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New figures show open water swimming is on the rise

News and Updates

The number of people taking part in open water swimming is increasing, according to latest figures.

Research from the Sport England Active Lives survey has revealed that more than 4.1 million people swam in lakes, lochs, rivers and seas between November 2017 and 2018.

The amount of people who regularly went open water swimming in the previous 28 days also rose.

The figures showed that 266,500 people went open water swimming in the last 28 days between November 2016 and 2017 – but that had risen to 490,660 between November 2017 and 2018.

Sharon Lock, Swim England Open Water Development Officer, welcomed the latest figures.

She said: “We’re delighted that so many more people are taking the plunge and trying open water swimming.

“It’s great to see the numbers of regular open water swimmers is also on the increase.

“Open water swimming is liberating, adventurous and unique – and that’s what makes it so appealing to so many.

“There are many additional health benefits to swimming in open water, opposed to a pool, as well.

“The freedom of swimming outdoors leaves many people feeling happy and relaxed.

“It’s easy to get started as well and there are many clubs, venues and events that offer opportunities for beginners and more experienced open water swimmers alike.”

To find out more about getting started in open water swimming and what equipment you need, visit the get started section on the Swim England open water hub.

• Why not sign up for a free Just Swim membership to receive advice on how to improve your open water swimming? Find out more here.

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