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Max hopes to make a big splash in Rio

It's just over 100 days until the start of the Olympic Games and four athletes from our region have had their seats confirmed on the plane to Rio.

Max Litchfield and Ellie Faulkner from Sheffield, Georgia Coates from Leeds and Mansfield's Molly Renshaw are part of a 26 strong swimming squad hoping to make a big splash next summer.

Max qualified for the Olympics with a stunning performance at the British Championships last week and Chris Dawkes has been to Ponds Forge in Sheffield to meet him.

And they're off! Swimmers brave the freezing conditions at the Lee Dam swim

The women's race at Lee Dam swim Credit: ITV Yorkshire

The Lee Dam New Year swim has been held above Todmorden today despite the freezing weather and snowy conditions.

The men take to the icy water at Lee Dam Credit: ITV Yorkshire
Hardy swimmers brave the freezing water Credit: ITV Yorkshire

Simon Buttler from Blackshaw Head, Hebden Bridge, - or the Joker - raising £400 for Calder Valley Flood Relief Fund and Hebden Bridge Junior Band which lost its home in the floods.

'The Joker' raising cash for local flood relief effort Credit: ITV Yorkshire


Sheffield to host British Diving Championships

Great Britain's best divers will be hoping to book themselves a place on the plane for the Rio Olympics at the event Credit: PA

Sheffield's Ponds Forge has been announced as the venue for next summer's British Diving Championships.

Great Britain's best divers will be hoping to book themselves a place on the plane for the Rio Olympics at the event, which will take place from June 10-12.

GB sealed five Olympic quota places at the World Championships earlier this year and will be aiming to secure more berths at the World Cup in February.

Sheffield is a great pool that has showcased some of the best competitions we have hosted and I look forward to bringing the very best level of competition back to Yorkshire. This is an important competition for athletes on the road to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and I know this will bring out the very best performances from our athletes. The competition will be exciting, with a high standard, and I know we will have a strong team once this meet is finished."

– National performance director Alexei Evangulov

Scunthorpe swimmer back home after qualifiying for 2016 Olympics

It is still over a year to go until the opening ceremony for the Olympic Games in Rio but this week an athlete from our region became the first to qualify for Team GB.

Open water swimmer Jack Burnell, who was born in Scunthorpe, qualified after finishing fifth at the World Championships in Russia.

He is now back home and our sports reporter Chris Dawkes caught up with him at his training base at Loughborough University.

Swimmer becomes first Briton to secure place at Rio Olympics

Britain's Jack Burnell clinched a trip to the 2016 Rio Olympics with a fifth-place finish in the men's 10km at the World Aquatic Championships in Kazan.

The 22-year-old from Scunthorpe, who is the current World Cup leader, was among 70 swimmers competing at the Kazanka River venue, with the top 10 securing Olympic qualification.

USA's Jordan Wilimovsky, 21, won the race, finishing 12.1 seconds ahead of Dutchman Ferry Weertman. Burnell was 17.6secs behind the winner.

The race included the reigning Olympic champion Oussama Mellouli of Tunisia, who finished in 23rd place


School children making a splash in Sheffield

20% more pupils in Sheffield have learned to swim at least 25 metres in the last two years. Sheffield City Council has been targeting schools in areas where the numbers of children who could swim were low. School swimming lessons have been doubled over the past four years in the city.

I firmly believe all children should be able to swim so we need to make sure we are doing everything we can to encourage schools to help their pupils learn this vital life skill. We are committed to making sure children from across the city are given every chance to learn to swim while they are at school. It is a great all round exercise but even more importantly being able to swim could save your life.”

– Cllr Jackie Drayton

Schools say budget is barrier to offering swimming lessons

Schools say their biggest barrier to offering swimming lessons is their budget. It comes as a report reveals Yorkshire is one of the worst counties for the number of swimming lessons offered in schools.

"Swimming is one of the easiest, safest forms of exercise for children of all abilities, and school swimming is the single most effective way of teaching children how to be safe in and around water.

"Yet swimming is one of the few areas of a child's statutory education that is all too often left unmeasured, unchecked or, for 1.1m children, unfulfilled.

"The additional £150m of ring-fenced investment by Government for PE and sport this September can provide a real lifeline for school swimming. I believe that schools have a rare opportunity to seize the moment."

– David Sparkes, Chief Executive of the ASA

Yorkshire "worst" for amount of swimming lessons offered

Only around half of children in Yorkshire can swim one length of a pool

There are fears children's lives are at risk because of their poor swimming skills.

A report out today says just over half of primary age children in Yorkshire can swim one length of a pool. The county has the lowest rates of schools which offer swimming lessons.

In total over 1.1 million primary school children in the UK are unable to swim, according to a report released today by the Amateur Swimming Association, who surveyed 3,501 primary schools.

Yorkshire has the lowest rate of schools which offer swimming lessons.

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