What: Open Water Swimming (Summer season only)
Where: Rother Valley Country Park, Mansfield Road, Wales Bar, Sheffield S26 5PQ
When: Saturday 0900-1000, Register at 0830 at the Water Sports Centre
Cost: £4 per session (& £5 for an OW Season car park pass)
Equipment: Wetsuit, Swimsuit, Goggles, Towel, Flipflops or similar
Session: Self-guided swimming around an approx 600m triangular(ish) course, uncoached
Open Water Swim sessions are only open to Full Members (£32.95 – access to all our sessions), or Summer Swim Members (£17.00 for Open Water Swimming Sessions Only) for insurance reasons – please join here!
Enter by the Mansfield Road entrance – after a mile cross the bridge, then turn left at the T-junction, following the signs for the Water Sports Centre. Secure Bike storage (bring your own padlock) and Car Parking are immediately outside the Water Sports Centre, with registration each week at the table inside. We encourage members to cycle to this venue, to keep our carbon footprint down.
When you come for your first session, if you have driven, you will need to pay at the park entrance for parking as if you were a normal park user, which is £5. Keep the receipt, as the staff in the Water Sports Centre will exchange this for a 2019 Open Water Swimming season car parking pass, and thereafter parking will be free, on presentation of your pass at the Mansfield Road entrance. Please aim to arrive at 0820 so we can start promptly.
We keep a register and will require the details of your emergency contact – please advise the registration team of any health issues that may affect you.
Changing facilities are in the Water Sports Centre
Volunteers provide landside and kayak safety cover. Get a free swim if you kayak half the session!
Please let us know when you register if you are willing and able to help out as no canoeists means no swimming!
Please also complete the declaration of the Open Water Swim Rules to show that you understand the health and safety procedures. Please give either to the membership secretary or bring to registration when you attend for the first time.
Hot showers are available in the Water Sports Centre, as well as wetsuit hire – note these are not swimming wetsuits, so they are not very flexible in the shoulder area, and may not seal that well around the neck area. Coffees can be had in the nearby cafe. The 5Km run loop around the lakes tempts some members to run afterwards, and is used year-round by Rother Valley Parkrun, Saturdays 0900 start.
Please use the Contact Us page if you have any questions.
Although there are many places you can buy wetsuits now, TriUK in Shirebrook has an ‘endless pool’ where you can try on and test out wetsuits. We’d reccomend an open-water swimming or triathlon wetsuit.
Use some form of lubricant around the armpits and neck to minimise chafing – Baby Oil Gel, Huub Luub, body Glide balm are examples – please check they are compatible with your wetsuit! Watch your nails, so you don’t damage the neoprene getting them on. White cotton gloves can be purchased to further protect your suit whilst taking on and off.
How to put one on – Mr Smooth of Swimsmooth has some useful info in the video on this page. Click here. Bring two plastic bags with you to use this technique (why not reuse a supermarket bag?)
Non-Wetsuit Swimming (Skins):
The minimum temperature for skins swimming is 14 degrees C, – but we reserve the right to insist on wetsuit use for any swimmer.