Take part in the Great East Swim 2018


If you’re ready to make a change to your life and would like to become more active, there are 96 places available on the 2018 programme.

People swimming for the Great East swimThe 2018 programme starts in March and culminates on 23 June at the Great East Swim at Alton Water reservoir, near Ipswich.

"I’m so pleased with myself - I'm determined to make changes to my life as I feel so much better with exercise"

These are the words of Wendy, who was one of 79 individuals who signed up and took part in the Great East Swim outreach programme in 2017 and she has not looked back since!

The programme is open to individuals who are aged 18 years and over who are not currently physically active. The programme will be taking place at Crown Pools in Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centre between March and June.

This will be the seventh year that the programme has been run, during which time over 300 individuals looking to make a positive change to their health and wellbeing have completed the challenge of swimming either half a mile or 1 mile in open water at the Great East Swim.

The 2018 programme is delivered in partnership with Suffolk County Council, Ipswich Borough Council, Abbeycroft Leisure Trust, Suffolk Sport and Allied Health professionals.

Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Health, Councillor Tony Goldson said:

“The Great East Swim programme has generated so many fantastic stories over the past few years and delivered long term positive impacts and increased physical activity levels in many people.

“I would encourage anyone who is considering getting active, but just needs some support and motivation to take the next step, to sign up and get involved.

“By targeting those people with low levels of participation in sport and physical activity we can help shape behaviours in our bid to become the most active county in England.”

Individuals who sign up for the programme will receive an extensive package of support which aims to provide them with the confidence, stamina and self-belief to complete their personal challenge and become active for life. The package of support includes:

  • Three months fully supported training with professional swimming coaches
  • Three months free membership to one of the participating leisure centres
  • Free fast-track physiotherapy support and strength and conditioning classes
  • Free entry to the Great East Swim 2018
  • Free wetsuit hire
  • Pre-event open water training session/s
  • All the encouragement and advice required from the programme team

Valued at over £200 per participant, these opportunities are being made available at a small one-off charge of £30 per person.

To apply for a place on the programme, see the 2018 programme information and complete the registration form. The programme coordinator will then be in touch directly to discuss the programme in more detail. 

If you’re interested in taking part in the training for the Great East Swim 2018 but would like further information, please contact Carol Lukins, Programme Coordinator on 07955 735514 or at carol.lukins@suffolk.gov.uk.