NOWCA takes Park Run concept to the water

Open water swimming is about to experience the Park Run treatment thanks to an initiative from NOWCA, the National Open Water Coaching Association.

The Park Run is a regular 5km run held in public parks around the UK (and increasingly around the world) every Saturday morning. It’s free to enter and every competitor’s time is published within a few hours on the Park Run website.
NOWCA will be doing something similar with open water swimming. The NOWCASwim400 is a weekly free timed 400m open water swim taking place at NOWCA affiliated lakes around the UK.
The timed swim, and quick feedback of results, is made possible using a personal safety and timing iD wristband.
“The bands really help lake operators and swimmers as they accurately record the times of each swimmer and give operators up-to-the-minute details of exactly who is in their lake at any one time,” says Rick Kiddle, NOWCA Director. “In addition, we’re being strongly supported by Cherry Active who will be providing prizes to the best improvers each month.”
The wristband also contains personal details and medical details in case of emergency. It can also act as a motivational training aid in a sport which previously relied on each swimmer to manually write down their times.
There are now 20 NOWCA affiliated lakes across the UK and the association has 25,000 members.
“Our aim is to help grow the sport and make it safer and more fun for every swimmer,” says Rick.
NOWCA lakes can be found at

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I created Outdoor Swimmer in 2011 (initially as H2Open Magazine) as an outlet for my passion for swimming outdoors. I've been a swimmer and outdoor swimmer for as long as I remember. Swimming has made a huge difference to my life and I want to share its joys and benefits with as many people as possible. I am also the author of Swim Wild & Free: A Practical Guide to Swimming Outdoors 365 a Year and I provide one-to-one support to swimmers through Swim Mentoring.