Thursday, June 04, 2015

Last chance to 'come and try' Open Water swimming at The Helix 6 June 2015

"Whether you are an experienced open water swimmer looking to improve your skills or someone who has always thought about giving it a try then make sure you book one of the courses on Saturday the 6th of June"

Anne Kane is a journalist and mum of two young children and she lives in Stirling.  We’ve asked her to look at a Scottish Swimming event coming to the Helix in Falkirk on Saturday 6th June. 

Since The Helix Park in Falkirk opened in 2013 it has become a valuable resource in my life. I regularly meet up with my mum and sister, and we take the kids for a walk around the manmade lagoon, to the park for a play or for a visit to the stunning Kelpies. The lagoon was one of the first resources to be finished at the park and from the moment it was built I have looked at it with both a mix of excitement and trepidation at the idea of going for a swim in it.

Like most people, I haven’t got a clue where to start with outdoor swimming in Scotland.  I’m fine in Spain and at my local authority swimming pool, but surely Scotland’s just too, well, completely and utterly freezing. 

That’s why Scottish Swimming regularly organise “come and try” sessions around the country.  Last year a session at the Helix was a huge success.

Beginners and more seasoned swimmers have another opportunity to swim the lagoon on Saturday 6th June.   I caught up with Scottish Swimming’s Jayne Smith to find out more:

“The Helix lagoon is a fantastic facility for people who can swim, but haven’t had the confidence to make the transition from the indoor swimming pool to open water.  There’s a beginners’ session aimed at giving you the confidence to explore open swimming further.  A wet suit is compulsory but you can hire one on the day. Swimming outside is not as cold as you think and once you get going you will warm up in no time.”

“There’s an intermediate session for more experienced swimmers who already have outdoor experience, but want to improve their technique.  Experienced coaches will teach you everything from effective breathing to stroke development and navigating buoys. It’s also a great way to meet likeminded people and the session will also help you if you’re training for an event or competition.” 

“This year juniors aged 10 to 15 also get the chance to join in and taste some open water fun. If they can swim at least 200 metres they can take part in our Come and Try Juniors session. It’s a beginner session lasting one hour and is a great way to experience swimming outside in a safe and fun environment, whether they want to be competitive or just give it a try.”

There is something appealing and liberating about the idea of outdoor swimming and I’m keen to see if I enjoy it. There are swimming clubs (called Masters Clubs) all over the country with members taking to the indoor pools and lochs of Scotland either competitively or for fun every weekend.  Later on in the summer there are events at Loch Venachar and Loch Lomond, definitely a level up from the Helix!

So whether you are an experienced open water swimmer looking to improve your skills or someone who has always thought about giving it a try then make sure you book one of the courses on Saturday the 6th of June. 

The bookings for The Helix close today - please click here or email jayne.smith@scottishswimming.com for more information or to discuss late bookings. 

 

 

 

 

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