Coach Laura Nesbitt wanted to give her swimming team something to keep them motivated – what better than swimming outdoors?
Following my English Channel relay in 2015 I introduced the Cheddar Kingfishers to the delights of swimming outdoors. It’s something I never really experienced when I was a competitive swimmer, but with the rise in popularity of triathlon and wild swimming I wanted to give the team that I love something different to keep them motivated through the stress of exams and growing up – and hopefully getting a bit of team bonding done in the mix.
Last year the suggestion of swimming outdoors even in the summer months sent shudders down their spines. However, with Cheddar masters club swimmers completing the Dart 10k and Burgh Island and two boys winning the Clevedon Long Swim non-wetsuited last year, the seed was planted. Selling the idea that outdoor swimming was exciting all year round, however, was harder than I thought!
But when Clevedon Marine Lake went into double digits and the sun actually felt warm on my skin when I got out the water, I knew I had to jump at the opportunity to get the team in. Just in time for the Easter holidays, I organised a trip to the lake for a quick dip followed by hot chocolate and burger and chips. After that first swim I posted a video on social media of the team getting into the water. The sky was blue, the lake was still and it looked very inviting – the video was viewed 83 times by the team and the following week numbers at the lake doubled!
With the increased level of interest this year we have swimmers entering the 750m taster event, 1.5k and 3k at the Regional Championships in Weymouth. We’ll be meeting again at the lake and getting some sea swims in during the May half-term for race preparation and team bonding.
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