Swim England

A nation swimming

Swim England support launch of LGBTQ-inclusive Pride Swim 2024

Swim England is supporting Pride Swim 2024 which will launch during the Speedo Aquatics GB Swimming Championships at the London Aquatics Centre on Saturday 6 April.

Pride Swim is a queer-led initiative developed and run by Out & Wild Events, IMPROPER Agency and community group Out to Swim which aims to connect the LGBTQ+ community and allies together through swim sessions.

The community-based project aims to get thousands of people swimming and connecting with others to support their physical and mental health, encourage inclusion and raise money for charity partner Switchboard LGBTQIA+ support line, in their 50th year.

Pride Swim is backed and supported by Swim England and London Marathon Events with core event partners Everyone Active and Love Open Water running swims across the summer.

Everyone Active are setting up family events at ten leisure centres, with Love Open Water hosting at least four events.

Events will take place across the UK, with leisure pools and open water sites in locations including London, Bristol, Leeds, Nottingham, Manchester, Derby and Sunderland.

Pride Swims are open to all in the LGBTQ+ community and supportive allies. Swims at Everyone Active will be family swim events designed for children and parents/carers to get involved.

There will also be the opportunity for participants to swim wherever they live during June, July and August (traditionally known as Pride season) where they can simply register for a Pride Swim pack.

All swimmers who sign up get to choose their distance, and will receive a medal and a downloadable certificate – some will get free swim caps.

The swims are not competitive, but are all about taking part. Swimmers can also purchase Pride Swim merchandise, including swim caps and you can also choose to fundraise for the Switchboard LGBTQIA+ helpline.

Embracing the LGBTQ+ community

Speaking ahead of the launch, founder of Pride Swim and Out & Wild Festival, Polly Shute, said: “We are really excited to roll out Pride Swims across the UK this summer.

“These events are a great way to bring communities together, with a real focus on wellbeing.

“We have worked hard with our partners to ensure the swims are open to all, including families as well as adults and that they embrace the whole LGBTQ+ community and allies.”

Swim England head of diversity and inclusion, Mike Hawkes, added: “Swim England is proud to be supporting Pride Swims to deliver their events across the UK.

“It is imperative our sports champion inclusivity and equality and by working together we can help to connect the LGBTQ+ community and their allies through aquatics and raise the visibility of LGBTQ+ members within our sports.”

CEO of charity partner Switchboard, Steph Fuller, said: “We are delighted to be working with Pride Swim on these events, and encouraging people, whatever their body or prior experience, to enjoy taking part in swimming.”

The first session takes place at the London Aquatics Centre, home of the 2024 Speedo Aquatics GB Swimming Championships at 2pm on Saturday 6 April.

For more information on Pride Swim 2024 and to sign up for any of the swims please visit www.prideswim.org