Open water swim champ makes a splash

Swimmer Mark Deans visits Howwood Primary school on behalf of MacTaggart and Mickel

(left to right) Fraser Walker, Leni Hawke, Rebecca Taylor, Cavan Usher
Swimmer Mark Deans visits Howwood Primary school on behalf of MacTaggart and Mickel (left to right) Fraser Walker, Leni Hawke, Rebecca Taylor, Cavan Usher

Scottish open water champion, Mark Deans, has been making a splash in schools around East Renfrewshire last week.

He had visited in a bid to inspire young people and encourage them to view sport as a viable career path.

Following his success at the recent Scottish National Open Water Championships, at which he won the Men’s Open 10k race, Mark (21) who was born in Paisley, visited Mearns, Howwood and Uplawmoor Primary Schools, offering local children a glimpse into the life of an athlete.

As part of the exclusive visits, facilitated by local family housebuilder Mactaggart & Mickel Group, Mark spent an hour with the children showing them the discipline and dedication that it takes to be a top athlete.

As a two-time Scottish open water champion at 2km, 5km and 10km distances, and the first ever winner of the 420m Red Bull Neptune Steps race, Mark is one of Scotland’s leading open water swimmers.

Sponsored by Mactaggart & Mickel Group, Mark visited schools with ties to some of the luxury housebuilder’s developments.

Mark Deans said: “I can’t begin to explain how much I’ve enjoyed these school visits; being able to engage with the children one-on-one was fantastic!

“I really hope I’ve inspired them to follow their dreams, whether that is in sport or another discipline.

“I feel so honoured to have the support of such a respected company like Mactaggart & Mickel Group.

He added: “I’d like to thank them for making these visits possible.”

Commenting on Mark’s efforts, Ed Monaghan, chief executive at Mactaggart & Mickel Group, added: “It’s a privilege to support such a committed and talented swimmer like Mark, he’s not just a fantastic role model for aspiring athletes but for all young people his age.

“We have always been committed to working closely with the communities surrounding our developments, from being as considerate as possible during construction to supporting local charities and groups – it’s at the heart of what we do. I hope the children enjoyed the visits and can learn from Mark’s success.”

Mark Deans currently trains with the City of Glasgow Swim Team coached by Ian Wright. He is a member of the City of Glasgow Swim Team, Scottish Open Water Swim Team and British Open Water squad.

Achievements to date include: Open Water Swimmer of the Year 2015; winner of the first ever Neptune Steps in 2015 – the world’s first uphill swimming race; the Scottish Open Water Champion at 2km, 5km and 10km events; Western Australia 10km Open Water Champion 2015 and the German 25km Open Water Champion 2013.