Throughout the winter, more and more people have discovered the Swim Doctor programme on Monday evenings and Friday mornings at Charlton Lido. People come for a range of reasons from improving their technique or learning a new stroke to building their stamina or training for an open water event or a triathlon.
At the end of April, at least eight of the regulars, together with Swim Doctor Tracy herself, will be putting all that training to good use by taking part in Swimathon 2018.
Swimathon is the world’s largest annual fundraising swim, and the participants will be raising money for two of the UK’s largest cancer charities, Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie by swimming 5km – that’s 100 lengths of the Lido – either in teams or as individuals. If you’d like to support fellow Lido swimmers in this great challenge, you can donate via Tracy’s fundraising page, The Swim Doctor goes in!!
So far, with three weeks to go until the event, the team has managed to raise a fantastic £526. Well done to all those taking part!
Opening times over the Easter weekend are as follows:
Good Friday 30th March: Club: 9am-5pm Lido: 9am-4pm
Saturday 31st March: Club: 9am-5pm Lido: 9am-5pm
Easter Sunday 1st April: Club: 9am-5pm Lido: 9am-5pm
Easter Monday 2nd April: Club: 9am-5pm Lido: 9am-4pm
From Tuesday 3rd April the Lido will be open 7 days a week, with 7am-2pm sessions on Wednesdays and Thursdays in addition to the current winter hours.
Details of the full summer programme will be published in May.
Let’s hope the increased hours bring with them some more seasonal weather – not least for the sake of the brilliant lifeguards who’ve had such a warm welcome for swimmers throughout the winter, undeterred by the Beast from the East, Storm Emma, the Mini-Beast etc – and that we can look forward to a long spring and summer of sunny days at the pool!
If you’re a Centre Member and you’ve opted to receive email updates from Better you should have received an email inviting you to the next Customer Forum meeting on Wednesday 21 February at 6.30 pm. The Forum meetings are a great chance to meet the managers – who genuinely do want to hear your feedback and act on it as far as possible. For example, the pool hours this winter were adjusted in the light of user feedback to extend opening hours until 2 pm three days a week, a change which has proved popular with swimmers and resulted in good levels of take-up.
Meetings are limited to 15 participants so that everyone has a chance to contribute to the discussion, so if you are interested in attending email email@example.com to request a place.
Following the recent Customer Forum meeting, and feedback from members over the summer, the Lido has now published the winter pool programme which will commence on Monday 9 October. The good news is that it follows the broadly the same pattern as last year but with the addition of three lunchtime sessions per week, two of which replace the 2-4pm slots on Monday and Tuesday which were the quietest times of the week. It’s hoped the new pattern will enable more people to swim regularly throughout the winter season. The early morning opening on Monday will also continue through the winter, in response to popular demand.
Monday 6.30am-2pm & 4pm-8pm
Tuesday 7am-2pm & 4pm-8pm
Wednesday & Thursday closed
Swim Doctor Programme
The Swim Doctor programme will continue with three sessions per week through the winter, with the present Wednesday and Thursday morning sessions moving to Fridays from the week of October 9th. Sessions are free for members and £3 for non-members. Booking is advised.
Monday 7-8pm Swim Doctor Technique
Friday 7-8.30am Swim Doctor Fitness (30 minutes land-based + 1 hour in the pool)
Friday 9.30-10.30am Swim doctor Technique
If you’re a Centre Member and you’ve opted to receive email updates from Better you should have received an email inviting you to the next Customer Forum meeting on Monday 11 September at 6.30 pm. If you haven’t received the email but would like to attend please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a place, and ask for your notification preferences to be checked out. (It seems as if they sometimes don’t carry forward correctly when you renew your membership).
The Forum meetings are a great chance to meet the managers – who genuinely do want to hear your feedback. For swimmers in particular, the upcoming meeting will provide an opportunity to find out about the proposed winter season hours and to give your thoughts on these.
If you’re interested in developing your swim technique, speed or stamina, why not try out the weekly Swim Doctor sessions? These take place on Monday evenings between 7 and 8 pm, on Wednesday mornings between 9.30 and 10.30 am and on Friday mornings between 7 and 8.30 am (including half an hour of land-based exercise followed by an hour in the pool). Regular attendees attest to the improvements they have made as a result of the sessions. More information is available from the reception team at the Lido.
Earlier this month a group of Charlton Lido swimmers gathered in the lido cafe on a sunny Wednesday evening to learn more about the A Thames Fit To Swim campaign.
Theo Thomas, the London Waterkeeper, talked about the campaign and led a lively discussion. Theo writes:
The charity London Waterkeeper wants the city to make the most of the River Thames and see its waters become truly swimmable. Copenhagen made its harbours swimmable in 15 years by cutting pollution, setting up real-time bathing water quality monitoring and creating new swimming areas. Their new urban beaches and ‘Harbour Baths’ are now the most popular open spaces in the city.
Svanemollen is a new urban beach built by Copenhagen. There are screens displaying real-time bathing water quality information.
Swimming in the Thames upstream of Putney Bridge is allowed. But we’re a long way from seeing thousands of people getting into the river on a regular basis. Some days the Thames will meet swimming standards while on others it is dirty. Sadly no one knows when this is. That information doesn’t exist – but it should.
A swim in the Thames at Twickenham in May. The water quality was excellent.
The ‘A Thames Fit To Swim’ campaign wants to see swimming zones designated and live bathing water quality information displayed online. We can give people a deeper connection with nature and boost our mental and physical health.
To find out more, visit http://londonwaterkeeper.org.uk/a-thames-fit-to-swim
We need the support of swimmers and swimming clubs around London so the campaign has a strong voice. For example we want Thames Water to tell us when its sewers overflow and meet its legal duties.
Theo Thomas, London Waterkeeper. email@example.com