Not everyone grew up in the swim lanes where diving, tumble turns and butterfly are second nature; and whilst as an adult swimmer who enjoys openwater, you know joining a masters swimming club could be really helpful to improve fitness and technique, meet swim buddies etc, it can also be a bit intimidating.

#WSwim is a London based women only swim session which aims to bridge that gap. #WSwim focuses on building swim skills, fitness and confidence of female swimmers in a non-competitive and relaxed environment.

A lotus Rises spoke to Emily Chong one of the #WSwim founders, to find out more.


Why did you start #WSwim? 

#WSwim was founded at a time when we were trying to recruit more women to our swim club where quite often there’d be 30 men in the pool and only 1 female swimmer.  We spoke to a lot of people and many have come back to say they found swim clubs intimidating because they felt they weren’t good enough.

Some said they didn’t understand the jargon/ couldn’t do butterfly or were converting from breaststroke to front crawl  / couldn’t do tumble turn or dive start etc.  So we ran a series of 4wk courses as a bridging program to get swimmers the confidence to join a club.  However, quite a few have stayed with us since!


Where and when do you train? 

Marshall St Leisure Centre, 15 Marshall St. London W1F 7EL (nearest tube: Oxford Circus or Tottenham Court Rd).  Fridays 7-8pm.

What are the sessions like?

Our sessions are during the pool’s women’s only slot, so it’s quiet, peaceful and apart from the lifeguard only women are allowed in.  We tend to have around 4-10 swimmers in a double width lane. Depending on the group, we would focus on either technique / club or open water skills or fitness.  Some nights we would use under water camera for video analysis on swimmers’ request.

Who are the coaches? 

#WSwim has always been coached by female coaches who really understand how to build confidence.  Previously we had Emily Chong (founder, Serpie, nutty open water swimmer), Kinga Bornemisza (Magical Sports massage therapist, US college / State swimmer) and currently Daz Parker (stunt woman, pro triathlete).

We’re aways on a look out for any ASA Level 2 or above swim teacher or coach, so get in touch if that’s you!

#WSwim training
#WSwim training

How can we join in?

Head to https://www.facebook.com/groups/Wswim/ or e-mail dazparker@hotmail.com and let Coach Daz know you’ll be coming and turn up on Friday! There’s no joining fees, just pay £10 per session (£5 extra if you would like a video analysis).

Thanks Emily, we look forward to training with #WSwim soon!

At A Lotus Rises we’re celebrating  women in open water, from your first splash, through to wild swims and marathon swimming.

Many more inspirational stories, advice and adventures can be found on our Blog, and Facebook page and please don’t hesitate to get in touch via Twitter or  alotusrises@gmail.com. We want to share your stories, insights and advice, so we can support you and inspire others!


Author: A Lotus Rises

ALotusRises.com is a Women's Swimming Collective on a mission to improve visibility, access and participation of women in swimming. The name A Lotus Rises comes from the Chinese proverb 芙蓉出水 (fúróng chūshuǐ) Out of the Water a Lotus Rises, and is used to refer to strong beautiful women in water, talented swimmers and overcoming challenges and coming into bloom.

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