St. Mary's College welcomes back Olympic swimming star
St. Mary's College welcomed back a former student this week who is set to play a key role in Team GB’s drive for swimming glory at the London Olympics.
Fran Halsall returned to St. Mary’s College to host a swimming master class and take part in question-and-answer sessions with pupils.
The 21-year-old from Southport will compete in five Olympic events in July - the 100m butterfly, 50m and 100m freestyle and the sprint and medley relays.
At the recent British Swimming Championships Fran recorded the fastest 50m freestyle in the world in 2012, only two hundredths of a second behind the British record time she set in 2009.
During her day-long visit Fran met pupils at St. Mary’s Preparatory School The Mount as well as the College. She also conducted a master class for prep and senior school pupils at Crosby Leisure Centre.
The gold medal hopeful’s return to her old school attracted a lot of media interest. Fran was accompanied by TV crews from stations including Sky Sports News and reporters from national newspapers including The Times.
Fran said, "St. Mary's was a really good school for me and it was great to go back." But it was still 'Sir' and 'Miss' when it came to addressing her old teachers. "It would be too weird otherwise!" she laughed.
St. Mary’s College Principal, Mike Kennedy, commented: “It was a pleasure to see Fran back at the college and she received a really warm welcome from everyone.
“To be in a position to compete for no fewer than five Olympic gold medals is a fantastic achievement which reflects both her swimming talent and her commitment and hard work over many years.
“Fran has a huge number of friends - and fans - at St. Mary’s and we will all be rooting for her as she chases her five gold medals in the Olympic pool this summer,” added Mr Kennedy.
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