Sessions at Box End

Please download this form, complete and take for your first visit - this is the Box End disclaimer:

Location: Box End Park, Box End, Kempston, Bedford, MK43 8RQ
At the venue: There is ample car parking. Once parked go into reception - there's a desk there with someone to take you entry fee. I'll try to meet you in reception - I'll be the one wearing the Waterwoman t-shirt!  Handover your completed Box End disclaimer and pay your £5 entry at the desk. Then you can go and change. If we don't meet in reception, I'll meet you at the gazebo next to the wakeboard lake.
Bring on the day: trisuit/swimsuit for under wetsuit, wetsuit (unless you are hiring at Box End), goggles, a brightly coloured swim hat, flip flops are useful for walking from the changing rooms to the lake side. You'll want some water for after the swim. They have lockers in the changing rooms (bring £1) and a café - if you would like a hot drink afterwards. There are showers too, so bring a towel.

The session: We will do a dryland warm up and have a chat - pre-swimming, so leave the changing area with your wetsuit to waist level and a warm top on, once we've chatted and done the warm up you can complete putting on your wetsuit. 

After the session: if it's warm we will stretch lakeside. If not, please stretch during/after showering.

Your kit - your responsibility: please use the lockers for all valuables (wear your key round your neck, under your wetsuit). People do leave kit next to the lakeside and you may do this, at your own risk. I am there to look after you, not anything you leave on the lakeside, although I will bring a plastic box for you to leave things in, like flip-flops, a towel, etc, but this is at your own risk.

Note: If we're doing a swim/run session please wear a trisuit and bring your running shoes/hat etc. to the lakeside.

Pool swimming sessions

  • Please try to wear tight-fitting swimwear rather than loose shorts, etc - it will make swimming easier for you. Do bring decent goggles and a swim hat (if you have long hair). I would advise bringing a full water bottle - if you are swimming hard you don't realise how much you are perspiring, you should keep hydrated.
  • Please meet me poolside about 5 minutes before the session. If you are early please do a warm up swim while you wait for me - it takes 400-600m swimming for an adult to warm up completely, so you won't harm yourself by getting some lengths in - providing that you are confident enough to do so.
  • Do not run on poolside, take care walking near other people's kit - trip/slip hazards.

Open Water Risks

It should go without saying that participating in water-based activities carries a risk and open water swimming increases that risk. However, being sensible and being aware reduces the risks dramatically. Box End is a generally safe lake, well maintained and water tested. There is always a spotter on the lakeside.

When at the lake:

  • Do not enter the lake until I am present and have told you to do so.
  • If you leave a session, for any reason, please inform me first and then again, if you return to the session.
  • Always wear appropriate kit and make sure it is the correct size - a wetsuit which is too large may take on water and make it hard, or impossible to swim safely.
  • Enter and exit lakes carefully - there may be hidden objects and unseen hazards, unlike a pool environment we cannot always see the hazards in an OW environment.
  • Listen to your body: 
    • if you are unwell do not swim - I would rather you cancelled a session, than swam when unwell
    • if you feel unusual in the water please let me know
    • if you suddenly feel unwell or in anyway panicked please let me know and if need be exit the lake
    • if you are unable to exit the lake, roll onto your back and wave one arm in the air
  • Do not swim underwater.
  • Although it is impossible not to swallow some water when OW swimming, try to avoid taking big gulps.
  • Do not approach the wildlife - swans, in particular, can be very protective of their young and nest area.
  • Do not swim with uncovered cuts or abrasions - risk of Leptospirosis (Weil's disease). Cover them adequately and wash/re-cover after the session. If it's a severe cut/abrasion or can't be covered - do not swim.
  • When you leave the lake:
    • do not consume food until you have washed your hands
    • have a shower as soon as possible and rinse your wetsuit (make sure you shower your whole body and hair)
  • read this for more information:

Group sessions:

  • Please treat others as you wish to be treated.
  • Feedback will be given to all participants - please listen and try to take it on board. If you need further instruction speak to me at the end of the session and I will explain in more depth.
  • Do not dunk or push anyone under the water.
  • Although we practice group swimming and mass starts do be aware of the others in your group - particularly in a mixed-ability session.
  • If you spot someone in difficulty - please stay near them and alert me by waving/shouting. Do not attempt to support them physically in the water as they may push you under or cause you to be in difficulty.
  • Do use the group sign in/sign out sheet.
  • Do tell me if you leave/enter the lake for any reason - even if you are just going to the toilet.