WORLD champion and Olympic medallist Katy Sexton took on supermarket staff to kickstart fundraising for Sport Relief.
Sainsbury’s staff from across the area took the plunge and went head-to-head in a series of relays against the gold medallist in a bid to raise money for charity and get active.
The event saw 10 supermarket workers swim two or four lengths each yesterday at Fareham’s LA Fitness, in Quay Street, to raise sponsorship from their co-workers.
Katy, from Portsmouth, competed twice in the Olympics and three times in the Commonwealth Games.
She said the staff gave her a bit of a run for her money, especially the last relay, in which the supermarket sent out its best swimmers.
‘We did three relays and the last team were good! It was quite hard,’ she said.
Up against Katy was Ian Hayes, deputy store manager from the Farlington store.
Ian, 36, from Waterlooville, said: ‘It’s such a good charity, we are one of the major supporters of it and it gives you opportunity to take part with an Olympic swimmer, which is an opportunity you’d never normally get.’
Also swimming was James Whittaker, Colleague of the Year at the Broadcut store in Fareham.
James, 22, from Fareham, said: ‘It was tough work to swim against Katy and it left me a bit out of breath but now I can say that I’ve swum with an Olympian.’
The event marked the start of numerous fundraisers Sainsbury’s stores are running.
Lesley Powell, PR ambassador from Hedge End Sainsbury’s, organised the event. She said: ‘It’s such a good cause, not only locally but nationally.
‘We have two days’ worth of jam-packed activities planned next weekend to raise money for Sport Relief.’
Sport Relief is one of the UK’s biggest fundraising events and since it started in 2002 it has raised over £195m.
The money goes towards Comic Relief charities that help people living tough lives, both in the UK and across the world.
Most Sport Relief activities take place on Friday, with some happening on Saturday and Sunday too.
For more information on how to join in the fun and games, raise cash and changes lives, go to sportrelief.com.