Background to winter swimming at CMGS

Background to triathlon pool use at Chesham Moor Swim and Gym

We were approached on several occasions from general swimmers asking about the feasibility of an extended season. One group in particular have been swimming at the pool on Thursday mornings 07.00 to 08.00 and didn’t want to stop with the progress that they had made or feel that they had to move to another open air pool.

After the massive success of the London Olympics and particularly the British Triathlon team, we started researching where triathlon clubs swim. We found that these clubs swim at venues such as Heron Lake and Bray lake to name but a few but they stop swimming approximately middle September due to drops in ‘open water temperatures’ (lakes).

The only option for these clubs to carry on swimming is to hire lanes at local indoor pools at a cost of approximately £22 to £25 per lane which equates to normally no more than 4 adults each paying at least £6 each.

Wetsuits are not normally permitted at indoor pools unless it’s an ‘advertised session’ so winter swimming at indoor pools for these clubs is detrimental to their training programme as often there is a six month break in swimming without wetsuits.

We proceeded to email all the triathlon clubs in Buckinghamshire to see if they would be interested in using our facility as a ‘winter camp’.

As public interest grew around this exciting new venture we decided to ask swimmers when they were able to swim and recorded their preferred swim times so that we could produce a timetable via a spread sheet. A pattern became obvious and 13 hours of swim times were incorporated onto the timetable with all wage and chemical costs covered by the income from the triathlon clubs hiring the pool.

Danny Essex
Centre Manager

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