COMMONWEALTH double gold medal swimmer Chris Cook has helped launch a new workout programme for swimmers.

Chris Cook , of Wallsend, a member of Team GB’s 4x100 relay team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and who competed in the 100m breaststroke event, helped get the Swimfit programme underway at Sunderland City Council's new Hetton Community Pool yesterday (fri) Swimfit is funded by the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) encourages swimmers to get the most of their time in the pool.

Laminated cards detailing simple to follow exercises and activities are available poolside for anyone who wishes to use them.

Sunderland is taking part in the programme at three of its four pools - Hetton Community Pool, Sunderland Aquatic Centre and Washington Leisure Centre.

Each will display the exercises at all times and provide a member of staff to act as a Swimfit promoter for a weekly one-hour session per week over 12 weeks.

Mr Cook said: "As an athlete I was always looking for new and innovative ways to train and excel in the pool.

"Whilst repetition in any fitness training programme is unavoidable, the key to keeping stimulated and interested is through variety and personal challenge.

"This is one of the reasons I feel Swimfit is a great, as it provides you with a way of being able to vary your training programme whilst setting realistic and challenging targets."

For more about the programme in Sunderland's pools call 0191-561 6683 or e-mail