Women and girls are being invited to try swimming in the ocean as part of HER Outdoor Week, which aims to encourage women to take up outdoor activities.
Chrissy O’Brien is a swimming coach who works out of Carlingford, conducting tester sessions in Carlingford.
“I’ve swam pool competitively all my life. I’m qualified to teach outdoor sports, so I’ve spent a lot of my life in and around the ocean. For me the transition to more open water swimming was a natural progression My combination of swimming and the love of the outdoors.. joy!”
There has been a huge jump in the number of swimmers in the sea since the lockdown.
“I think people started looking closer to home and using what we have at our doorstep. Swimming in open water enabled people to meet and socialize during a difficult and isolating time ,” she says.
“Form friendship groups, get support and find something positive to do together in stressful times.”
Naturally, she is a big advocate of swimming.
“There are so many benefits; both physical and mental. Since swimming is a non-weight-bearing activity, it is accessible to all ages and abilities. It is inclusive in nature,” she says.
“Mentally, it hits a reset button, taking away all the stress and leaving you in a clearer, happier mindset.”
She advises anyone who wants to start sea swimming or find a qualified open water coach to join a local open water swimming group in their area.
“Although sea swimming is wonderful, it is very important to understand and mitigate the many risks. Talk to locals who know the swimming area for advice. Always let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return And remember that everyone is welcome, no matter your size or shape.. We are all equal and for our shared love of the ocean.
While minimal equipment is required in addition to a swimsuit or wetsuit and goggles, she recommends people wear a brightly colored swim cap and bring a twofloat with them for visibility and safety.
“I put a whistle on my tofloat and encourage swim clients to do so as an added safety measure.”
He stressed that safety equipment is very important as swimmers need to be highly visible, especially when there is increased traffic/craft on the water during the summer months.
“It’s important to know what environment you’re swimming in, the safest time to swim around the tide and the weather will also be an important consideration. Never swim alone and tell someone what your swim route is and when you’ll get back.” Hoping to come.”
There are many great swimming spots around the Luth Coast. “Carlingford is great and a very popular spot around high tide. Templetown Blue Flag Beach is also beautiful and life-saving during the summer. Giles Quay Harbor is another popular spot.”
Chrissy is delighted to be associated with the HER Outdoors initiative.
“Being involved in swimming from a young age, I have noticed that many women give up the sport during their teen years. I think the inclusive nature of open water swimming, the friendship groups that are formed and the many benefits more women than expected. will attract and engage them.
She has been a pool teacher and coach for 20 years and started sea coaching for four years.
“I am the absolute beginner coach for elite athletes. I am able to use my experience as a physiotherapist for injury prevention and rehabilitation. I love what I do and everyone wants to be a part of the progress of swimming. I feel very lucky to have.”
She believes that the benefits of swimming in the ocean are something those of us lucky enough to live by the shore should embrace.
“Since open water swimming is available to everyone, it is really something positive we can do and take advantage of for a lifetime.
“Wild swimming is amazing. The feeling of being out in the ocean, with friends, and in nature is priceless. The chat, creak and cake after are great too!”
For HER Outdoors she is offering a session for women in open water confidence and safety on Monday 8 August at Templetown Beach from 6.30 pm to 7:30 pm and for teenage girls in Carlingford on Thursday 11 August Offering swimming and open water safety sessions. ,
For booking details, check out Louth Local Sports Partnerships on Social Media.