charity swim

  1. HELPING LEVEL WATER SUPPORT CHILDREN THIS CHRISTMAS
    HELPING LEVEL WATER SUPPORT CHILDREN THIS CHRISTMAS

    HELPING LEVEL WATER SUPPORT CHILDREN THIS CHRISTMAS

    This Christmas, Zoggs is donating 500 pairs of goggles to children with disabilities. We are supporting the national swimming charity Level Water who arrange 20,000 one-to-one swimming lessons each year for children with disabilities. As some children around the country return to

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  2. Zoggs Swim Diaries - Taking on the Henley Swim Festival 2020
    Zoggs Swim Diaries - Taking on the Henley Swim Festival 2020

    Zoggs Swim Diaries - Taking on the Henley Swim Festival 2020

    The Zoggs Swim Diaries series aim to celebrate those undertaking a personal challenge or complete something to inspire us all. Mel Berry a swim coach and co-founder of HerSpirit takes us through her adventure of Henley Swim Festival 2020..

    Henley Swim Festival 4 x 1 mile Her Spirit adventure = 2 medals,

    You can’t beat getting back into open water swimming events to give you a sense of purpose and focus again. Thanks to Zoggs, Team Her Spirit rose to the challenge and entered the 4 x 1 mile event as part of the Henley Swim Festival. I mean why not do it four times rather than just once!

    Our team consisted of myself Mel Berry and my co-founder at Her Spirit, Holly Woodford and our love of adventure and getting our first 2020 medal! With so many events being cancelled due to COVID this was our first event and so didn’t take much persuading to take part over the August bank holiday. But what happened to the sunshine?

     

    Due to the weather and water temperature being under 16 degrees…. We opted to swim in our wetsuits but tucked under them were our trusty Wonder Woman and Batman suits! and of course our Zoggs/Her Spirit swim caps under our gold event caps. Today’s goggle choice was Predator’s for Holly and Fusion Air for myself.

     

    They say preparation is everything …. Haha I think we failed at first base on that due to COVID19 and Benjamin Franklin said “By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail” but this event is not about being the fastest but more the ability to enjoy going up and down the Thames by foot and water four times.

    Challenging yourself is something we both love and having never done this event or anything like this format, it was a great challenge to take on. Coupled with the fact that we needed to take everything with us, we needed to get a new tow float, that could carry our food, drink, shoes and trusty GoPro to capture the event as well as our car key! I was only slightly worried I would lose the key! I am not sure how I would explain that one to the garage!

    Ready to rumble at 9am we set of for mile 1…and down the steps we went into The Thames…. Follow the yellow buoys and multi coloured tow floats till the beach they said! How hard can it be…

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  3. Zoggs Swim Diaries: New York to London Swim!
    Zoggs Swim Diaries: New York to London Swim!

    Zoggs Swim Diaries: New York to London Swim!

    IT engineer seeks help to become first person to swim from New York to London!

     

    British IT engineer and extreme swimmer Michael Ventre is hoping to swim 3,800 miles from New York to London alongside a support vessel – a feat which has never been attempted before, which aims to raise millions for Oxfam.

    Michael, who successfully swam the English Channel in 2011, plans to make his world-first attempt at swimming the Atlantic in April this year. The unprecedented open water challenge will take him between four and seven months and will present an incredible test of resilience as he navigates everything from orcas, sharks and jellyfish to hurricanes.

    Michael has teamed up with Zoggs for this epic event and is currently training in Ireland and England alongside his full-time work schedule as an IT engineer.

    Michael Ventre preparing to swim in Open Water in his Predator Goggles and Zoggs Swim Cap

    Starting in the Hudson river in New York and ending in the Thames in central London, Michael’s challenge is equivalent to swimming the length of Great Britain almost four-and-a-half times.

    As well as swimming the English Channel, Michael, who is aged 39, has completed two other ‘Oceans Seven’ extreme swims - the Molokai Channel in Hawaii and the Catalina Channel in Los Angeles. He also swam from Robben Island to Blouberg in Cape Town in 2013 in freezing shark-infested waters and has become an accomplished ice swimmer, participating in the Winter World Champio

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  4. This is your lane. Your Challenge. Your Swimathon!
    This is your lane. Your Challenge. Your Swimathon!

    This is your lane. Your Challenge. Your Swimathon!

    Take your marks... Swimathon is back in 2017 for the 30th year running! This is your lane, your challenge, your chance to raise money for Marie Curie. Marie Curie are Swimathon’s Charity Partner, they help people living with any terminal illness, and their families. As the world's biggest fundraising swimming event, you can jump in the pool and make a difference for Marie Curie at over 600 pools.

    Which challenge will you choose?

