7 Lidos in 7 days

In this month’s celebration of amazing endeavours by individuals at House of Sport, we get chatting to Debbie Salman, Sported’s Head of Finance and Administration. Turns out Debbie is also House of Sport’s resident mermaid…

So, tell us all about this intriguing challenge you have taken on, 7 Lidos in 7 days, sounds great!

I saw it on the Team 52 website when I signed up to do some challenges – I have a couple of friends who swim in the Hampstead ponds all year round and I thought they might be interested in joining me swimming in various Lidos around London (in the summer!).

What is the logistical plan of the challenge? Where are you going to swim?

The 7 lidos are in or around London and I researched them, looked at the logistics for getting there and came up with a plan – we are actually now doing 7 Lidos in 5 days as some are quite far away so last weekend we travelled to two on Saturday – Hampton Pool and The Serpentine then two on Sunday – Tooting Bec Lido and Brockwell Lido.
I am doing Oasis in Covent Garden on Monday evening and then we are all doing the Ponds and Parliament Hill Lido on Tuesday and Wednesday morning before work – 7am opening time! 

What appeals to you about swimming outside?

It is lovely seeing the sky and, for some of the Lidos, seeing trees, ducks, swans etc. with you swimming. Also there is less or no chlorine in the pools so a nicer experience all round.

Had you been a swimmer before taking on the challenge?

Hampton Pool 7 lidos in 7 days pool number 1
Hampton Pool

Not really – I didn’t particularly like swimming….but that was before I discovered outdoor swimming!

Do you swim inside?


Favourite place to swim so far?

Brockwell Lido, lovely pool, also lovely cafe!

Debbie and fellow swimmers complete swim number 4 of 7 Lidos in 7 days
The Looney Lido Ladies

What about the algae?

You can wash it off!

Will you carry on swimming in the Winter?

I am not planning to, but if you’d told me this time last year I would have been doing this I would have said you were mad. Never say never…

Any hairy moments like standing on something questionable like a slippery fish or getting tangled up in reeds?

Not really thank goodness! A few things touching my hands in the Serpentine, turned out to just be leaves. You can’t touch the bottom in the non-pools, probably a good thing!

Tooting Bec Lido one of the 7 Lidos in 7 days
Tooting Bec Lido

Do you prefer a heated Lido or a chilly pond?

Definitely a chilly pond. Far more refreshing!

How do you plan to celebrate after completing the challenge?

We are thinking of extending it to the new swimming lake in Beckenham, perhaps go for the day with friends. We may don our T-shirts again in celebration!

Post swim fuel, 7 Lidos in 7 days
Post swim goodness

Favourite post swim treat?

Definitely the avocado, poached egg and smoked salmon on toast after the Brockwell swim…with a massive pain au raisin as a “snack” on the way home!

And we hear you also cycle and run…any plans to enter the world of triathlons?

I did a few sprint triathlons in my younger days but one of my other Team 52 challenges is to do a super sprint triathlon in the wrong order – cycle to the ponds or lido, swim, then do a run. I will do that this Summer too!

Inspired to take a dip in the Hampstead Ponds? Take a look at this film here for more reasons to jump in!

Need more You Rock! in your life? Read some more here.

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