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Energised Clive Newton urges hesitant open water swimmers to 'give it a go'

Feeling ‘energised, bright, and ready to take on whatever the day throws at you’ is how Clive Newton describes his experience of open water swimming.

The Birmingham native took up open water swimming in March 2020 as a result of the pandemic and subsequent closure of indoor pools. “When my local Liverpool pool closed, I was at a loss for something to do to keep myself fit”, he said.

He explains that he initially took up cycling at this time and would complete a ten-mile loop along the banks of the River Mersey and through Liverpool city centre.

However, he explains: “One day, I noticed a couple of people changing into swimming stuff. I asked them about it – they told me – and the ‘seed’ was planted.”

Since then Clive has enjoyed the benefits of open water swimming on a near-daily basis. “On good weeks, I’ll be in every day – but most weeks it’s about 4 times. I go in early – 7 am to 7:30 am and depending on the temperature, I’m in for a minimum of 20 minutes and usually up to 50 minutes – swimming is great for cardio-vascular regularity.”

He continues, elaborating on the many positives that arise from his daily dip and why he feels that there’s ‘no contest’ between swimming outdoors and in an indoor pool.

“Just [that] feeling of feeling fit! There is no doubt that at the end of the swim you feel energised and bright and active and ready to take on whatever the day throws at you” he said.

‘Go for it’

As a relative newcomer to the world of open water swimming, Clive’s advice for anyone tempted to try it for themselves is to ‘go for it’.

He commented: “Well, of course, I’d say ‘go for it’. It is virtually certain that I will not return to swimming pools in the foreseeable future – there is no contest.

“And now, having seemingly survived the winter and maintained the swim regularly – even in the coldest times – there seems to be no reason why you need to revert to pool swimming, even in the winter.”

Having the correct equipment is vital when swimming outdoors and you can read our full guide on equipment essentials here.

Clive details the kit he uses when venturing out by saying: “I wear the full kaboodle until the temperature starts to breach 10 degrees and above. That means a 3mm neoprene strapped swim cap plus a bright latex swim cap on top, a 5/3mm wetsuit, 5 mm swim gloves and 3mm swim boots.

Clive also has a youtube channel where he writes songs and creates videos to go alongside them. They span a range of topics and one of his recent editions details his open water swimming experiences.

You can read more about Swim England’s health and safety advice for open water swimming by visiting our open water hub here.