This course is for anyone who has never swum in open water, has panicked in open water or is entering their first race.
The course is always run by a qualified NOWCA Coach and lasts for approximately 2 hours. Start time is 7.00am and finish 9.00am approx. There are both theory and practical elements to the level one course. The coach will put you at ease as they go through important safety procedures and the basic technical skills that will aid your swimming experience in open water during the course and beyond. Listen and learn at least 40 important tips – all really useful and part of the syllabus. Once you have seen and heard these it is time to put them into practice. Normally you will be put into groups according to ability and experience. You will also be asked to partner up for safety. Your like minded partner could be a new friend for life!
Each group will be led step by step in a relaxed but safe environment. Overseen by qualified safety personnel and a safety craft. After successfully completing your course you should be competent to train and race in open water. Occasionally there are people who need further instruction and this normally is in the form of a 1-2-1 where a swimmer can get a little more attention than that found in a group.
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The information provided by Rick was extremely useful, as I have never swam in open water before, it put me at ease before having to start the practical part of the session. His presentation skills were relaxed which made me feel at ease as I did not know anyone on the course and I wasn’t sure if I had done the right thing in enrolling. I now only wish that I had booked to do this course several years earlier. Hannah and Steph were really helpful in and out of the water. Thankfully I met them in the changing room so they talked me through putting on my first ever wetsuit; carrier bags already packed for my next course. Meeting other swimmers and listening to their stories and experiences helped me realise that I was not alone with my earlier concerns.