How USwim’s New Years Day Swim Began – Karen Quartermain

Two swimmers smile on boat

USwim was founded by Dave Quartermain in 2007. As a child Dave had a dream to swim the English Channel and many years later he created one of the very first open water swim venues in the UK, offering safe supervised swimming sessions. Whilst training for his marathon swims such as Windermere and Manhattan Island, he realised there were no facilities to train and Uswim was born.

Over the years Uswim has seen a natural growth and the passion continues. Offering introduction courses for beginners, cold water experiences, training plans and tuition, not to mention events around the North West.

Year on year Uswim welcomes 1000’s of swimmers from a wide variety of abilities and ages, wetsuits or skins. The Uswim community drives our continuing passion to make every experience a positive one.

I joined Uswim in 2013 after trying open water swimming to help me after a back injury. I entered my first open water event and 8 years later have swam many Lochs and Lakes including a Jersey to France Solo. I am now in training for my Around Jersey Island swim, all 41 miles of it and the support from the Uswim community will help me get there.

The New Years Day Swim was started over 10 years ago and traditionally raises money for local charities that our Uswim community have suggested. It’s a chance for Uswim to give something back to the local community and start the season with a positive, healthy start. This year we’re supporting local charity Reuben’s Retreat, a charity supporting families of complexly poorly children and families of child loss – a charity very close to the hearts of the Uswim community.

The recent Pandemic has brought more of a community feel to the venues, with everyone truly embracing the power of water and what it means for everyone.



Writer and expert