April 2024,  EXTRA,  NEWS

April in the swim community

NOWCA’s Sub10 Club – encouraging swimmers to brave water temperatures below 10 degrees – surpasses last season and Mental Health Swims have even more dips for the spring. Stay up to date with our outdoor swimming community news for April 2024.

NOWCA’s Sub10 Swims Surpass Last Season!

Our Sub10 Club encourages swimmers to brave water temperatures below 10 degrees Celsius. Running from November to March each year, this programme prioritises safety while fostering a love for cold water swimming.

As part of the Sub10 Club, swimmers get the chance to earn reward badges and get access to resources like our cold water safety guide and online cold water induction course, both immensely popular among swimmers. Many Sub10 Club venues hosted onsite talks and courses, ensuring swimmers were well informed about the benefits and risks of winter swimming.

What began in 2019 with just five venues and 1,400 swims, our Sub10 Club has grown into a thriving community. Five years on, there are 22 participating venues, over 3,000 swimmers and the tally at the end of February 2024 stood at over 21,000 Sub10 swims – already exceeding last winter season’s total! Several swimmers were also awarded the Sub10 Centurion Bronze badge to celebrate their 100th Sub10 swim! 

One Centurion badge recipient, Anita, perfectly captured the essence of our Sub10 Club: “I’ve always been rubbish at sport; can’t run fast, can’t catch or hit a ball, bad at team sports, always last to be picked for  games. So I’m proud, in my 60s, to achieve a badge, particularly as cold water swimming counts as an ‘extreme sport’, and I love it!” 

This season’s Sub10 Club ends on 31 March, but it will be back again in November. Encourage your local venue to get registered so they’re ready to take part, it’s free to become a part of the NOWCA network! Simply direct them to nowca.org.

Mental Health Swims launches new swims for spring

Spring is here, the weather is getting warmer, the days are now longer and spending time outdoors in nature has proven benefits to our mental health. It may even feel like the right time to dip a toe and try something new.

If you struggle with mental health challenges, why not sign up for one of our mental health peer support swim groups? You can find your nearest swim on our swim map.

We are currently adding new locations to our swim map as new swim hosts are completing their training. Some of the new locations include, Pickmere, Crosby, Andark Lake and Millarochy Bay. Keep an eye on our Instagram page for more new location announcements. 

Mental Health Swims is an award-winning, mental health peer support community. We host free, safe and inclusive swim meet ups nationwide. We welcome anyone along to our swim meet ups and we are proud to have more than 150 swim locations UK-wide and beyond. Participants can swim, dip, paddle or toe-dip and can do what they are most comfortable with – we are firmly focused on dips, not distance and community, not competition. We have trained more than 350 volunteers to facilitate inclusive, safe and welcoming swims.

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Outdoor Swimmer is the magazine for outdoor swimmers by outdoor swimmers. We write about fabulous wild swimming locations, amazing swim challenges, swim training advice and swimming gear reviews.