When Becky Adlington retired from professional swimming with an arm-full of medals at the age of 23 she knew straight away what she wanted to throw herself into next.

Inspired by the London 2012 Olympics where she won bronze in the 400m and 800m freestyle, Becky wanted to ensure the next generation of Adlington’s were able to come through and gain the same opportunities she had as an athlete. That’s when her Swim Stars programme was introduced.

During an exclusive interview with GIS, Becky, a delegate of VSI’s CEO of a Sports Organisation programme, said: “London just inspired me so much, being at that Olympics and talking about legacy and inspiring a generation, I knew I wanted to set up my own learn to swim programme because that’s something which I am so passionate about – the grassroots side of sport rather than the elite side.”

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Becky burst onto the scene when she claimed two golds at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in the 400m and 800m freestyle, becoming the first British swimmer to win two Olympic golds since 1908. She backed this up with a number of further world and commonwealth medals before London, and then retirement.

Seven years after setting up the programme, and following much TV work and beginning her own family, Becky is now wanting to fully immerse herself in the business and to continue that transition from Olympic athlete to business leader.

She said: “For me to be part of that [setting up Swim Stars] as a director, it’s been incredible to be involved in that process, but now I’m at the stage of my life where I’ve had amazing opportunities but I want to really get stuck into my business a lot more.”

Becky added: “I need to go away and I want to know that I’ve got the education under my belt and I’ve learnt, not just taken advantage of having that status or role within that company. I want everyone to know that I’m really serious and I’m passionate about it and trying to better myself and be the best leader that I can possibly be.”