'Swim to the Sea' for over 55’s makes a splash!

A new scheme for people aged 55 and over which will help them enjoy the freedom and exhilaration of swimming in open water, is already oversubscribed.

Wild East Devon and LED Community Leisure have joined forces to run swimming sessions to give people the confidence to swim in open water and in the sea.

The 10 weekly sessions are run by qualified swim teachers and beach lifeguards. The sessions start at Sidmouth swimming pool before progressing to the sea. Swimmers enjoy a social swim, improve their skills and water confidence with new techniques.  There’s lots of help and support from other sea swimmers and lifeguard owner of Jurassic Paddle Sports, Guy Russell (including how to get into and out of the provided wetsuits!). Every session ends with a warming cuppa and slice of cake.

Cllr Geoff Jung, environment portfolio holder at East Devon District Council said:

The ‘Swim to the Sea’ project is proving hugely popular. The course is already full because people see it as a brilliant opportunity to get more active and embrace the natural environment.

Sea swimming has many benefits, improving people’s health and mental wellbeing, as well as being fun and invigorating! These sessions show that, no matter what your age, swimming in the sea is achievable and enjoyable.

Swimmers were excited about their new adventure. Gill said:

I used to regularly swim in the sea but I’m nervous about swimming without a companion so this will help my confidence and be aware of tides.

June said:

I really want to get back to swimming. I haven’t been in the sea for years. Swimming alone is a worry for me, so I want to swim with others and feel safe.

Denise said:

My husband doesn’t swim and I don’t want to swim on my own. I really want to swim outside and out of season when it’s not so busy, to improve my fitness.

Lesley said:

The swimming was everything I hoped it would be and more. There’s even the chance to learn front crawl, which I’ve never done properly before.

The scheme is funded by Sport England through the ‘Connecting Actively to Nature’ project and is being delivered by Wild East Devon, LED Community Leisure, Jurassic Paddle Sports and Active Devon. It encourages people aged 55 and over to get outside and be more active. To take part, people must be able to swim for a minimum of 20 metres.

It is hoped that more sessions will take place next Spring. To register your interest for future sessions, please email outreach@ledleisure.co.uk