Karen Pickering MBE

During her 20 year international career Karen won 35 major championship medals and 38 National titles despite breaking her back in a car accident in 1996. She was 4 times World champion, broke 2 World Records and competed at 4 consecutive Olympic Games.

Since her retirement from competitive swimming in 2005 Karen has become a popular motivational & after dinner speaker and commentates for BBC 5 Live & Channel 4 on swimming (able bodied & disability) diving & open water swimming.

In 2013 Karen founded her charity The Karen Pickering SWIM Foundation to run alongside her swim schools in order that she can offer bursaries to those who might otherwise be unable to afford swimming lessons.

She is also passionate about giving elite athletes a voice and is Chair of the British Athletes Commission as well sitting on the executive boards of the English Institute of Sport & the BOA-Athlete Commission.

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Karen Pickering SWIM Foundation

Swimming lessons are sadly sometimes seen as a luxury not a necessity and therefore are not a priority for some families particularly when times are tough financially.

In 2013 Karen set up The Karen Pickering SWIM Foundation to offer bursaries towards swimming lessons for those who might otherwise be unable to afford them.

Children & adults can apply for these bursaries for lessons in Ipswich, Brighton & Norwich so no one in these areas need miss out on learning this life skill or from getting the health benefits & enjoyment out of swimming.

KPSF is also in the process of applying for grants for various swimming projects & we will keep you updated here on the progress.

If you would like to donate to The Karen Pickering SWIM Foundation please email

Registered Charity Number: 1153367

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