Leader comment: Could ice swimming be our new national sport?

Wetsuits are banned, temperatures must be below 5C but ice swimming is increasingly popular. Picture: Getty
Wetsuits are banned, temperatures must be below 5C but ice swimming is increasingly popular. Picture: Getty
Share this article
0
Have your say

Do freezing temperatures still hold terrors? Then let your fur-lined bootees beat a path to Scotland’s first ice swimming championship in The Cruin in Loch Lomond this coming weekend.

Eighty hardened swimmers from around the world will compete for the title of Great Britain Ice Swimming Champion. GB is a world leader in ice swimming and has the most number of Ice Mile swimmers in the world.

The races will be held on an open water course in Loch Lomond and there will also be an Ice Gala on the same day including shorter distances and relay events.

Can’t wait? What an opportunity now beckons for those Scots hardened by the great Hogmanay Loony Dook tradition to learn the ropes and get in training for future championship events. Indeed, given our long-standing national pastime of plunging into freezing water in fancy dress on one of the coldest days of the year, here is an opportunity for Scotland to shiver tall on the world stage! The Scottish Parliament’s Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Committee should launch an immediate campaign for the Loony Dook to be made an Olympic sport. And how better to launch such a campaign than with the entire committee jumping into the freezing waters of the Forth, and with the minimum of clothing?

Some may feel a pronounced apprehension about leaping into electrifyingly cold water in front of the world’s Press. But the fear is surely psychological. Once the plunge is taken, participants will be overwhelmed by a deep sense of health and well-being. The shock soon subsides – once the heart has re-started, the shivering has stopped and the ambulance has arrived safely at the hospital.

Come on in! What’s not to like?