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Digital Subscriptions > Outdoor Swimmer > February/March 2016 > WHEN THEY’RE 64


We speak to four impressive and inspirational swimmers who caught the open water bug at a young age

The British Long Distance Swimming Association (BLDSA) this year celebrates 60 years of organising open water swimming events. While the world has changed significantly in that time, BLDSA events have consistently stuck to their insistence on swimming long distances, oft en in cold water and in traditional swimming costumes.

You might think therefore that this lacks appeal for today’s youth, with their easy access to the constant distraction of portable electronic devices – things that certainly didn’t exist in 1956.

However, we tracked down four youngsters who love what the BLDSA does, have already knocked up some significant achievements between them and hope they will still be swimming outside when they’re 64.

How did you get into open water swimming?

Erin: At the age of 13, my first ever competitive pool coach Graham from Filey DASC introduced me to open water. A couple of months later I was entered in both the ASA 1k and the BLDSA 1k at Wykeham.

André: I got into open water swimming through the triathlon club in my home town, Tewkesbury. I did my first open water swim at the Cotswold Sprint Triathlon in 2009. Then when I started university in Plymouth I met up with a group of distance swimmers and started doing some serious distance and booked my channel swim for October 2015.

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About Outdoor Swimmer

In our fifth anniversary issue we take a look back at the first five years of H2Open magazine as well as looking to the future and asking ,where will swimming take you in 2016? Whatever your level of swimming, there is a challenge out there for you! If that challenge is a winter swimming competition, we have plenty of top tips and expert advice on swimming in icy water. But if the cold doesn’t really do it for you, we have destination reports from sunny Bermuda and the German lakes. In this issue we also profile four young BLDSA swimmers as well as catching up with open water swimming champions Keri-anne Payne and Cassie Patten. Plus all the usual training, technique and nutrition advice and gear reviews. Happy swimming!