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Meet the swimmer #1: Evie Hayward (and her dog, Murf)

Updated: Apr 14

The best way to find out all about open-water swimming? Ask an open-water swimmer...!

In the first of our series of interviews we meet Evie Hayward (14), a regular at Lake 32.

Evie may look familiar to many of you, as she's also been helping out at the lake and at my winter swimming workshops as part of the criteria for her Duke of Edinburgh Award. We asked how her swimming is going...

Evie on a trip to Charmouth Beach with her dog, Murf. Photo: Jo Penny.


When did you start swimming in open-water and what do you enjoy most about it?

I started in February 2021. I like open-water swimming because it’s so calming! After a stressful week it can be so relaxing just to immerse yourself in nature!


What is your favourite swim spot?

St Mary’s Loch in Scotland


St Mary's Loch in Scotland, Evie's favourite swim spot to visit. Photo: Jo Penny.


What have you been proud to achieve this year?

2km in the summertime (in skins)!


What's your essential item of kit?

Cake! Who doesn’t love to celebrate with a wedge of cake?? Or my HUUB Swim Socks, my feet get chilly really quickly as soon as the temperature drops!


Any top tips for new open-water swimmers?

Not to push yourself – while open-water swimming is fun, it doesn’t always have to be a competition! It’s okay to take it steady!


Are you excited about winter swimming... Or looking forward to next summer?

I’m excited for winter swimming! It’s been really nice swimming through the change of season and it’ll be nice to watch autumn become winter!


What's your next swimming goal?

Just to keep swimming! Hopefully into January/February time [when the lake is at its coldest] – or just as long as I can manage!


Tell us about your favourite lake wildlife!

Herons, they look so elegant!


If you would like to be featured in this column then I'd love to hear from you, just send me an email. Everyone is welcome and every swimmer has a story! hmwebster77@gmail.com.

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