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STARTING YOUNG

Wild swimming is as old as humankind itself, but it’s still a new sport. As it grows, it draws in younger swimmers. Rowan Clarke meets the next generation ready to explore our lakes, rivers and seas
Lola Bird

In the Siberian Yenisei, young children swim the ice floes with their parents from as young as they can handle the biting cold. In the Peruvian Amazonia, children teach their younger siblings to swim. Children have always been drawn to wild water, but they’ve only recently had the chance to try it as a sport.

As open water swimming’s profile grows, it naturally attracts younger participants. That can only be a good thing, not just raising the sport’s profile but also inducing new investment in facilities and coaching that benefit the entire open water community. More than that, though, getting young people into open water helps remind us that water is a great leveller, and swimming is an activity for everyone.

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About Outdoor Swimmer

FIT FOR LIFE One of the great things about outdoor swimming is that it can be done by people of all ages. Whether it is wild swimming with your kids or entering races in the super vet category, swimming can be part of your life whatever your age. Our July issue has a Fit for Life theme. As we swim through the ages we look at how we can encourage more young people to swim in the open water, how we should adapt our training as we get older, how one school transformed its swimming lessons and how we can use strength training to combat age-related muscle loss. Plus, we meet swimmers of all ages to discuss their relationship with swimming outdoors.