Dublin Swimming Club survey; what OW swimming in Ireland needs

Ossi forwarded a survey this morning to the Sandycove email list from the Dublin Swimming Club:

Warning, blue font ahead in my response!

Dublin Swimming Club is 130 years young this year– making it the oldest swimming club in Ireland – it even predates the GAA! As part of the club’s anniversary activities Dublin Swimming Club is surveying as many people as possible who compete in the open water / sea swims in Ireland. There is a simple online survey which will take 5 – 10 minutes to complete. It is completely anonymous.

Please click on the link http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NRFGT22 to start.
The survey results will be announced at Dublin Swimming Club’s race on July 3 at Windsurfers. The findings will also be published online during the summer.”
If you are an Irish swimmer, please take part.
My thoughts about it:
The survey doesn’t seem to realise, at least from my point of view, and from the thrust of the questions, that there is far more to OW swimming than racing. Even when asking, Why? it asks in the context of racing. It really doesn’t matter if I am reading it incorrectly, as part of the nature of surveys to explore the ambiguities they throw up. But I’m glad to be see this being done, I think it’s a great idea.

“Q: Do you have any tips (other than not getting in) for dealing with the cold water?”

Read my website: http://www.loneswimmer.com.

“Q: What is the most helpful hint you would you give to those considering getting involved in the sport?”

Read my website: http://www.loneswimmer.com!

“Q: Can you suggest one improvement that could be introduced to improve open water swimming in Ireland.”

My slightly longer and more considered response than the brief version I posted into the survey.

Ireland and Swim Ireland especially needs an Open Water Swimming conference. It needs to involve and listen to, a variety of  those involved in it, whether from a participation point of view or an achievement or organisational point of view , like Ned Dennison, Joe Donnelly, (whoever the other provinces equivalents are), Martin Cullen (Ned & martin on the S.I. OW committee), Lisa Cummins, Anne-Marie Ward, Eilis Burns, ILDSA, Sarah Clifford, Chris Bryan, representatives from Sandycove Island, the Guillamenes, Dublin’s 40-foot and North Wall, etc, etc, to explain and discuss just what we and this sport is about, and the diversity of our sport, from winter polar bears to marathon and endurance swimmers and 2012 & 2016 Olympic hopefuls and across the age range.
The conference could allow us to focus on a possible solution to the greatest current problem in Irish swimming, that of swimmer retention past the teenage years, and thereby grown the sport as a whole, and grow OW specifically, and become a greater part of the Irish marine experience by energising local Open Water Swimming communities and making Open Water swimmers feel less like outsiders…
And of course any survey needs to make its finding public and any problems with the survey design and ambiguity of responses.
Steve, you could come over and chair/facilitate it!
Of course, I doubt anyone in Swim Ireland is reading this. I’m one of the freaks after all.

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