces. No more gyms; no more Lycra; no more ‘no pain, no gain. No more high health club fees with annual contracts. It is for people who like doing things with their friends and family. People who want to have fun while they get fit, people who want to bring up their children to recognise that being fit and active will add so much to their quality of life.

    Active Faces is about bringing local communities together; increasing the health of those communities; using the facilities available in those communities and offering people the opportunity to build sustainable, profitable businesses. I love this programme, as it should act as a feeder system to all the organized sports facilities but gives everyone a chance to try some activity, no matter what level of fitness.

    I also had the chance recently to go back to my roots. My nephew Oscar goes to the same Infants that myself and my sisters went to (Bournes Green Junior School), so he has quite a lot to live up to. Although they dug out an old report card and apparently I was always getting in trouble. Hmm… something to discuss with Oscar when he’s older. As it’s Olympic year and I spend my time trying to inspire kids to get involved in sport, I jumped at the chance to go to my old school and talk to the children. First the Infants, then the Junior school. The children are really excited about the games coming to London and had so many questions to ask. It was fantastic to see so many excited faces. I remember when I was younger, how big the school seemed.

    I was also privileged to be asked to open the new clubhouse at Thorpe Bay Tennis club which I was happy to do in my old home town. Although, it prompted my mate Andrew Castle to ask if there were any swimming pools he could open! And to finish off the weekend, I had reunions with several of my old swimming and school mates. I had not seen Adam, one of my oldest friends from my swimming days, since he moved to America about 20 years ago, so we had loads to catch up on. Another old swimming friend was James Ley, and he came accompanied by his wife and 2 boys. We ended up playing football in my sister’s close. Boy did that bring memories back. And then there was my old school buddy, Lee Vellerman. He used to keep me on the straight and narrow, although when we took to the golf course, I could keep nothing straight!!!! It was great to see you all guys… let’s not leave it so long next time. Have a good week…..

    Comments (3)

    • Tofu_G 'I think your absolutely hot! Please can I have your babies! Lol' added 1st Aug 2012

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    • Laura_ 'Hahaha that's funny Tofu. You're very forward! Hehe. x x' added 30th Sep 2012

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    • Keith_R 'Hi. You have a marvelous record in sprint swimming. How is it possible to follow your kind on mixed training in a swimming club when all the training seems to be long and slow and often?' added 25th Oct 2012

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