Stirling kids invited to ‘Challenge Duncan’

by Catriona Quinn

Monday, August 12th, 2019

Rare chance for children in Stirling to take on an Olympic swimmer

A public sector PR photo of two kids trying to steal Duncan Scott's medals from round is neck at the launch of the virual swimming game Challenge Duncan

STIRLING locals now have the chance to test their freestyle swim speed against an Olympic star – without getting wet.

Scots swim hero Duncan Scott is urging locals to go head-to-head with him in a virtual pool at The Peak in Stirling where he trains and studies.

Challenge Duncan will be in Stirling until the 20th August and Duncan – fresh from his relay gold triumph in the World Championships – is encouraging people to come along and test their speed.

Challenge Duncan is a unique interactive experience that allows participants to try to swim as fast as Duncan, matching the speed that propelled the 22-year-old to the British record of 47.9 seconds for the 100m freestyle.

Duncan broke his own record earlier this year at the British Championships, setting a new best time of 47.87 seconds – and now he’s challenging Stirling to do the same.

He said: “It’s hard for people to really appreciate the speed of elite swimmers, so Challenge Duncan is a great way to show just how fast you have to move to win a Gold medal.

“Of course the game is played out of the water, but it can really help you channel the lane-focused mentality you need to win a race – it’s great.”

The experience was created to mark Scottish Water’s partnership with Scottish Swimming to promote the Learn to Swim programme, which aims to help 100,000 children across the country become confident swimmers.

There are already over 2,300 kids in Stirling participating in the Learn to Swim programme, provided by Active Stirling.

Players of Challenge Duncan must mimic swimming strokes with their arms to match the stroke rate of Duncan’s record time as seen on a giant TV screen. Sensors pick up their arm speed and show how many metres they have travelled in the same time as Duncan completed his 100m race.

The players with the fastest times will have their names and speeds displayed on a leader board.

Duncan, who won six medals at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia last year – the most won ever by a Scottish athlete at a single Games – two silvers at his first Olympic Games in Rio and National Lottery Athlete of the Year is the ambassador of the Learn to Swim programme.

He recently took bronze in the 200m freestyle at the World Aquatics Championships in South Korea and helped Team GB win gold in the men’s relay – breaking another European record and swimming the second fastest freestyle relay split of all time.

Brian Lironi, Director of Corporate Affairs at Scottish Water, said: “Duncan is an inspirational role model and, as Learn to Swim ambassador, he’s helping kids across Scotland learn that swimming is an important safety skill.

“Safety both in and around the water is a key reason we’re proud to be involved in this partnership with Scottish Swimming.

“The programme is all about using the great water we have in Scotland to promote good health. That’s why we’re also encouraging young swimmers to stay hydrated in their classes too – and top up from the tap to keep energy levels up as they learn new skills.”

Gary Mackintosh at Active Stirling, said: “I’d encourage as many people as possible to take the chance to play Challenge Duncan over the next couple of weeks.

“It’s great fun and, who knows, it might just help us discover the next Duncan Scott here in Stirling.”

Euan Lowe, CEO at Scottish Swimming said: “The commitment of Active Stirling in delivering the Learn to Swim Framework is helping to ensure that everyone can swim.

“Working together with Scottish Water, we’re aiming to have 100,000 children across Scotland on the Learn to Swim programme by 2020.”

 

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