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SH2OUT recognises the growth in open water swimming and wants to support stakeholders to ensure the sport continues to develop.

SH2OUT will put in place a clear and supportive participation pathway, enabling more people to take part in open water swimming.

By working in partnership with venues (both pool based and open) we aim to encourage new people to give open water swimming a go. We will create opportunities and remove barriers to encourage participation. SH2OUT will ensure our offer reaches across different age and social groups, to provide an engaging, fun and safe open water swimming experience.

Once participants have engaged with the sport for the first time, we will work hard to make sure they are aware of existing programmes within triathlon, lifesaving and swimming, so we can inspire them to maintain an active habit.

Pool to Pond

The RLSS UK are piloting a new programme that is recognised by SH2OUT called “Pool to Pond”.

Pool to Pond has been developed to support a swimmer making the transition from pool to open water swimmer. The programme will offer flexible opportunities for participants to swim in open water. There will be three key components:

  • Dry side education with networking and confidence building
  • Pool-based introduction to open water skills
  • Open water introduction to the lake

The swimmer will learn and discuss:

  • Where are you going to swim?
  • When are you going to swim?
  • Who are you going to swim with?
  • What do you need to be aware of and what do you need to plan for?
  • What clothing and equipment do you need – in and out of the water?
  • What basic skills do you need to get the most from your swim?

The benefits to the swimmer?

  • Benefit of engagement for a leisure operator or open water venue
  • Contribution towards drowning prevention
  • Guidance for the instructor and upskilling of existing staff
  • Positive engagement with existing swimmers, perceived added value to membership
  • A new programme that can raise extra income
  • Attracts new swimmers motivated to train for open water
  • Motivates swimmers to make more pool visits to train for open water > open water swimmers need swimming pools
  • Develops links with local open water sessions

RLSS UK are now looking for facilities to deliver Pool to Pond trials starting with the dry-side and pool programmes and leading into the open water introduction. If you are interested please contact

If you are a swimmer interest in attending a Pool to Pond session, please email