    Whether it's as a team or going it solo, there's a range of Swimathon challenge distances so that there's always a right one for you.Swimathon Image, Girl looking down her lane while adjusting her goggles

    Individual 1.5k - A great challenge for novice swimmers, or those that prefer to push their speed on shorter distances.

    Individual 2.5k - The perfect challenge for the intermediate swimmer who trains regularly. A way to push your boundaries and give yourself a goal to commit to training for.

    Individual 5k - This is the ultimate Swimathon challenge, to complete the 5k distance takes dedication, commitment and a good training programme.

    Team 1.5k - Take on 60 lengths of a 25m pool in a relay with your friends, your family or your colleagues. Split it as you like, shorter distances for the novice or longer for the kids.

    Woman preparing to swim the Swimathon Challenge

    Team 5k - Make up a team of 2 to 5 swimmers to tackle the ultimate Swimathon distance. Split it evenly between you or break down the distances according to your abilities and get everyone involved!

    SimplySwim - Whether it’s one of our set distances or a number of lengths somewhere between, SimplySwim lets you choose the distance, the time and the venue that suits you best to get involved with Swimathon and raise money.

    Whichever distance you choose, you'll be

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  5. Zoggs Swim Diaries: Channel Swim Q&A - Part Four
    Zoggs Swim Diaries: Channel Swim Q&A - Part Four

    Zoggs Swim Diaries: Channel Swim Q&A - Part Four

    Deborah Herridge is training to swim the English Channel in the summer of 2017. She's been sharing her journey with us in our Zoggs Swim Diaries. Deborah has been answering questions from friends and family about the swim. Here we share the last of her answers to questions that have been sent her way around her training and the swim itself.dh-blog5

    What motivates you to go out and train when the weather is horrible?

    I'm quite a motivated and determined person, and thinking of the end goal and the desire to raise another £10k for charity always helps, and my husband Robert, who is also my coach, also helps immensely with motivation. Last year on a windy cold day when I wanted to stay in and keep warm, and not train in the cold choppy sea, Robert said some inspiring words.

    "When you set off from Dover the weather might be nice, and it might be nice when you step onto the beach in France, but it might also be windy and choppy in the middle, and you'll wish you’d trained on choppy and windy days, and then you will remember that you did train on those windy and choppy days, and it will make you smile, and you will be glad you did because it will give you the physical and emotional strength to see it through."

    Why don't you swim the shortest distance of the Channel from point to point?

    We try to, that distance is 21 miles, from Dover to Cap Gris Nez, but the tides push the swimmer sideways in an ‘S’ shape. The tides on the French side are famous for being very strong, so the swimmer may look like they’re about to land at the Cap, but then be swept further down the coast by the tides, resulting in a longer swim.

    Are there "rules" to make it "official" and logged anywhere?

    Yes, channel swims are certified by either the CS&PF or the CSA. There will be an official Observer on the boat who verifies all the rules are being met, no touching the boat or people, clearing the water at either end etc.dh-blog2

    Best bits?

    I’ve chosen three 'best bits'’.

    Training, I love it. I like the feeling of working hard and seeing improvements.

    The feeling of accomplishment in getting across a stretch of water.

    Raising loads of money for charity (£10k for the last swims) and hopefully helping some people on the way.

    Worst bits?

    The nerves I get before a swim event in a group or big solo swim, the nerves mainly affect my stomach, but as soon as I start swimming, they disappear, thankfully.

    Do you become a member of an exclusive club having completed it?dh-blog4

    Yes I guess I do! I would become a Channel Swimmer.

    According to the statistics on www.dover.uk.com, at the time of writing, "1,619 swimmers have completed a total of 2,123 solo swims" although that figure will have increased by the time this is published. Compare that to the 6,871 ascents of Everest by 4,042 people, you can see why it's called the Mount Everest of Swimming.

    What have you learned about yourself?

    I'm mentally tougher than I ever thought I could be, and physically I've surprised myself in the short time I've been swimming properly, started training in the pool in January 2013 for a 4 mile pool swim as part of a 44 mile triathlon, and had my first sea swim in July that year, and then the proper regular training started in the sea in April 2014. I’ve learnt it's possible to turn a fairly unfit person into a fit one.

    What decides the swimming style choice you make, i.e. breaststroke with head above the water, submerged breaststroke, crawl etc?

    The swimmer. They do whatever they feel is their strongest stroke. Not many have done it breast stroke, even fewer butterfly (yes really!), most people swim front crawl. My strongest stroke is front crawl so I’ll be swimming that stroke.

    Deborah will be keeping us updated with her training in our Zoggs Swim Diaries, and you can find her other three Q&A articles here.

