SWIMTAG LAUNCHES WEEKLY MASS PARTICIPATION POOL COMPETITION

After two years in development with operator partner, Places for People Leisure (PfPL), 222 Sports, creator of SWIMTAG, has launched ‘Rule The Pool’, the world’s first, pool-based weekly challenge, designed to engage pool users and encourage swim participation.

The weekly timed swim simply requires participants to register via the SWIMTAG website, don a SWIMTAG wristband and swim 400 metres (16 lengths of a 25-metre pool) as fast as they can. The session is automatically logged by the wristband and the effort is ranked, appearing in a central, Rule The Pool league table available to view anytime on the SWIMTAG website.

Competitions run every week from Monday to Sunday. At the end of each week, participants receive a personalised email from SWIMTAG, detailing their Rule The Pool competition time, rank and the total number of swimmers who participated that week. The leader board is then cleared and a new competition begins. Participants can complete the competition as many times as they like in a week, with SWIMTAG automatically selecting the fastest time to appear in the leader board. Having completed one timed swim, many participants repeat the experience week after week, in an attempt to improve their rank and time achieved in previous weeks.

Rule The Pool, originally developed via funding from Sport England, has been refined over a period of almost two years in partnership with leading leisure management company, PfPL. The competition is already available across all 72 PfPL managed pools and attracts around 1,000 participants every week. From this month, Rule The Pool will be available to swimmers at all SWIMTAG pools across the UK, with a plan for global rollout in the future.

Mark Haslam, Head of Swimming and Sport at PfPL, says: “Two years ago, we recognised the need to offer an accessible pool challenge which would engage a wide spectrum of ages and abilities to attract more people into the water. SWIMTAG was already installed in all our pools, so when we mentioned our ambition to Kieran and the team at 222 Sports they set about developing a cloud-based competition open to all, titled Rule The Pool.”

Kieran Sloyan, MD at 222 Sports, adds: “Since launching Rule The Pool across the PfPL estate, almost 3,000 individuals have completed at least one timed swim. We are now very excited to open the challenge to pool users across country who have access to SWIMTAG, enabling swimmers to compete against others up and down the country. All management and communication is administered by SWIMTAG, meaning no extra input from the operator is required to run this competition.”

Rule The Pool is available to all SWIMTAG operator partners free of charge. Sloyan adds: “Rule The Pool has the potential to create a global swim community and encourage literally thousands of people into the water. 400 metres is a do-able distance for most recreational swimmers, keeping the challenge inclusive and driving as much participation as possible.”

SWIMTAG PARTNERS WITH REFERALL TO ENHANCE PATIENT CARE

SWIMTAG, the world’s leading platform for pool operators keen to motivate and support swimmers, has teamed up with the UK’s number one referral software provider, ReferAll. The integration allows medical professionals who prescribe pool based physical activity to access real time activity data on individual patients at the touch of a button.

ReferAll offers a fast and efficient online referral pathway for Exercise on Referral schemes. The company is currently working with over 350 services, including exercise referral schemes, health trainers, weight management services and condition specific services, to ensure referred patients receive the professional support they need to effectively and safely integrate physical activity into their lifestyle to achieve positive health outcomes.

Until now, pool-based activity has been difficult to track and monitor, with GPs and other Allied Health Professionals reliant to the word of the patient when it comes to activity undertaken. An integration with SWIMTAG means medical care and treatment plans can be prescribed based on evidence, increasing the effectiveness and relevance to the individual.

Speaking about the integration, Kieran Sloyan, MD at SWIMTAG, says: “The health benefits of an active lifestyle are well documented and utilising technology to better enable a cross-sector approach to patient care is a positive move. Swimming is still one of the most accessible activities making it popular for GPs and APHs to prescribe. This partnership brings the physical activity and health sector closer together, enabling a more effective, patient-centred service.”

