Ciaran Hanks Completes His SWIMTAG Loch Ness Challenge!

11 years old Ciaran Hanks is an inspiration. On Friday, December 8, Ciaran donned his googles, entered the water at the Melksham Blue Pool and completed an epic journey which has seen him swim 1454 lengths of the 25 metre pool, that’s 36.33 kilometres – a distance equivalent to the length of Loch Ness. As a result of his efforts, Ciaran has also raised more than £440.00 for the MS Society.

This is the second SWIMTAG challenge completed by Ciaran. His first adventure saw him swim the equivalent of the English Channel, this time raising funds for the Air Ambulance.

What makes this story even more incredible is that Ciaran is asthmatic, a condition which, until he began swimming lessons in January 2014, meant he found it difficult to control his breathing in a way that would allow him to complete even a single length of the 25 metre pool.

Ciaran says: “Three years ago I would never have thought it would be possible to achieve what I have achieved in the pool and I would like to thank everybody who has supported me both with my training and my fundraising.

“As well has helping to control my asthma through learning better breathing techniques, creating a challenge and setting a goal has really helped me to maintain my focus. Lane swimming can be boring but these challenges, along with the opportunity they create to raise funds for some very worthy causes, gives me a reason to keep getting in the water night after night.

I am now looking for my next challenge. This is not the last you have heard of me. I really hope my efforts inspire others to get in the water and set a challenge. If I can do it, others can too.”

Since setting up his SWIMTAG account in July 2016, Ciaran has clocked up more than 41 hours in the pool and swam more than 81 kilometres.

Ciaran finished his latest challenge in the Melksham Blue Pool but most of the journey took place took place in the pool at the Trowbridge Sports Centre. This facility installed SWIMTAG in November 2014 as part of an estate wide roll out by Places For People Leisure. Since then, more than 5163 swimmers have got involved in one or more of the many online challenges provide by SWIMTAG.

Esther Levin who is the Places For People Contract Swimming Development Manager for West Wiltshire, says: “Ciaran’s achievements are amazing and SWIMTAG has really helped to bring the challenge to life. Being able to track his progress and evidence his swims has been instrumental in maintaining motivation and encouraging support.

“Each month, more than 150 swimmers are now using SWIMTAG, at Trowbridge Sports Centre, and the system is totally integrated into our offering. The challenges bring a social element to swimming which, until now, has been a very solitary activity. This is helping to encourage our swimmers to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle.”

SWIMTAG is available, free of charge, to all swimmers at any pool managed by Places For People Leisure. All swimmers need to do is sign up for a free Places Membership.

To find out more about Ciaran and to donate visit his Just Giving page at: https:// www.justgiving.com/fundraising/LochNessAdventure. 

SWIMTAG Strengthens Foothold In Norway

SWIMTAG has completed its 13th installation in Norway through its Nordic distribution partner, SWIMTAG Nordic AS.

The most recent install at the Gamlingen Pool in Stravenger on the West Coast of Norway is already attracting a significant number of users every month and helping the operator to deliver an enhanced user experience.

Speaking about SWIMTAG, Rasmus Gjesdal, General Manager at Stavanger Svømmestadion, Gamlingen, says : “We introduced SWIMTAG as a new offer in August 2017. After 3 months of use, we already have 450 users, of which, several participate in our local challenge and competitions. The system is easy to use (we offer SWIMTAG as self-service) and feedback from our users is exclusively positive. We also want to add that, the follow-up from SWIMTAG Nordic AS is of very high service, and I can, without doubt, recommend the product to other swimming pools. "

The first install in Norway took place in 2014 and since then there has been a steady increase in interest from various operators. Eirik Aksnes, SWIMTAG’s Nordic distribution partner, says: “In Norway, swimming is largely viewed more as a holistic pastime than a serious fitness solution but this is starting to change with more operators beginning to see the value regular pool based activity can have on a community’s health and wellbeing.

“Most operators investing in SWIMTAG are doing so because they see the added value the system offers to recreational swimmers. For the first time, pool users are able to log activity and build a record of their swims and performance improvements. This is extremely motivating. Add to this the chance to take part in a range of cloud based challenges, introducing an opportunity for social interaction with likeminded people, and suddenly the whole pool experience becomes much more engaging. This will keep swimmers returning to the pool for longer.”

Most operators in Norway offer SWIMTAG free of charge to pool users, viewing it as an opportunity to add value rather than drive revenue. Eirik, adds: “SWIMTAG is now installed in more than 200 pools worldwide and there is overwhelming evidence to prove that the system is most successful when this approach is taken. Some operators still insist on passing on the charge to the swimmer but this always results in lower engagement. The financial value in SWIMTAG results from the increase in swimmer retention and the positive influence this has on income rather than the increase in revenue generated from a point of sale approach.”

