More than 2,600 swimmers took part in the Great Scottish Swim in Loch Lomond over the August bank holiday weekend this year, the largest field yet for this event. But Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park say that merely reflects a growing interest in open water swimming across the 22 lochs and 50 rivers it manages.
Open water swimming is an activity the Park is committed to supporting and it has a dedicated page on its website for the activity.
Gordon Watson, chief executive at Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, says: “It’s been fantastic to see the growth in open water swimming, with people from around the globe travelling here to compete. We have seen a real increase in numbers taking part in outdoor swimming events in the area, which is great news for the National Park bringing a welcome boost to the local economy. We are thrilled that Loch Lomond has been selected to host the open water swimming element of the inaugural European Championships in 2018.”
As for the Great Scottish Swim itself, the move three years ago to Loch Lomond has clearly been beneficial.
Alex Jackson, project manager of the Great Scottish Swim says: “Since the Great Scottish Swim moved to Loch Lomond three years ago the number of people taking part annually has increased from 1,900 to 2,600. The opportunity to swim in such an iconic location continues to resonate with our swimmers not just in Scotland, but around the UK, and we hope to welcome even more to the event in 2016. Swimming is a fantastic way to keep fit and we appreciate the work that Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park are doing to encourage people of all ages to safely take to the water.”
Scottish Swimming is also fully behind the growth of open water swimming in the country and has launched a number of initiatives to help swimmers including its Swim Social platform that provides opportunities for individuals to try out the sport in a safe, supportive and fun environment.
“Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park is one of the great places in Scotland where people can experience open water swimming in a wonderful natural setting; we saw that a few weeks ago when our National Championships and Mile Challenge events were held at Loch Venacher,” says Forbes Dunlop, chief executive of Scottish Swimming says. “We have seen the sport growing in both popularity and stature both at performance level and mass participation events.”
Find out more: www.lochlomond-trossachs.org