5th September 2021
Networking: A social event meeting people in your industry and gaining useful contacts. Right?
Wrong! An outdoor swim isn’t something I would usually associate with networking, but I can’t think of a better way to truly get to know colleagues, than sharing a peaceful hour or two floating down the river and warming up with coffee and cake afterwards.
On the 5th of September, four members of the North West Translators’ Network and two members from the ITI North East Regional Group met up at Fell Foot Park at the southern end of Lake Windermere to enjoy a wonderful wild swim, hosted by Sleeker Swim of the Lake District.
After an introductory chat, kit check and warm cup of tea or coffee, we made the 10-minute walk across the meadow to the wild swim site. The site is located on the River Leven just as it flows out of Lake Windermere. After squeezing into tight wetsuits and navigating the stony shore, we entered the water and started to acclimatise. A special shoutout must go to Dot, who chose not to use a wetsuit and swam the whole distance in just her swimming costume. Definitely a northern lass made of strong stuff!
We swam as a group, taking in the scenic steam train as it puffed past, beautiful treelined shore and a very relaxed heron, who let us get within a few metres as he stood on one leg and watched as we swam past. Just past the heron, we split into two groups; those who wanted to swim a little further and those who turned round to swim back down the opposite bank.
Once we were all safely back at the entry and exit point, we took the opportunity to get back in the water to enjoy it properly without our wetsuits, just as Dot had. The water temperature was roughly the same as the air temperature of 18 degrees. The sun had come out whilst we were swimming, which meant we were all able to relax in the water and enjoy a good natter before we got out to dry off.
After the short walk back to the main Fell Foot Park area, Sleeker Swim wrapped up the session with a piece of well-earned cake and a discussion on open water swimming safety, swim locations in the North West and useful links to check if we wanted to pursue the activity in future. A few of the group then popped to Fell Foot Park café for a bite to eat and a chat and then we all made our separate ways home, feeling thoroughly refreshed and having enjoyed ourselves immensely. What a fabulous way to network!
Written by Marjolein Thickett.