Beyond Swim launched to bring the open water swimming community together The brand-new initiative, Beyond Swim, is designed to offer something for every member of the open water swimming community by providing safe, enjoyable and consistent experiences, regardless of ability. Beyond Swim is the creation of Triathlon England and is supported by Swim England and the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS UK), who have combined their expertise and safety guidance to give swimmers peace of mind when they are participating in the sport they love, and encouraging newcomers to the community. Bringing venues and swimmers together, Beyond Swim provides accreditation for venues ensuring they have met the highest standards of safety and professionalism, which will foster a lively open water swimming community, with high-quality experiences and industry-leading guidance. For swimmers, the initiative not only offers discounts at accredited venues, but it incentivises activity with additional benefits available the more you swim. Once has a swimmer has clocked up 10 swims, they can choose from exclusive merchandise discounts and sustainable rewards such as planting trees, or giving donations to charity. Open water swimming has become one of the country’s fastest growing sports, appealing to a wide audience of multisport athletes, health-conscious casual swimmers and those looking for a new challenge, who are interested in the physical and mental health benefits associated with the sport. Swimming in open water has been proven to have a number of health benefits, from increasing circulation to improving your mental wellbeing. During the 2020 pandemic, an increasing number of people turned to this activity as a way of relieving stress, clearing their minds whilst improving their physical health. The initiative will offer participants a valued open water swimming experience beyond what they have previously encountered, encouraging people of all abilities to experience the benefits of open water swimming in exciting and inclusive environments. Andy Salmon, Triathlon England CEO, said: “It’s fantastic to be able to officially launch Beyond Swim. We are committed to providing the best possible experience for anyone wanting to take part in open water swimming and we believe that Beyond Swim is the best way to facilitate this. “The closure of facilities during lockdowns and the growing awareness of the physical and mental wellbeing benefits of open water swimming has seen ever-growing demand for well organised and safety-accredited venues. Beyond Swim is all about supporting venues and building a community of open water swimmers of all abilities so that an ever growing number of people can realise the joy of open water swimming. “I look forward with great excitement to seeing the initiative grow and support venues and swimmers to enjoy great experiences through open water swimming.” Jon Glenn, Swim England Learn to Swim Director: “We’re thrilled to be supporting this initiative with British Triathlon and the Royal Life Saving Society UK. “Open water swimming is growing in popularity and it’s vitally important that people can visit safe, accredited venues where they can enjoy the many health benefits swimming outdoors brings. “Part of our open water pledge is the need for better access and increased safety for swimmers and Beyond Swim will go a long way to ensuring that’s the case for open water swimmers – and those keen to try it out for the first time – up and down the country.” Lee Heard, RLSS UK’s Charity Director: “The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) exists to ensure everyone can enjoy water safely, regardless of age or ability, and is excited to be working with its partners at British Triathlon and Swim England on Beyond Swim. “Being in open water is a fantastic experience and making that experience a safe one, is what brings people back for more. “As the safety lead for the scheme, RLSS UK are delighted to be instrumental in giving participants peace of mind, as they embark on their open water adventures.” https://beyondswim.org/ Photo credit: Ben Lumley Photography. Photo features L-R: Lee Heard RLSS UK Charity Director, Helen Marney, Triathlon England Director of Development, Greg Whyte, Professor of Applied Sport and Exercise Science at Liverpool John Moore’s University and physical activity expert, Andy Salmon, Triathlon England CEO and Jennie Vincent, British Triathlon Head of Participation.