Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Olympic Silver Medallist & World Champion Keri-Anne Payne Launches Inaugural Come and Try Open Water Swimming Sessions at Falkirk’s newly opened Helix Lagoon

"Coach-led sessions are a great way for people to get into the sport and enjoy swimming with likeminded people in this unique facility" Forbes Dunlop, Chief Executive, Scottish Swimming

Keri-Anne Payne was on hand to lead the launch of Scottish Swimming’s Come and Try Open Water Swimming Sessions at the newly opened facilities of the Lagoon at the Helix in Falkirk. Scottish Swimming, in partnership with Falkirk Community Trust, Triathlon Scotland and the Great Scottish Swim, have organised four one-hour Come and Try sessions on Sunday 8th June, which will be coach-led and held in a safe, supportive and fun environment at the Helix Lagoon, built with open water swimming in mind.

The first session, Come and Try Beginners, is aimed at those who can swim, but have never made the transition from pool to the open water. Come and Try Intermediate is aimed at those who have experience in open water and would benefit from a little reminder and confidence boost, while trying and experiencing the great new facilities at the Helix Park.

All four sessions are now fully subscribed to the delight of Forbes Dunlop, Chief Executive of Scottish Swimming: "The Helix is a fantastic new venue which is perfect for open water swimming. Athletes like Keri-Anne have given the sport considerable profile since its inclusion in the Olympics in 2008 and we know there is growing demand for such facilities, which provide a safe environment for the public to take the plunge. Coach-led sessions are a great way for people to get into the sport and enjoy swimming with likeminded people in this unique facility."

Sharon MacDonald, Scottish Swimming’s Director of Development, is pleased to work in partnership with Falkirk Community Trust the Great Swim to offer swimmers the opportunity to try the new facility and get more people participating in open water swimming: "We are delighted to run these sessions for the first time, giving people the opportunity to try open water swimming in a safe environment. Open water swimming has all the health benefits of indoor swimming, such as developing cardiovascular fitness and muscle strength, as well as improving flexibility, coordination and boosting energy levels. It is an excellent activity for weight control and stamina building. Because swimming does not impact on the joints like running and similar exercises, it is good for people with back or joint problems, who may not be comfortable with land based exercise."

Alex Jackson, event director of the Great Swim Series, said: “The Come and Try sessions at the Helix Lagoon provide a great opportunity for swimmers of all abilities to dive in and try a different sport. The Lagoon is the perfect training ground for those looking for an open water challenge like the Great Scottish Swim which takes place on 23 August. Entry is now open for the event which will be held in the picturesque surroundings of Loch Lomond with a distance to suit all.”

Falkirk Community Trust is looking forward to offer more open water sessions at the Helix Lagoon in the future. More information about future sessions can be found out at the Helix’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HelixFalkirk.

More information on the Come and Try Sessions can be found at www.scottishswimming.com/comeantry.

While the event on 8 June is fully subscribed, those looking for additional Come and Try Sessions can register their interest at the same site or directly at www.scottishswimming.com/comeandtryregister.

More information about open water swimming and all participation activities offered by Scottish Swimming can be found at www.scottishswimming.com

Images from the event can be found on our Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/scottishswimming/sets/72157644659319161/

Audio Clips from Keri-Anne Payne and particpants can be found here: https://soundcloud.com/scottishswimming/sets/come-and-try-open-water-session-at-the-helix-with-keri-anne-payne