December 2023 ‘The Gift Of Swimming’

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As the year flows to an end, it is easy to become reflective. December is a challenging month in many ways. In the northern hemisphere many readers are, like me, cold-water swimming to cope with short, dark days and changeable weather. While many of you may celebrate Christmas, lots of our community don’t and for some it can be a stressful and upsetting time. So this issue I wanted to focus on the gifts that swimming gives us. I am very fortunate to have learnt to swim at a young age, which has given me a life of joy in and around water. When I started to think of swimming as a gift, I realised how much it has brought to my life: a career, a hobby, a sport, friendship, challenge, joy, lessons, play and so much more. Have a think about your swimming and what it has gifted you…

In this issue Rowan Clarke explores how sponsored swims and charity communities have enabled more people to learn to swim, Pippa Best shares how sea swimming changed her life and Elaine K Howley shares a personal story of an unexpected gift of swimming in Mongolia. In our Gear section we test long sleeve swimwear for cooler swims, and in Travel, Abigail Whyte heads to Snowdonia for a swimming and pilates weekend. There is also some great technique and training content to see you through the winter season.

If you celebrate Christmas, I hope you have a lovely holiday and find the time for a festive swim too. Looking forward to another year of brilliant swimming in 2024.

Enjoy the issue!

Ella Foote, Editor

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Read our Christmas Gift Guide here.

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