Over the weekends, members of Absolute Running open water swimming club took part in their first session of the year. The aim was to assist in boosting heir confidence in the water as well as have some fun while doing so. The challengers began by wading into the sea off the No 2 Battery car park before swimming half a mile to a white buoy near Stokes Bay Sailing Club and back to dry off.
The challengers were also joined by a team of fundraisers who took the opportunity and time to train for another fundraising swim, which is scheduled to be held later in the year. That event will be from Gilkicker Point to Ryde Beach on the Isle of Wight and will be held in September to raise money for the Oakley Waterman Caravan Foundation. The charity, which lets out two caravans on Haven campsites to families whose children suffer from life-threatening diseases, was set up just shortly before the death of Oakley, the six year old son of ex-Pompey player Dave Waterman back in 2005.
“These lads could be at home with their families on a Friday night, so for them to get out on the water is fantastic. It spurs us on to keep raising money, and the commitment from everyone has been fantastic. It’s cold when you first get in, but after a while you get used to it and your body acclimatises. Since Christmas, we have been using the swimming pool and people have been giving up their time two to three times a week,” stated Dave, who enjoys being out on the water himself.
The open water swimming club was set up last year with the intention for people who wanted to get more accustomed to the water. Since then, it has grown to cater towards more than 130 members. In fact, it has already out grew The Bayside Triathlon Club, a community group for people of all ages and fitness levels. “Last summer was so successful, people would come and have fish and chips and watch everyone. It’s nice to be able to use the beach. It’s all about community spirit. People use the opportunity to boost their confidence on the water and make new friends,” explained Nick Carter, who runs the swimming club. For more of the story, do check it out here.