    Deborah is swimming the channel for a total of 4 charities, and you can help show your support by sponsoring her via her fundraising page.

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  6. Zoggs Swim Diaries: Training to Swim Non-Stop Around the Isle of Wight
    Zoggs Swim Diaries: Training to Swim Non-Stop Around the Isle of Wight

    Zoggs Swim Diaries: Training to Swim Non-Stop Around the Isle of Wight

    Scott Dawson shares his story on the lead up to his non-stop swim around the Isle of Wight, taking on an 11 mile open water training swim from Ryde to Cowes and back.

    This is why we train!

    During my working week, I had to go to Cowes on the Isle of Wight for a meeting. As I crossed the Solent on the Red Funnel ferry, the shear enormity of what I have taken on seemed to literally wash over me. At one point, I could see Ryde from one window, and the Hurst Narrows (if I squinted) out of the other.IMG_1455

    It is a long way, the Solent and I will admit that seeing it from this angle did make me feel a tad nervous. I actually smiled to myself. At that point I knew that just planning to swim that relatively small bit from Ryde to Hurst that coming weekend would mean that I have come a long way to achieving my goal.

    A lot of work has gone in over the winter months, with distances being increased in the pool and nutrition tweaked, as I try to maintain my weight. With the help of my wife Polly, and all of the trusty volunteers, I felt ready to do my first big open water swim of the year - 15 miles.

    The problem was, we were not going to make it to the Needles as planned. Mother Nature reminded us who's boss, and we changed our plan accordingly. We decided that I would still start from Ryde, with the aim to swim to Cowes and back. This is around 11 miles, but with the weather conditions we had, it may be harder for the first half of the swim, as the wind would be directly ahead of us.

    As I stepped into the RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) on Saturday Morning, the time was 05:50 am and the car said it was 2.5°C outside. I even slipped on ice getting into the boat! "It's a bit chilly" said Steve Roberts, one of my Kayakers, with a wry smile on his face. I was the lucky one. I had my Zoggs wetsuit to keep me warm, he on the other hand was going to have to sit in a kayak pretty much waist deep in water and in the cold North Westerly wind.

    The reality for me is the water temperature was about 12°c – relatively warm compared to just 5-6 weeks ago, when it was just 9°c. So although it takes a few minutes to get used to it, once I am in, and my Zoggs suit had trapped the water for me to warm up, it is not too bad, so off we went.IMG_1460

    It was 06:35 am, cold and it was tough to get going, as there was more wind than forecast, and swimming directly upwind and into the Solent chop is hard work, and not easy to settle into a rhythm.

    I did, however, just keep my head down, and kept swimming. After 30 minutes Steve signalled for me to stop, and handed me my bottle. Drinking isn’t really the challenge in open water, as I have done this plenty of times before, but eating on the other hand is a skill I am yet to master. Facing the waves guaranteed a soggy energy bar, but turning away from the waves meant I couldn't see them coming, and it was a 50/50 whether I got a nice mouthful of bar or a salty drink!

    Time to go again and we repeated this exercise a further 5 times until we were close to Cowes. With the amount of wind against us, it took a lot longer to get to the Norris buoy, and we stopped 200 metres short as the tide had started to turn and I was making no more headway. Swimming against the tide will happen on the main swim, but not at this point, and the plan will be to be out of the tide in the shallow water when it turns, and not trying to swim against it in 30 meters of depth.

    I got into the medical support boat so I could be checked out (all fine), and we all grouped together to see if there were any obvious observations, that we may want to change for the trip back.

    After 20 mins or so, I got back into the water, and as the tide was now flowing back to East, and the breeze was blowing the same way, the waves dropped off and it took 1 hour less to get back to the start. It was so much easier to get into a rhythm, and the time went by so quickly. The sun came out, and my wife and children turned up on another support boat. The messages got to me that my children Alfie and Matilda were shouting "go Daddy", which really pushed me on. I even managed to increase the pace for the last half mile.

    As far as training swims go, as a team I think we were all fairly happy with how the morning/day panned out. We started when and where we wanted to, on time and with everything happening as planned. What we could control we did, but as ever the weather reminded us, we are at her mercy, and we learnt a lot about surface currents, but we will learn how to use this to our advantage.

    We will have another training swim planned for the end of May, and the aim is to do one big one every month, with at least one night swim planned for July.

    I would like to thank all the support crew, as without them this wouldn't happen. If you would like to support in other ways, you can donate online for Meningitis Now and The Marine Conservation Society.

    You can sponsor Scott by donating here. More information can be found at www.swimiow.com

    Scott is taking on a 60 mile non-stop swim around the Isle of Wight in August 2016 and will be keeping us updated with his training and the swim itself. You can find more on Scott’s training in our Zoggs Swim Diaries.

