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Twenty three swimmers plunged into Loch Linnhe in Fort William on Saturday to celebrate World Blue Mind Day.
Organiser and qualified open water swimmer instructor Penny Clay, who also runs Mountain Yoga Kinlochleven, told the Lochaber Times: ‘ It was really inspiring to have such a diverse group each enjoying the water in their own way.
‘As a yoga teacher, I’m really interested in different ways people can improve
their physical and mental health and I firmly believe getting into the water is
good for us.
‘I recently qualified as an STA Open Water Swim Coach which means I can take swimmers into open water and coach them in skills, safety and swimming
‘The last couple of years has seen a huge increase in open water swimming and I wanted to host a free community event to bring together a range of people to celebrate.
‘It doesn’t matter whether it’s for a dook or a long swim, this is where the idea of Blue Mind comes in. The Blue Mind movement originated in the US with Wallace J Nichols and shows how water makes us happier, healthier and better at what we do.
‘I teamed up with Nix Forster, partner at Off Beat Bikes, to host our first meet up. Nix is
an experienced open water enthusiast who loves encouraging people to get into the
water and the Off Beat Bikes shop specialises in open water swim kit. The staff there
are all keen swimmers with a wealth of experience to help and advise.
‘One of the things I love about open water swimming is that when it comes to getting
in the water your age, size and ability don’t matter, just the willingness to get in.
‘Today’s group proved that – some swam long distances, others dipped,
some were in wetsuits, others in their ‘cossies’, but everyone had a big smile on their
face and enjoyed the feeling of being in the water and the chat over cake
afterwards. Thank you to everyone for coming along.’
If you would like more information about open water swimming locally contact Penny
Clay at Mountain Yoga Kinlochleven, www.mountainyogakinlochleven.co.uk, or visit Off Beat Bikes on the High Street for a chat – www.offbeatbikes.co.uk.
The group’s next Blue Mind Meet Up is on Saturday August 20.
The Saturday morning swimmers who enjoyed a dip in Loch Linnhe to mark World Blue Mind Day. Photograph: Iain Ferguson, alba.photos NO-F30-Saturday-Swimmers-01
Some of the swimmers in Loch Linnhe. Photograph: Iain Ferguson, alba.photos