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Swim for free campaign backed by Rebecca Adlington

Rebecca Adlington in Nottingham Photo: ITV Central

There is one word that has been at the heart of almost every discussion about the Olympics since London was selected as the host city for 2012 - legacy.

Once the games have been and gone, what will be the long term benefits of having the games in the UK? Will the event inspire a whole new generation to take up sport?

Double olympic gold medallist Rebecca Adlington hopes so. She took up swimming at the age of 4, and became a national hero after bringing back two gold medals from Beijing in 2008.

The 23 year old from Mansfield in Nottinghamshire is now in the middle of a gruelling period of training for London 2012. But she is also on a mission to get more people into the water.

Rebecca Adlington meets children in Nottingham as part of the 'Free Swims For Britain' campaign Credit: ITV Central

Today she visited a swimming pool in Nottingham to help launch a campaign aimed at doing just that.

Under the 'Free Swims for Britain' campaign, people will be able to claim free swimming sessions if they sign up online to back Team GB's swimmers, as they prepare for the biggest competition of their careers.

Rebecca Adlington will defend both her 400m and 800m freestyle titles in three months' time. She hopes that a captive home audience will Team GB's performances and be inspired to get involved in sport themselves.

Adlington was given a hero's welcome on return to the Midlands in 2008. She says the previous success will add to the pressure on her this time round, but hopes that the support of a home crowd will help spur her on to victory.

However at the moment her parents will not be in the crowd to cheer her on as they have been unable to secure tickets.

60 venues in the Midlands are taking part in the 'Free Swims for Britain Campaign', which runs until 30th August 2012.