Once a patient gives their consent, usually on their first visit to a leisure centre at the start of their referral programme, the medical professional who made the referral is granted access to the patient’s SWIMTAG data via the ReferAll App. They can then access detailed information relating to the type and frequency of activity the patient has undertaken. Future prescription can then be built on factual information, increasing the effectiveness of the prescription.

Stuart Stokes, Commercial Director at ReferAll, says: “At ReferAll our objective is to focus on partnerships, like SWIMTAG, to bring together like-minded people and systems to help grow our network. By doing this we can ensure access to more relevant data, providing crucial evidence to medical professionals of the on-going achievements of Exercise on Referral programmes. This reinforces the essential nature of activity based programmes and provides tangible evidence of their success.”

First Installation In Czech Republic

We are very pleased to announce our first system installed in the Czech Republic this week. AC Baluo is part of the sports faculty of the University Olomouc, with an impressive 25m pool the centre already offers some exciting technology for its swimmers including underwater video analysis and endless pools for stroke development, we are sure that the addition of the Club SWIMTAG system and new Lane Displays will be a big hit with recreational swim members and swim teams who will be able to see their real time progress whilst poolside along with the challenges and competitions provided online.

More than 1,100 swimmer participate in SWIMTAG’s commonwealth games pool challenge

SWIMTAG’S, cloud-based pool challenge attracted 1187 participants, across more than 200 pools in the build up to the Commonwealth Games, which took place this year on the Gold Coast of Australia.

Swimmers were invited to complete the 16km between the Carrara Stadium, where the athletics took place, and the Gold Coast Aquatics Centre, which hosted the swimming, between March 1 and the Opening Ceremony on April 4.

More than 430 participants completed the challenge in an average of 21 days. The fastest finisher was a male swimmer from a Places For People managed pool in Wellingborough who took just 3 days to swim the distance.

Speaking about the success of the challenge, Colin Scott, Business Development Manager, at 222 Sports, creators of SWIMTAG, says: “When we set the challenge we worked out that it would typically take somebody swimming 40 lengths of a 25 metre pool per session, three times per week to complete the challenge in around 4 weeks!”

SWIMTAG challenges are promoted direct to registered users. This means that operators offering the system do not have to get involved in any set up. All the administration, challenge updates and feedback to swimmers throughout the challenge is managed by SWIMTAG and accessed by participants via the SWIMTAG online platform. Operators can then choose to promote the challenge via internal marketing and social media if they wish, and this can really help to drive engagement. Our records show that pools running and promoting challenges can attract up to a 40 per cent uplift in recorded swims.

“There are always new challenge options available on the SWIMTAG system. Swimmers can move from one challenge to another. Setting personal goals maintains motivation and gives swimmers a reason to enter the water on a regular basis. If we are to halt the national decline in swim participation, we need to find new ways to engage and motivate people in our pools. SWIMTAG challenges certainly tick this box.”

Wakefield gets SWIMTAG at 3rd Site

Following previous SWIMTAG installations at Normanton Swimming Pool and Featherstone Sports Complex, Wakefield Council have now installed SWIMTAG at their flagship Sun Lane Leisure Centre.

Based in the centre of the town, Sun Lane is the Council’s busiest pool and since the launch, the use of SWIMTAG has been high.

Health and Wellbeing Community Activator Debbie Hastings said “SWIMTAG has worked well for us at Normanton and Featherstone and now it’s in at Sun Lane, we can offer it to even more users. We’re particularly looking forward to using the new “Pool Battle” feature which will allow the three centres to compete against each other and create a bit of friendly rivalry between the pools”.

Business Development Manager for 222 Sports Colin Scott said “We’ve done three installations now at Wakefield sites and they’ve all gone really well. The main thing they have going for them is the staff at all the sites. SWIMTAG is a great tool but but people need to try it out to really understand how it works and then get addicted, so it’s vital that the reception team and everyone else around the centre has enthusiasm for the product and the confidence to encourage members to use it. They have that across all the Wakefield sites, which is why they are doing so well”.