8 May

Too Wet to Run? Try a Great Swim

Be one of up to 2,000 swimmers in Strathclyde Park, Motherwell when the The Great Scottish Swim makes it's inaugural splash in August this year. Entries for the exciting one mile open water challenge are now open.

The swim is the latest event to be announced as part of Great Swim- a new series of one mile mass participation televised events taking place throughout the UK, following the success of the Great North Swim, which made its debut in Windermere last September as Britain's biggest open water mass participation swim. The Great Scottish Swim will take place on Saturday 29th August and is open to those of all abilities, from world champions to club swimmers, fun swimmers who want a new challenge to those who want to get fit whilst raising money for charity.

The inaugural event has been secured through a partnership of EventScotland and North Lanarkshire Council.

Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer at EventScotland, the national events agency, said: "Mass participation events play an important role in Scotland's events calendar and this is the first event of its kind for Scotland. The event itself will be broadcast both within the UK and internationally, raising the profile of swimming in Scotland and Scotland as a destination. The Great Scottish Swim is an outstanding addition to Scotland's sporting portfolio and we anticipate thousands of people from the UK and beyond will be signing up to take the plunge in August."

Taking its inspiration from the world's biggest half marathon-the Bupa Great North Run, Great Swim uses the formula of mass participation events, providing a focus and a challenge for which the individual can train. Open water swimming was introduced to the Olympics in 2008 and has enjoyed growing interest since.

North Lanarkshire Council, which operates Strathclyde Country Park, is confident the swim will be a complete success. "The council is delighted to be welcoming the Great Scottish Swim to Strathclyde Country Park," said Paul Jukes, Executive Director of Environmental Services. "It's an excellent facility for this kind of occasion, as the success of the triathlons, rowing championships and other sporting events we've hosted have shown.

"We're looking forward to working with all the organisers to produce an excellent day for everyone."

Swimming provides the perfect alternative to running and is a great way to get fit whilst having fun. The aim is to build the world's largest mass participation swimming programme, expanding to more venues throughout the UK in 2010.

The entry limit for the Great Scottish Swim is 2000 people and the event is open to people ages 16 years and over.

Visit the Great Swim site for more information.