Following the rising popularity of open water swimming, Sport England’s National Outdoor Centre, Plas y Brenin, is offering a number of options to help people build their confidence and improve their swimming technique.

Starting this month, customers will be able to book coaching lessons delivered by Plas y Brenin staff or supervised swimming sessions in the fresh, clean waters of Llynnau Mymbyr, with the spectacular backdrop of the Snowdon Horseshoe at the Centre’s base in the heart of Snowdonia.

To cement its commitment to safe and responsible open water swimming, Plas y Brenin has joined the National Open Water Coaching Association (NOWCA) as one of its 40+ affiliated venues. NOWCA has a growing community of more than 35,000 open water swimmers who trust them to keep them safe every swim.

Open water swimming and the benefits of cold-water therapy have become increasing popular over the last few years. Around 3% of adult Brits have tried open water swimming for the first time since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to research by the Centre*.

Plas y Brenin’s fully qualified Open Water Swimming coaches will offer monthly coaching sessions for beginner and experienced levels from £35. The lesson covers how a wetsuit works (and how to put it on), safe water entry and acclimatisation, stroke technique, sighting and swimming in a straight line, and drafting. Beginner sessions will run on the second Sunday of the month at 9:30am – 12:00pm, starting 10 July until 11 September. Experienced sessions will run on the same days from 12:00pm – 3:30pm. Beginners must be able to swim 200m in a pool to take part.

The Centre will also be hosting supervised open water swimming sessions every Thursday evening between 21 July and 25 August for competent swimmers looking to enjoy the lake independently with the reassurance of a supervisor. To use this service, swimmers must be able to comfortably swim 400m and will be required to bring their own wetsuit, goggles, swimming cap and towel. Sessions will run 18:30 – 20:00 with a cost of £7.50 per person.

Dave Janes, Instructor and Open Water Swimming Coach at Plas y Brenin commented: “It’s great to see so many more people enjoying the freedom and benefits of open water swimming. Not only is the water in our lake clean and fresh, its situated against the beautiful backdrop of the Snowdon Horseshoe, offering stunning views as you swim. Swimmers using either our coaching sessions or supervised sessions can also rest assured they are in the safe hands of fully qualified coaches who can help them hone their skills safely and responsibly. As a national centre, we’re committed to offering the highest standards when it comes to safety and overall experience, which we’ve strengthened by joining NOWCA and ensuring we’re adhering to their robust safety systems.”

* Research conducted by Opinium with a nationally representative sample of 2,002 UK adults between 30 March – 1 April 2020. Extrapolated figures are based on an 18+ UK population of 52,673,433, according to 2020 ONS mid-year-estimates.