Helping The Next Generation

Helping The Next Generation

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

To help the next generation of swimmers learn to enjoy open water swimming is a wonderful thing.

People jump in with newbies and swim together – or just talk through fears that some people have of the open water.

So many people around the world are passionate about open water swimming. It is clearly evident to see the joy they bring when they help other people of all ages gain the necessary skills and experience in the open water.

After people learn to be safe and enjoy the open water, a number of short- and long-term effects occur.

The newbies tend to do the following:

1. Never look at an open body of water the same way again. What previously seems off limits, now seems potentially doable whether it is a nearby lake or a distant sea.
2. Expand their view of the Planet Earth. What previously seems unknowable, now seems potentially a part of the world (lakes, rivers, bays, oceans) where they can now explore.
3. Improve their pool swimming. What previously seems far (1500m freestyle or a set of 10 x 200 freestyle), now seems like short distances.
4. Ask about solo swims and relays across lakes and channels – with a profound sense of first-hand appreciation. What previously was something of no interest, now is something they search online and inquire among their newly found friends.
5. Research potential places and events to participate in. What previously seems impossible, now seems all too possible with preparation, whether it is a 1-mile swim or a 20-mile channel crossing.
6. Understand how challenging the different niches are in the open water world from ice swimming to channel crossing. The definition of cold gradually drops from 15ºC to 10ºC to 5ºC. The concept of distances gradually increases from 1 km to 5 km to 25 km.
7. Gain friends and colleagues from around the world, all with the common passion of the open water.

Photo above shows two different generations enjoying the ocean at the upcoming Murray Rose Malabar Magic Ocean Swim in Sydney, Australia.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones