The Great North Swim weekend took place in a stunning location at Brockhole on Windermere in the heart of the Lake District. The event is incredibly well-organised with lots to do for the whole family. This year, it also had the added bonus of absolutely glorious weather and water that was 20 degrees, making conditions perfect for the swimmers, if a little warm for those doing the run and swim events.
Deborah says “Remarkably, we both found the swim much easier than we expected. We swim outdoors most weeks all year round with a group in the Lake District, but to build up our stamina, we had to do pool lengths too. It’s definitely much more fun swimming outdoors in those beautiful surroundings with lots of people around you encouraging you on. There was a fantastic spirit of camaraderie and an incredible amount of money raised for many different charities. We enjoyed it so much, we’ve already signed up for next year!”
The benefits of swimming, and especially wild-swimming were debated at the event by a group of doctors and ex political Spin Doctor and now leading podcast presenter and broadcaster, Alistair Campbell, himself an enthusiastic open water swimmer to help with his own struggle with mental health issues.
Swimming as Medicine was launched by Swim England and the Royal College of GPs in March of this year. It recommends that health practitioners encourage their patients to try swimming and aquatic activity to support both physical and mental health challenges. You can find out more here: https://www.swimming.org/swimengland/swimming-as-medicine-launch/
“I cannot recommend open water swimming highly enough” continues Deborah, “I’ve discovered some beautiful places, made some wonderful friends and supported my own wellbeing. Obviously, there are risks, and I would encourage anyone interested in trying open water swimming to find their local swimming group. There are lots of them all around the UK, along with acclimatisation and safety courses. We never swim alone and are always very careful when swimming in the winter months.”
You can still donate to support the Lighthouse Club via Deborah’s Just Giving Page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/deborah-orr7