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  7. Zoggs Swim Diaries: A Look Back at the #TeamBetter Marathon Swim Challenge
    Zoggs Swim Diaries: A Look Back at the #TeamBetter Marathon Swim Challenge

    Zoggs Swim Diaries: A Look Back at the #TeamBetter Marathon Swim Challenge

     

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  8. Zoggs Swim Diaries: Training for a Channel Swim
    Zoggs Swim Diaries: Training for a Channel Swim

    Zoggs Swim Diaries: Training for a Channel Swim

    Deborah Herridge is training to swim the English Channel in the summer of 2017 and shares her journey from 30 lengths in the pool to a 21 mile Channel Swim.

    The English Channel is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, and next year I hope to fulfil my ambition to swim 21 miles across it.Zoggs - how swimming makes me feel

    Depending on the weather, the swim will take me anything from 14 – 16 hours, possibly longer. I've heard people say "train for the best, expect the worse"… as the channel is very unpredictable. I'm preparing myself for a tough swim and will be training hard over the next 18 months.

    Under Channel rules once I start swimming I will not be allowed to touch anyone, or the boat, and will only wear my swimsuit, one cap and my trusty Zoggs Predator goggles. I am overjoyed to be supported by Zoggs for my solo swim. I’ve been using Predators for the last three years and they have seen me through many miles.

    The channel is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, and will present many challenges including boat traffic, jellyfish and ever changing conditions; I will also need to cope with the cold water for a long time. This is perhaps the biggest challenge of them all.

    A little about me; 3 years ago I was an occasional pool swimmer, going to the pool for a slow paced 30 lengths, often stopping after 20 because I was bored having nothing to aim for. But in 2012 everything changed, inspired by the Olympics, especially the Paralympics, I wanted to get fit! This is where it all began, my husband Robert used to row for Scotland, and also coached. Robert got to work and devised a training plan which took me from a plodding pool swimmer, to completing a 44 mile triathlon the following year, which included a 4 mile pool swim. The swim sparked my love for long distance swimming, and in the summer of 2013 I discovered the open water. In 2014 we planned a new 7 mile route diagonally across the Solent, The Quantum of Solent, but a few weeks before the swim my husband Robert was taken critically ill. I wanted to cancel, but Robert asked me to carry on with his training and he continued to support me from his hospital bed, and I pushed on with his training plan. Thankfully he pulled through; the doctors said it was a miracle that he survived. He is now fully recovered and still coaches me. Last year, swim coach Danny Bunn joined us to help with my training and he has helped me become a stronger and faster swimmer. In 2015 I trained for The Quantum of Solent II, a two-way, 14 mile swim. The swim was incredibly tough, especially the last 3 hours when the conditions were horrendous for swimming, but I thought of the charities I was doing it for, and got my head down in the waves and swam. I completed it in 7 hours 18 minutes and it was recognised as an inaugural swim by the British Long Distance Swimming Association.

     

    Zoggs kit 2 Deborah has her Zoggs gear at the ready!

     

    From here the English Channel dream was born.

    I swim in the sea over the winter to keep acclimatised, in just my swimming costume, for 15 minutes or so, (try sitting in an ice cold bath if you would like to share the experience I go through). But until the sea gets back to double figures, I train in the pool. The proper training in the sea will restart in April.

    Swim events this year include 3 x 5kms over the Swimathon weekend, the gruelling Champion of Champions at Dover Harbour, a 5 mile, 3 mile, then 1 mile swim, swimming around Brownsea Island, and I also have a very long coastal swim of 21 miles, from Weymouth to Lulworth Cove and back.

    Over the next year I will continue to contribute entries to the Zoggs Swim Diaries about my training, the s

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  9. Zoggs Swim Diaries: Day 2 of the #TeamBetter Swim for Sport Relief
    Zoggs Swim Diaries: Day 2 of the #TeamBetter Swim for Sport Relief

    Zoggs Swim Diaries: Day 2 of the #TeamBetter Swim for Sport Relief

    Day 2 of this epic swim challenge is almost complete, and although tired and ready for sleep, Zoggs' team members Ben Hornett and Claire Rowland took a few moments to tell us how they got on with their second day of swimming with #TeamBetter...

     

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  10. Zoggs Swim Diaries: Preparing for the #TeamBetter Challenge - 31 Miles in 31 Pools
    Zoggs Swim Diaries: Preparing for the #TeamBetter Challenge - 31 Miles in 31 Pools

    Zoggs Swim Diaries: Preparing for the #TeamBetter Challenge - 31 Miles in 31 Pools

    On 25th February #TeamBetter will be beginning their incredible challenge to IMG-20160224-WA0002swim 31 miles in 31

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