New Feature Alert: You can now use the SWIMTAG mobile app to activate a wristband. On the side menu tap the QR code icon next to your profile picture, just present the QR code in front of the QR scanner at your pool to activate a wristband. Ideal if you forget your membership card and don't want to loose your swim record!
Mr Pele, aged 53, is a regular swimmer at West Bromwich Leisure Centre and, in the last 12 months, has clocked up over 360 hours in the pool and recorded more than 400 kilometres. Visiting the centre most days to swim, Mr Pele puts his commitment in the pool down to SWIMTAG.
Growing up, Mr Pele suffered ill health which meant he was forced to spend much of his childhood in a hospital bed. His battle with crippling osteoporosis continues today and leaves him dealing with intense pain every day, which he controls with the help of 35 daily, prescribed tablets.
Mr Pele explains: “All my life my body has let me down, preventing me from reaching my full potential, both physically and mentally. However, in the last 12 months I have found solace in swimming. I find the water and the environment incredibly relaxing. Ploughing up and down the pool I can clear my mind and focus just on my swim. It is not unusual for me to spend 90 minutes at a time in the water.
“The activity also has a positive effect on my pain levels. Having endured two hip replacements and, more recently, a shoulder replacement, my joint mobility is poor. I am also constantly fighting intense pain, yet, in the water, the pain almost disappears and allows me to simply enjoy the moment.
“SWIMTAG has been a huge motivator. I collect my wristband from reception and that is all I have to do in order to have all my swim data logged. In addition to providing feedback on estimated calories burned, lengths completed and session duration, SWIMTAG also allows me to benchmark against other swimmers. My aim every month is to appear on the Leisure Centre’s list of top ten swimmers, a target I have rarely missed.”
Mr Pele has also completed an incredible 12 SWIMTAG challenges and has just started his 13th – the Jersey Island Swim. He says: “I love the challenges. They give me a target to aim for and a reason to keep returning to the pool.
“The pool and SWIMTAG at West Bromwich Leisure Centre have given me an opportunity to perform well at something. The sense of achievement I get from seeing my name on the leader board or from completing a gruelling challenge is addictive.
“Without SWIMTAG I would find it hard to motivate myself and without swimming I would be forced into a completely inactive lifestyle.
“The experience of the last 12 months has changed my life and I intend to continue to complete challenges and visit the pool 5 or 6 times a week as long as my body will allow it.”
Mark Haslam, Head of Swimming and Sport at Places Leisure who manage the site, says: “Mr Pele is an inspiration. Despite his personal physical challenges, he turns up at the pool almost every day and gives every session 100 per cent. He has become a well-known and highly regarded visitor and we wish him every success with his 13th SWIMTAG challenge.”
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, 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.”
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.