AN Olympic hero has been in the region to launch her SwimStars initiative.

Becky Adlington has a vision that every child in Britain should be able to swim 25 metres by the time they leave primary school.

And on Saturday her SwimStars team arrived at Stockton’s Total Fitness health club to announce the opening of the scheme at the health club.

Launching the scheme, she said: “Despite my retirement from competitive swimming, my commitment to swimming is as strong as it ever was. I’m delighted that, after a very successful first year, my Becky Adlington’s SwimStars programme is going from strength to strength and we are rolling out new swim schools across the UK.

“There are over 3,000 kids on the programme. It’s so nice to see them having the best time - they think that they’re just having a lot of fun but they’re actually learning a valuable life skill.

“It’s about being safe in the water and knowing what to do if you find yourself in a situation - having fun and learning at the same time. I started when I was three or four. The earlier you start, the quicker you pick it up."

The double Olympic champion is opening a number of Becky Adlington SwimStars centres around the country in a bid to reach her ambition of ensuring youngsters can all swim before heading to secondary school.