A RECORD-BREAKING Olympian is hoping a new swimming academy will make a real splash.
Chris Cook has launched Swim Buddies, which will cater for youngsters between four and 11-years-old.
The academy is based at The Education Village, in Darlington.
However, bosses say they hope to expand across County Durham and the Tees Valley in the next 12 months, creating a number of teaching jobs.
Mr Cook, who lives in Yarm, near Stockton, swam at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and was a double champion at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games.
He also broke the British and Commonwealth record for the first British man to break 60 seconds in the 100-metre breaststroke in 2008, and said he hopes Swim Buddies can inspire the next generation.
Mr Cook, Swim Buddies’ director and ambassador, said: “One of my favourite memories was learning to swim and a fun introduction to any sport is vital.
“The academy is our opportunity to give the best experience we can, and we will tailor sessions to target skills for every swimmer.”