This Girl Can inspires six women to sign up for Henley Mile

Six women have been inspired to become outdoor swimmers through a competition organised between Henley Swim and This Girl Can, a campaign by Sport England to encourage women to become more active.

The six have been offered a free place in the Henley Mile swim, which takes place on 9 July on the Henley Regatta rowing course. The prize also includes support and advice in the run-up to the swim.

In addition to the training they will be blogging about their preparations at This is the third year Henley Swim have worked with This Girl Can and several previous winners have continued their swimming journeys after completing their first open water miles, including Alison Baker (61) who has continued to swim outside throughout the winter and Claire Bennett (45) who is currently training for an English Channel Relay.

Henley Swim co-founder Tom Kean says: “Once again we have been overwhelmed by the numbers of women who have entered our This Girl Can competition. This is a hugely important and enjoyable initiative for us, and each year the job of whittling down the entries to our finalists gets bigger. It’s clear there are many different motivations for all our swimmers, but what it does show is how getting outside of your comfort zone adds meaning and excitement to life.”

If you are tempted by the event, it is still possible to enter the Henley Mile or Half Mile at The Henley Mile is open to men and women and there are a number of races for children aged 8 and above. All races are downstream.

Alternatively, come to the event to support the This Girl Can swimmers and to visit the Outdoor Swimmer Show. There are also other attractions and food available making it a perfect family day out by the river.

Stay up to date with The Dip, our free weekly outdoor swimming newsletter.

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.