Superstar Becky gets set for four-day Zambian trek
SWIMMING superstar Rebecca Adlington is jetting off to Zambia today to begin a charity bike ride.
She is part of a team hoping to raise £50,000 for Sport In Action, a charity that looks to inspire change in impoverished communities through sport.
She will be joined by fellow British swimmers Joanne Jackson, Ross Davenport and Mel Marshall.
They will spend four days cycling from Livingstone to the Zambian capital Lusaka.
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Adlington says she is expecting to be inspired by the people she meets on her trip.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday , ahead of the ride, she told of patients from Great Ormond Street Hospital she met at the London Games.
She said: "They were the bravest, most inspirational people you will ever meet and I think it will be the same once we are out there, meeting people that are just not negative, they really inspire you and I think it is going to change all of us.
"For me I am just in my own little world, I am like 'yeah, go off swimming, in my house, getting food, doing this, doing that' and you forget that actually somewhere thousands of miles away someone hasn't got the luxury of a house.
"You forget all of that and I think it makes you realise how fortunate you are and not to moan."
The team were at Repton School in Derbyshire yesterday for a final photocall before flying out today.
Speaking to the Post earlier this month, the 23-year-old admitted she was wary about getting on a bike.
"The last time I properly rode a bike, I was about nine or ten.
"Since starting swimming so regularly and with the hours and hours of training, I have always been told to avoid bikes because it's easy to fall off them and get injured," she said
While there has been much speculation about Adlington's next move following the London 2012 Olympics, she says no firm decisions had been made – although she may concentrate more on 200m and 400m races, rather than the 800m that was previously her best event.
She said the first thing she would do is talk to her coach Bill Furniss.
She said: "At the end of the day, you don't know yourself as fully as your coach does. Bill can see things in training, he knows the work I need to do to be good at a 200m and 400m.
"Over the past goodness knows how long it has all been based on the 800m so if we were going to change things he would know whether I would be able to do that sort of stuff and at good quality.
"So I need his opinion on that more than anything, because while I might think 'yeah I could do that' he might be like 'no, I have seen 200m free people, you haven't quite got that'.
"And he is honest enough to say that or he might turn round and say, 'right, I think I can tap into your speed'.
"But that is something I don't know. I have got to get his point of view. I can't make this decision on my own. At the end of the day I don't want to train with anybody but Bill.
"It's not like I want to move clubs and try somewhere different. Bill is the only person I want to coach me if I do carry on so I can't make that decision without him."