Swim England

A nation swimming

Swim England attend London Royal Docks' second annual Pride Swim

Last weekend, Swim England’s people development director, Marie Cooper, officially opened the London Royal Docks’ second annual Pride Swim. Here she explains her experiences of the event and her hopes for Pride Swims and other LGBTQ+ events in the future.

What did you do at the London Docks Pride Swim?

I met with Polly Shute, founder of Pride Swims, who introduced me to the wider team. We discussed the purpose of the swim and how it would be one of a series of events running throughout the summer. I also met some of the swimmers, discussed their experiences, why they came along and the importance of the event.

Why is it important that you, Swim England’s people development director, attended?

I think it’s really important that the LGBTQ+ community group understands Swim England cares and is interested in the work that events such as Pride Swims are doing. Even though we’ve supported them by sponsoring the events and getting involved in the launch, it is important that they know that their national governing body wants to help them achieve their goals.

How can we continue to support Pride Swims grow?

There is clearly a significant amount of passion behind these events. It is the responsibility of organisations like Swim England and other aquatic bodies to elevate them and provide a platform to ensure it gets the level of attention it deserves.

How can people get involved? Do they have to swim?

No they don’t need to swim. There were several people who were happy to be there without getting in the water. There is always space for volunteers, just going and lending a hand. Whether that is showing people where to go, taking photos for social media or just making sure people are having a good time!

What would you hope for the rest of Pride Swims’ events?

I hope that they have a really similar atmosphere to what I experienced. The event was really welcoming with passionate people who have a love of the water and a clear pride of being a part of the LGBTQ+ community. I just want people to have fun and make the most of the summer weather – whenever it comes!

To find out more about how you can get involved please visit www.prideswim.org

If you’d like to take part in your own Pride Swim but can’t make any of the available dates, there are several packs available that will be free of charge to Swim England members. Please contact [email protected] for more information.