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Sunday 21st November, 2021
Kendal Leisure Centre - Kendal
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Event Details

An exhilarating journey through rivers, lakes and the sea as seen through the goggles of swimmers from around the world. Hosts Colin Hill and Ella Foote share their infectious enthusiasm for outdoor swimming and will be joined on stage by some incredible swimmers who will be sharing their stories.

We'll be hearing from Guinness World Record holder Cath Pendleton, who in 2020 became the first female to swim a mile inside the Antarctic Polar Circle! Star of BBC 'Our Lives' documentary 'The Merthyr Mermaid’, Cath is a single mother to two girls, she works for the NHS' smoking cessation team - and manages to fit in her impressive training into her day-to-day life. Cath's longest swimming challenge was in 2018, the English Channel, solo." Hear about Cath's incredible swimming journey, from discovering the joy of cold water in her local swimming spot Keeper's Pond, to training for her Antarctic swim in a freezer in her shed!

'The Adaptive Athlete' Sophie Etheridge will also be joining us to share how swimming has helped her, and how she has helped others access the sport. Sophie developed Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) after a car knocked her off her bike as she travelled to triathlon training. A decade later and this September she took on the Windermere Two Way Swim, completing this huge challenge in 16 hours and 41 minutes. Sophie created the Adaptive and Open Water Swimmers (ADOWS) group on Facebook in 2020, she says "Over the past year I realised how little information there is about disabled open water swimmers and I decided I wanted to change that. I took to social media and started the Adaptive/Disabled Open Water Swimmers group; I wasn’t expecting much to come from it but in January 2021 the group exploded. I had more than 150 member requests in the space of 24 hours!’

Also joining us will be Maltese swimmer Neil Agius. The former Olympic swimmer beat the previous world record for the longest, continuous, unassisted, current-neutral swim along a single-segment natural route in an ocean, sea or bay (pending ratification). Neil completed a 125.6km, 52-hour swim between Linosa and Gozo, one of the 21 islands that make up the Maltese archipelago. The record swim was held as part of a campaign to raise awareness of plastic waste in the sea.

Lake District swimmer Winnie Poaty learnt to swim as an adult and she now swims year round, and especially loves the ice! In May she ran Winnie’s Mental Well-being event (in conjunction with the National Trust) which celebrates the effect of swimming outdoors on mental health, and this summer she passed her open water lifeguard qualification and has since introduced many other people safely into swimming outdoors, including the one and only Jack Whitehall! She is currently setting up the Win Outdoor Foundation, an umbrella organisation that will help black, brown and low income families swim but also access the goodness of outdoors. She'll join us to talk about learning to swim, the importance of swimming for mental health, and the work that remains to be done to show that swimming should be for everyone, regardless of skin colour.

About our presenters:

Colin Hill is the Director of Ullswater Swim Place, he is an inductee of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame. Colin has been organising open water events for well over a decade with everything from winter swim races through to the Olympics. A passionate long distance & winter swimmer who also loves coaching & guiding swimmers of all abilities. 

Ella Foote is the contributing editor for Outdoor Swimmer magazine, a journalist, writer, editor and year-round outdoor swimmer. She strives to break down barriers, challenge ideas and champions just doing it anyway. Her love of swimming and storytelling takes her all over the country, meeting a variety of people, from all different backgrounds.

This session is presented by Zone3 and supported by Outdoor Swimmer Magazine, Ullswater Swim Place and The Dip Advisor.

Doors will open 30 minutes prior to the session start time. This session will run for two hours.

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