With the colder months approaching, Beyond Swim have launched their guidance for accredited venues to support them in delivering safe cold water swimming opportunities.
Beyond Swim is a Triathlon England initiative supported by Swim England and Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS UK), with the aim to support venues in delivering safe and enjoyable opportunities for swimmers and to grow participation in the sport.
Open water swimming has seen an increase in popularity in recent years because of Covid-19 lockdowns seeing more people explore the great outdoors whilst swimming pools were closed.
Additionally, the physical and mental health benefits have become better understood, meaning more people are choosing open water swimming for a range of reasons.
Now, as the seasons change and the water starts to cool, Beyond Swim have published their guidance, that has been produced by Triathlon England, University of Portsmouth, Swim Safety Ltd, RLSS UK, Swim England and Ullswater Swim Place, to support accredited venues in delivering safe, all-year-round open water swimming.
Beyond Swim accreditation is a process to support venues in their safety documentation and operations, as well as provide a mark of trust for swimmers to find venues in which to swim.
Through the release of this guidance, Beyond Swim accredited venues will have a framework of safety protocols and considerations to follow that have been defined as a result of the understanding of the physiological impacts of cold water immersion.
The guidance also supports venues in how they can best aid swimmers before, during and after they swim to help them to enjoy the benefits that cold water swimming can bring.
For more information about safe open water swimming and how to become an accredited venue, visit the Beyond Swim website: https://beyondswim.org/.
Xander Brice, Beyond Swim lead and National Development Manager for Open Water Swimming at British Triathlon said: “I’m really excited that we’re now in a position to launch our Cold Water Swimming Guidance ahead of this winter swimming season.
“Being able to support our venues in delivering safe, enjoyable experiences for their swimmers is central to the work that Beyond Swim does and is a really important step in growing open water swimming as an open and inclusive opportunity for all.
“We’re passionate about helping everyone to experience the benefits of safe open water swimming and having top-quality venues in which to do this all-year-round is really important.”
Professor Greg Whyte OBE said: “Cold open water swimming is linked to a myriad of physical, mental, emotional and social health benefits, however, safety is of critical importance.
“The Beyond Swim Cold Water Swimming Guidance provides open water venues with a gold standard tool to optimise the safety of their swimmers. Whether you are a seasoned cold open water swimmer or newcomer, the Beyond Swim badge provides the assurance of quality so that you can enjoy cold open water swimming safely.”