Teddingtons growing river swimming community


49-year-old private coach Lisa Peake wades into muddy waters for a bracing swim to carry her spirits up, undeterred by London’s chilly and heavy winter mornings. 

She is in good firm: the spike within the variety of outside swimmers this yr was so nice that in the summertime the Outside Swimming Society took its digital map offline to scale back overcrowding at frequent places, and since then the map has not returned.


“Swimming in chilly water offers you a way of your personal mortality, of your personal life, and of how particular it’s to see the dawn popping out of the water when you are in it,” 

mentioned Lisa. 

“However swimming is simply a part of our each day lives for many of us, and it is simply one thing that you just do to get your self by means of the winter.”


Right now of yr, since taking over the game 4 years in the past in Tooting Bec Lido, Lisa is not any stranger to outside swimming, however when the coronavirus restrictions struck, she needed, partly, a brand new regular to encourage wholesome psychological wellbeing. 

The private coach mentioned, “It’s the camaraderie of being round folks and being outdoors in the event you’re surrounded by nature. 


“The blues and greens and the rustling leaves have been identified to have a robust influence in your temper. Nevertheless it’s chilly water as nicely! I want that they might prescribe it”


However this isn’t the one clarification for this yr’s periodic winter dip for Lisa. 

In July 2011, she grew to become a part of a relay crew that will swim the channel in assist of three charities, Thoughts, Diabetes UK and the Nationwide Mind Enchantment. 


“She mentioned: “I have to sustain the acclimatisation of my chilly water. 


“You are not simply swimming up and down outdoors. You may have tides and waves and splashes and stuff within the water that you’ll want to cease. 

“To slot in with the weather, your physique should work more durable.” Stated by Lisa


Different outside actions akin to mountain biking at Teddington lock and ham frequent have seen an enormous enhance in visits over the COVID interval. With extra time on folks’s palms and a higher willingness to get out and about, individuals are starting to worth this sort of exercise once more. Operating within the Richmond upon Thames space has additionally seen an increase with a number of on-line challenges being shared. It appears COVID has reignited a love of the outside in south west london.

Recommended For You