Exploring the Science of Swimming in Lough Ree

Swimmers including 10 year old Amy Walsh from Athlone, enjoying a swim in Lough Ree as part of the Midlands Science Festival event Splash which explored the science of cold water swimming.

Exploring the Science of Swimming in Lough Ree

Almost 100 brave swimmers dived into a cold Lough Ree on Sunday morning with the water temperature registering a chilly 8 degrees and it was all in the name of Science Week !! The swim and talk that followed was all part of an event called “Splash – Dive Into the Science of Wellness”, as part of the Midlands Science Festival.

The Festival is supported by Science Foundation Ireland as part of national Science Week. Taking place from 12th-19th November, the theme for Science Week 2023 is ‘Human?’, which asks people to consider what it means to be human in today’s world, and how the decisions we make today will impact the people and world of the future.

The swimmers returned to the Hudson Bay Hotel for hot food and refreshments and then took part in a discussion with Nuala Moore. She is the holder of two Guinness World Records for Extreme Cold Water Swimming and she took participants through her journey of swimming which took her from swims in Dingle to swimming in the Bering Strait and around Cape Horn. Following her presentation, there was a discussion on cold water swimming, the science of this activity and the health benefits it can promote. As Westmeath now has a large open water swimming community, participants included members of local open water swimming groups such as the Westmeath Noels and Nualas and the Westmeath Orcas. Nuala has swum in some of the most dangerous, remote and coldest waters in the world including Drake’s Passage. Her biography “Limitless” was recently published by Gill Books.

Jackie Gorman, CEO of Midlands Science commented ; “open water and cold water swimming has become extremely popular in Ireland over the past number of years and science helps to understand both how to care for ourselves in this activity and also the health benefits that the activity can provide. It was an honour to welcome a swimmer such as Nuala Moore to the midlands, she has achieved so much and is an inspiration to us all. She inspires us to think outside of the limitations we may set for ourselves.”

The event was part of the Midlands Science Festival and a range of activities are running across the midlands region until November 20th. More details can be found on www.midlandsscience.ie