People swimming in ice cold English waters is one of those items that habitually pop up on local news bulletins in the deep midwinter. A smug reporter will have a few quick words with a local (and slighty crazed) individual who is usually wearing an inappropriate swimming costume and covered in lard, before standing back and watching with an amused air as said enthusiast launches themselves into the sea/lake/river. Meanwhile, you the viewer can sit back on you sofa, with the central heating turned up to '11' and roll your eyes as you proclaim..."hey, us British...we're CRAZY."
You should be pleased to know that it is now possible for YOU to be one of those crazed individuals, as the South London Swimming Club have announced that the UK's first Cold Water Swimming Championships are to take place at Tooting Bec Lido on the 21st and 22nd of January.
Apparently, the Club were inspired to start the Championships after a visit last February to Oulu in Finland, where they took part in the ice-swimming championships, which are a big deal there. They had a great time, with only a few of them perishing, so they decided to export the idea back to London, as part of the Lido's centenary celebrations.
The good news is that the water temperature in the lido will only be 0°C to 5°C, compared to minus 10°C in Finland, so really you've got nothing to fear at all have you? Plus, you only have to swim 33 yards, and we think you have a pretty good chance of making that kind of distance, before your heart stops completely and you slowly sink to the bottom of the lido, lost forever.
You can apply online from Nov 25th here.
And you can find out more about ice swimming here.
We'll give it a go if you do, we promise. But we'll watch you swim first.