96 places available on acclaimed Great East Swim training programme


People aged 35 – 49, and over the age of 50, who aren't involved in regular physical activity are being encouraged to register for the Great East Swim 2017.

The training programme is taking place at Crown Pools in Ipswich and Mildenhall Swimming Pool between March and June. It’s the first year that the programme has been opened up to the 35 – 49 age group, which is expected to generate lots of interest and will see places snapped up quickly.    

This will be the sixth year that the programme has been run, during which time over 250 individuals looking to make a positive change to their health and fitness have completed the challenge of swimming either ½ or 1 mile in open water at the Great East Swim, which takes place on 17 June 2017, at Alton Water reservoir near Ipswich.

The programme is delivered in partnership with Suffolk Sport, Suffolk County Council, Ipswich Borough Council and Abbeycroft Leisure. Other partners include Allied Health professionals, The Blossom Charity and One Life Suffolk.

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.

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
  • physiotherapy support
  • free entry to the Great East Swim 2017
  • 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, the opportunities are being made available at a small one-off charge of £30 per person.

To apply for a place on the programme, visit www.suffolksport.com/GES-2017 and complete the registration form for the relevant age category. 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 2017 but would like further information, please contact Carol Lukins, Programme Coordinator on 07955 735514 or at carol.lukins@suffolk.gov.uk