SWIMTAG Nordics AS operators across Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Iceland and Germany. Across the territories there are now 24 pools offering SWIMTAG with a growing pipeline of installs planned for 2018.

New technology boosts local swimming

Larkfield Leisure Centre is seeing a resurgence in swimming after becoming the first pool in Kent to offer fitness tracking technology for swimmers.

tmactive, which runs the centre on behalf of Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council, installed the awarding-winning SWIMTAG technology at both Larkfield Leisure Centre and Tonbridge Swimming Pool. Like a Fitbit for the pool, the wristband allows swimmers to track their training in the pool from calories burned and distance swum to personal bests.

More than 400 customers regularly use the fitness tracker, notching up an impressive 5,945 swims and a total distance of 7,021km between them. In total, users of SWIMTAG have spent 161 days and three hours in the pool with the average swim lasting 32 minutes.

The technology also allows swimmers to take part in a wide range of challenges to help keep them motivated, as Sarah King, a tmactive trustee and mother of two from Mereworth testifies.

“I enjoy swimming but it can get a bit monotonous. An old school friend who lives in Ashford had posted her plans to swim the distance of the English Channel for charity. I’d heard about SWIMTAG and discovered that you could sign up to swim a lake, river, estuary, channel, sea or ocean anywhere in the world. I found the English Channel, signed up and became a virtual swim buddy for my friend.”

The friends motivated and supported each other over the next eight weeks during which time Sarah spent 18 hours in the pool swimming a total of 1,408 lengths. The 47 year old also burned 8,951 calories. And now she is hooked.

“Taking part in the SWIMTAG challenge has certainly helped improve my fitness and flexibility and stopped any backache. Swimming is a great stress reliever and I feel much more toned in my core area and around my waist and I’ve also shed the half a stone I wanted to lose. The challenge feature and having a friend to compete against motivated me to swim as much as I could in a week.

“I love the graphics which show how far you have progressed across a stretch of a water, the number of lengths you’ve done, your stroke type and speed. Wearing SWIMTAG has made me chat to other users at the end of my swim, so it has made the pool much more sociable for me,” she says.

Since completing her 22-mile English Channel swim, Sarah has swum the distance of the Bristol Channel (11 miles) and signed up to a number of competitions including a ‘500m of any stroke’ challenge with fellow Larkfield swimmers and a UK-wide Swimmers Mile event.

“You can see a list of the other people you are competing against, their profile photos and which leisure centres they are swimming at across the UK.”

Larkfield Leisure Centre and Tonbridge Swimming Pool both feature the SWIMTAG lane displays which allow swimmers to get feedback on their swim while in the water. Swimmers just raise their wristband to the screen at the end of the lane to display all of their data.

For more information, please visit www.tmactive.co.uk

News for Current SWIMTAG Operators - Pool Battles

Due to popular demand we are pleased to announce we will soon be adding Team Challenges to the website, these will allow swimmers to team up and take on even bigger swim challenges as a team. In addition to this we will also be allowing you to take on another pool in a team challenge that we will be calling a Pool Battle!
Pool Battles will work in a same way as a team challenge where each team represents a pool, there will be a limited number of places available on each team and as soon as all teams have enough swimmers the battle begins, first team across the finish line wins the battle!
The updates will be available on your operator accounts before Christmas and we will be looking for good ideas for new routes to add to the website so get in touch and let us know what you think.

 

News for Current SWIMTAG Operators - Commonwealth Games Swim

Gold Coast from 4th - 15th April 2018.
In the run up to the 2016 Olympics, we created the "Swim Rio" Challenge and over 1600 SWIMTAG users entered. With the Commonwealth Games only a few months away, we've set up a similar swim, starting at the Carrara Stadium (where the athletics will be held) and finishing at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre. The total distance is just over 16km.
We're holding this challenge back (to ensure that nobody is able to complete it prior to it being launched) and we're recommending that you run the challenge from 1st - March until 4th April, which is the date of the opening ceremony (although the dates are not set in stone so the challenge can be done earlier or later if required).
We hope the challenge will give you a great opportunity to engage with your swimmers in the run up to the Commonwealth Games! Because the challenge hasn't been loaded on to the website, you won't see it on the list of challenges in the SWIMTAG Operator Panel. If you would like the challenge to be set up at you pool(s) please email Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo.