Open Water Swimming

Helen At The ASA Nationals - Rother Valley Country Park

Helen At The ASA Nationals – Rother Valley Country Park

Open Water Swimming At Leicester Neptune SC

During the 2016 season, Leicester Neptune swimmers have completed at the Midlands ASA Open Water Championships and the ASA National Masters Open Water Championships.  Currently, ASA competitions do not allow wet suits to be worn at all, but from September, FINA, (the world governing body), will be changing their rules to allow wet suits to be worn at 20C and below.  These wet suits will need to be FINA approved for high level competition in the same way pool swimsuits are.

The base of good open water swimming is built up in the pool, but it is good to work on some of the open water specific skills in the outdoors, especially when the weather is warm.  Open water swimming is far more tactical than traditional pool swimming and can be considered a contact sport.


In addition to pool training, we are now able to offer open water swimming training on some Saturday mornings during the summer for swimmers that can comfortably swim 650m at a reasonable pace without stopping, (i.e. in the top lanes of junior training and above).  Training sessions will depend on the availability of the venue, coach availability and the weather conditions on the day.  This year we will be training at Mallory Park Race Circuit, Kirkby Mallory.

Mallory Park Lake

Mallory Park Lake

Kirkby Mallory lake is a spring-fed, weed-free lake in the centre of the race circuit with 650m and 450m circuits.  All training sessions will take place during the public swimming session on Saturday mornings and cost £5.  There are toilets, changing facilities and refreshments on site, but swimmers should be aware that the changing rooms are open plan will be used by other members of the public.  The rules of the lake are that all swimmers must complete at declaration that they are fit and able to swim and all swimmers must check in and out of the water and kayak support is .  Swimmers are normally expected to wear wet suits unless they are experienced open water swimmers, but club members attending our training sessions may swim without if the water is warm enough.  For further details about the lake please and the swimming declaration please see the Cycling Mallory Park web page here.  On arriving at the race circuit, drive through the gate at the top of the circuit around the edge of the circuit.  Park near the footbridge, and then walk over the footbridge to access the lake, changing rooms and toilets.


While the risks of swimming in open water can be minimised by swimming in a controlled environment such as Mallory Park, it is still important to remember that the risks cannot be reduced to zero so all swimmers should remember the following:

  • Shower and get dry as soon as possible after exiting the water.  Always bring warm clothes to wear, even if the weather is hot.  Wearing a warm hat afterwards is a good idea too.
  • Bring flip-flops and a warm top/jacket to walk between the changing rooms and the exit ramp.
  • Check in and out of the water every time.
  • Leave the water immediately if instructed to do so.
  • Leave the water straight away if you start to shiver.
  • Do not dive in, unless it has been cleared to do so by the coach.
  • If you feel unwell in the two weeks after swimming, particularly with flu-like symptoms, see a doctor straight away and mention that you have been open water swimming.
  • Do not eat after swimming until you have washed your hands and face.
  • Wash all equipment and clothing afterwards and any drink bottles should be washed in a dishwasher to prevent any contamination.

Who to contact

If you are interested in open water swimming, please contact Helen Atton.  The next training session is planned for 9:00am on Saturday 13th of August 2016.  Any parents wishing to swim will also be given acclimatisation guidance if needed too.