Young swimmers had the opportunity to meet open water expert, Jack Burnell in Loch Lomond today for a special master class ahead of the Great Scottish Swim, which will be held tomorrow, Saturday 26 August.

The European Silver medallist and 2016 Olympic finalist shared his top tips with the keen youngsters to help them get the most out of their event experience.

Brothers Callum and Christopher Laird from Falkirk are fundraising for the Children's Cancer & Leukemia Group for a friend’s younger sister. Ashlee Easton, is once again fighting Neuroblastoma after previously getting the all clear. Sixteen-year-old Callum is taking on the one mile while thirteen-year-old Christopher is doing the half mile.

Charley Reid who attends Braes High School in Falkrirk with Callum and Christopher is swimming with mum Audrey to raise funds for Kidney Research, as ten years ago her Gran donated a kidney to her grandfather - it will also be her 13th Birthday on the day!

Fourteen year old Archie Sørensen from Edinburgh, a club swimmer with Warrender Baths Club, won Silver in the 5K at Scottish Nationals a couple of weeks ago in his age group and has narrowly missed qualifying for the elite race himself this year.

Most importantly to Archie this year however is raising funds for his school friend Kira Noble, who is also tragically battling Neuroblastoma. Aged just 14, she is starting treatment for her third battle against the disease, her family are fundraising through the charity Solving Kids Cancer.

Keen athlete Willum Tulloch from Sandwick, Shetland is taking on the half-mile swim to raise funds for his local lifeboat. His dad has a small fishing boat and so he respects the lifeboat and the work they do and has so far raised over £800 for them. The twelve year old is also cycling 20 miles from Balloch to Tarbet.

Cerys Venters-Scott, is a promising swimmer from Inverkeithing.  She has recently received a S14 classification for British swimming and is training as a competitive swimmer.  Two of her grandparents were open water swimmers, one swam the Tay and the other swam the Forth.

They will be joined by around 2,500 others in Scotland’s biggest open water event, with swimmers of all ages and abilities taking on a range of distance’s from the beginners half mile, all the way up to the gruelling 10K open water marathon.

Set in the stunning surroundings of one of Scotland’s most iconic locations, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, the event will mark the culmination of the 2017 Great Swim Series, which is celebrating it’s tenth year.

Elite swimmers will be tackling a fast and furious one-mile race as part of the day’s events. Some of the biggest names in open water swimming will be in attendance, Jack Burnell, who took fourth place at this years World Championships in Budapest, will take on five time German 25K champion Alex Studzinski and his countryman, 2015 25k World Champion Christian Reichert.

In the women’s race Danielle Huskisson, 2016 European 5k open water champion and 2017 World 10k open water championships finalist will take on former British 3k open water champion, Sophie Evans from Swansea and 2016 Olympic finalist, Isabelle Harle of Germany.

Gordon Watson, Chief Executive of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park  said: “One of the best things about the Great Scottish Swim is the wide variety of people who take part and getting to hear some of their stories. The event is a great way to showcase the range of opportunities there are at Loch Lomond, and across the National Park, to enjoy open water swimming and what a fantastic, world-class venue we have here for the sport.

“The success of the event at Loch Lomond over the last few years has led to the National Park being selected to host the open water swimming at the inaugural European Championships 2018 which, along with the Great Swim, is a huge boost to the local area. I wish everyone taking part the best of luck on the day and look forward to cheering them on.”

With charity stalls, retail concessions and a number of food concessions at Loch Lomond Shores, the event is a great day out for the whole family.

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “It is wonderful to see so many young swimmers taking part in the Great Scottish Swim and have the opportunity to meet elite athletes of the sport. Of course, major events such as this provide great economic benefits for Scotland but the inspiration it provides for people and their communities is invaluable. EventScotland is delighted to be supporting the Great Scottish Swim again, ahead of the Glasgow 2018 European Championships where Loch Lomond will once more provide the perfect stage for world-class open water swimming in Scotland.”

Great Swim Director Alex Jackson said, “We’re really excited to be celebrating ten years of Great Swim this year. Since 2008 the series has grown from 3,000 participants to around 20,000, which clearly demonstrates the increasing popularity of this exhilarating sport.

“As the largest and most well established series of open water events in the UK, Great Swim offers an unparalleled open water event experience.  We’re privileged to be able to finish the series in Loch Lomond, our swimmers relish the opportunity to experience this incredible location from such a unique perspective.

“We’re expecting swimmers of all ages and abilities from across Scotland, around the UK and even further afield.”

The Great Scottish Swim is the fourth and final event in the Great Swim Series, which has taken place this summer in lakes, lochs and urban docks across the UK.