Commonwealth gold medalist and world swimming champion Karen Pickering has been appointed by Close as the brand ambassador for their award-winning Pop-in Swim collection.

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 four times World champion, broke two World Records and represented her country at four consecutive Olympic Games.

Since her retirement from competitive swimming, Karen has been extremely busy. In 2005, she established her own swim schools and she is also a motivational and after dinner speaker as well as a TV swim commentator. Her most recent appointment is as Swim School Manager heading up Swim Development for Ardingly College in West Sussex.

Hester MacAnara, Business Development Director at Close says “We are so thrilled to have Karen on board, she has a wealth of experience to bring from every perspective; a professional swimmer at the highest level, an early years swim teacher, swim school owner and last but not least busy working mum. We are delighted she has chosen to partner with us and will be a great asset for the brand. We have big plans for 2019 and beyond and we are sure with Karen onboard we can build on our many successes and achieve our ambitions within early years swim!

As a single mum of twin girls, Karen is familiar with the demands of juggling parenthood with a busy career and she appreciates what products work best in the water and what children and parents need to build confidence. Karen says “Parents need products that offer amazing protection and peace of mind in the water whilst being quick and easy to get on and off, for me the Pop-in Swim collection has it all. I love the considered designs, high quality fabrics, and beautiful gender-neutral prints. Since becoming a mum myself I have definitely thought a lot more about the environment when making any purchase, so their Endangered Animals Collection and pledge via the 1% For the Planet membership was so appealing, I am really looking forward to working with such a great brand and team.”

For further information, please contact, @closeparent,