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Digital Subscriptions > Outdoor Swimmer > April 19 > INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY


Let’s celebrate the heroines of our outdoor swimming nation, says Pete Kelly

I’ve just had a phone conversation with an amazing woman. I don’t know Betty beyond the brief conversation we’ve just had, yet I am astonished at her resilience and sangfroid in the face of her situation. Betty told me that she has cancer and had recently had a mastectomy and was training for her first open water swim (of two miles) in June. She is knocking out 90-minute pool sessions in preparation for her swim, despite her condition.

She was concerned about the it of her wetsuit as she was due to have a second mastectomy soon after her swim. Not a trace of self-pity was evident in this conversation. Betty is just someone’s mam who has cancer who has decided to stick her middle finger up at this terrible disease, and I felt uplifted by her attitude – she didn’t take, she gave.

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About Outdoor Swimmer

Mermaids! Romance! Time travel! Tescos! The April issue of Outdoor Swimmer has it all. We chat with our new guest coach and cover star Olympian Keri-anne Payne about her coaching philosophy, contributing editor Ella Foote meets some swimmers in a supermarket car park, Elaine Howley tells the story of small and repulsive mermaids and Mike Morris slips through time to meet a Victorian swimming champion. And we have two new regular features starting this issue: Eco Heroes, in which we celebrate people and companies striving to save the planet; and Wild About You, where we play matchmaker for solo swimmers looking for love. Plus Plus, how to train for your first open water mile as well as more long distance challenges, training day menus, swimming with cerebral palsy, a dream swim trip in the Maldives and comprehensive UK and international event listings to help you plan your summer swims.