Welcome to the Swim Wild podcast - the podcast for the wild swimming community. Interviewing members of your tribe about iconic swims, personal challenges, the friends they have made, the impact on their health and well being and finding a deeper connection with the natural world. Testing out the theory that, whenever and wherever we swim outside, we "emerge from the water better versions of ourselves".
Recognising lack of diversity is one thing, but taking action is another
This week's guest is Omie Dale.
Omie is a young woman who is very busy.
She is part of the team at the Black Swimming Association, she is about to become co-host of a local Mental Health Swim, she is a qualified swim coach and lifeguard, and is about to undertake her Outdoor Swim Coach certificate.
She's also passionate about outdoor swimming.
Omie shares her experiences of growing up in a household where swimming was a valued skill and was non-negotiable in terms of herself and her brothers learning to swim.
But she also shares her experiences as a swim coach hearing colleagues share the false assumption that Black people cannot swim.
Omie advocates for improving how swim coaches are trained, to make sure they understand intersectionality better so that they can provide inclusive swim teaching for all.
She is a passionate, engaged and proactive member of the wild swim community and it was a pleasure to chat to her.
Things we talk about that you might want to know more about
Omie's website, West reservoir, Beckenham Palace Park, Outdoor Swimmer Magazine, Active Lives Children's Survey report from Sport England, Black Swimming Association, Immerse Hebrides, Keri Anne Payne
Life is not over after you have had trauma
Welcome to the latest edition of Swim Wild podcast.
This week's guest is Gill, known on social media as Stoma Chameleon.
The episode itself is a complete shot of pure joy. If your levels are getting low, this will definitely top them up.
Which some people might find surprising, because Gill is talking about her experience of birth trauma that led to her having a permanent stoma. You could be forgiven for thinking that this might be quite a tough, but worthwhile listen.
It definitely is worthwhile, but it is not tough at all. It is about 45 minutes of pure joy and enthusiasm for life that you will find infectious.
30,000 women every year are affected by birth trauma. Gill's message is that life is not over after trauma - on the contrary, life can go on and in unexpected and exciting ways.
Before I share the links to all the organisations Gill mentions during our chat, I do have a shout out to anyone who can put Gill in touch with the other channel swimmer who also has a stoma. If you know who this is, please message Gill via any one of her social media routes and put them in touch. All links are below.
And finally, if you can donate to her Channel swim fundraising, Ostomy Mermums, please do - here
Things you might want to know more about
Birth Trauma Association, Jacob's Well Appeal, Colostomy UK
Gill's bikini challenge fundraiser
The Chatter Challenge
This week's podcast guest is Jacqui.
Based up in the North East, not far from me, Jacqui only took up wild swimming in 2020, but loved it so much, and was so determined to swim trough winter, she set up The Chatter Challenge to help swimmers, new and old, to stay motivated and keep going.
The Chatter Challenge looks likely to become a regular feature amongst existing winter swimming challenges.
Jacqui brings new energy and enthusiasm, an inclusive approach and she has a puppy who looks great in her Chatter Challenge branded Dry Robe!
I hope you enjoy listening to her.
The kingfisher made us do it
Welcome to the last episode of 2020.
This is a small treat for any of you missing your swim buddies. It's a group episode.
Katy, Justine and Erica join me to talk about starting wild swimming in 2020 and what a gift it has been in a year of so many losses, both big and small.
I hope it conjures the illusion of being surrounded by your swimming friends, laughing and joking after a swim, high on adrenaline.
However your year is ending, I hope this at least brings a smile and a small ray of hope that even in a tough year, there are new things waiting for us that will bring us joy.
Have a peaceful night, and all the love in the world for 2021
Ed Accura - A Film Called Blacks Can't Swim
This week’s podcast guest is Ed Accura, creator of A Film Called Blacks Can’t Swim and co-founder of the Black Swimming Association.
If you aren’t familiar with the statistics in the UK, 95% of Black adults and 80% of Black children don’t swim. 25% of Black children leave primary school unable to swim, and only 1% of Swim England competitive swimmers are Black or mixed race.
The reasons why people from Black and other ethnic minority communities can’t or don’t swim are many and complicated. We can obviously only go into so much detail in the hour we chatted for this podcast. But Ed goes into a lot more depth in his podcast In The Deep End and I recommend you go and give it a listen to learn more
But some of the issues include
Low or no expectations of Black children to swim
Negative messages and stereotypes such as misconceptions that Black people have heavier bones or cannot float
Parent’s views, many of whom never learnt to swim themselves
Access to pools, to swimming lessons and to opportunities to learn to swim
Whether it is something your mates are doing
Your experiences growing up
Class and poverty play a big part
Skin and hair differences and the lack of easy access to protective products to overcome this
The Black Swimming Association has a DIPER charter that anyone in support can sign up to. It stands for
Representation of Black, Asian and minority ethnic people in aquatics.
And it is so much more than swimming. Being a non-swimmer more or less excludes you from a whole host of other activities too, such as kayaking, body boarding, surfing, rowing, canoeing and more.
Ed’s work, alongside his fellow BSA co-founders, is vital, exciting and everyone in the wild swimming community can get behind it.
My asks after you listen to this episode are
Watch the film
Listen to Ed's podcast
Listen to Seren Jones’ BBC documentary 'Black girls don't swim'
Visit the BSA and give them some support
Things we talk about you will want to go and learn more about
A Film Called Blacks Can’t Swim, Alice Dearing, In The Deep End podcast, the sequel to A Film Called Blacks Can’t Swim, Seren Jones BBC documentary, Swimming Nature, Black Swimming Association, Danielle Obe and Nemes, Speedo sponsorship of the BSA, the survey Ed talks about, RLSS, Black Lives Matter, Swim England, Ed in his ‘other’ life as a musician!
Getting in the cold water makes me laugh out loud
Welcome to another episode of Swim Wild podcast and this week I'm thrilled to have Emma Duff as my guest.
Emma is ordained as a parish priest in the Church of England and our conversation focused quite a lot on the connection for Emma between wild swimming and Christian spirituality.
Whether you have any type of faith or none, I hope you will find the conversation as fascinating as I did.
Emma is an honest, thoughtful and generous guest and it was a pleasure to speak to her and to stumble my way through the complexities of trying to put into words those profound feelings we can often feel when we immerse ourselves in wild water.
I hope you find something of your own connection to the profound in this episode.
Things we talk about you might want to know more about
Tynemouth beaches - King Edward's Bay (Eddies) and Longsands, Spanish City, Whitley Bay, fulmars
Customer ReviewsSee All
Really enjoyed this pod cast, Karen’s voice is lovely and calming. Good variety of guests and feels like a free conversation.
This is a cool podcast, swimming in the wild is such an amazing way to connect with nature and keep fit too. So cool to find this and listen to Karen engage with fellow wild swimmers.
Almost as addictive as the actual swimming!!
Absolutely love this podcast! Such great guests and the interview style is so wonderful to listen to; I love the relaxed chat. Feels like you’re sat there with them chatting over a cuppa. I’m (very) new to wild swimming and listening gets me excited for my next swim!