Robyn’s #LoveSwimming Story

Returning to a childhood love of swimming gave Robyn Graham a sense of purpose and control when her mum’s cancer diagnosis left her feeling depressed and anxious.

When the strain of travelling between her mum in Blackpool and her full-time job in London became too much, Robyn gave up her job and her mental health began to deteriorate. Wanting to regain a sense of normality, she revisited her childhood love of swimming.

Robyn said: “When my mum was sick I didn’t realise how much of a bad place I was in until it hit me all at once. I needed to lose some weight and found that swimming was the one type of activity I was continually drawn to.

“I’ve always liked being in the water but increasingly it became a place where I could switch off, or spend time thinking with no distractions. Swimming was something I could do for myself that was completely in my control.

Robyn has shared her story as part of the latest #LoveSwimming campaign which aims to encourage women to embrace the mental wellbeing benefits of swimming.

She added: “I always feel great when I leave the pool and like I’ve achieved something. It gave me a sense of purpose when I was at my lowest and instilled in me a positive mind set.

“To me, the pool is a place where it doesn’t matter what you look like and swimming is an activity that anybody can do.”

Reduced symptoms

Robyn’s story comes as new research showed that 1.4 million adults in Britain felt that swimming had significantly reduced their symptoms of anxiety or depression.

The YouGov poll, commissioned by Swim England, also showed that almost half a million (492,000) British adults with mental health conditions who swim say they have reduced the number of visits to a medical professional regarding their mental health and more than 490,000 people have reduced, or no longer take, medication for their mental health condition as a result of swimming.

#LoveSwimming ‘Escape’

The industry-wide #LoveSwimming ‘Escape’ campaign centres on a film showing the extremes of fast-paced modern life, and the impact it can have on mental health, in contrast with the unique environment offered by swimming.

We are encouraging people across the country to #LoveSwimming with us. Use Poolfinder to find a pool near you.