The organisers of the sixth UK Cold Water Swimming Championships, which take place at Tooting Bec Lido, south London, on 24 January 2015, have pledged to raise money for two charities that provide safe water around the world. With water at the core of a swimmer’s daily routine, the innovative programmes run by International Inspiration and Frank Water are a reminder that, while we use water for leisure, for many safe water cannot be taken for granted.
International Inspiration is a development charity using sport to engage and inspire young people and marginalised groups in developing countries. Their SPLASH programme teaches children to swim, addressing the high drowning mortality rates in Asia, where more than 100,000 children each year die from drowning.
The Championships also support Frank Water, which provides access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, working with the poorest and most vulnerable communities in India.
Event organisers South London Swimming Club (SLSC) were the first to introduce cold water swimming championships to the UK, and in 2008 hosted the World Championships – the first time they had been held outside Finland. While many new events concentrate on the tougher aspects of the sport, SLSC aims to attract more people to winter swimming by focusing on fun and friendship. As well as the traditional races and relays, the 2015 Championships will also feature the Big Splash, a group jump-in that will be the focus of fundraising and the perfect introduction for newcomers to the sport.
Registration for the Championships opens on 15 November 2014. For more information see www.slsc.org.uk/cwsc