IQuack EQuack has returned to the bays of Guernsey and the swim club is back! We spoke to Mandy Holloway, one of the founding members of the swim club who tells us more about how the swim club was set up, where they usually like to swim and how IQuack EQuack got involved!
When was the swim club set up?
The swim club was set up in July 2020. Following our return to work from Guernsey’s first lockdown (during which lots of people rediscovered the beautiful beaches of Guernsey), Shan and I were chatting about how much swimming we’d done. Shan suggested we could go swimming in our lunch break and after a bit of persuasion, I went along with her idea. That little seed grew and by the end of September, we had over 25 members in our club. As founding members, I was responsible for checking the weather, tide and choosing the best beach to swim from and Shan was responsible for rounding up the troops and offering encouragement to anyone thinking about coming along. Our 2021 season has started in earnest this month and we’ve already managed six swims.
Which is your favourite bay to swim in?
As our office is based in St Martin’s, it gives us lots of bays to choose from, all within about five minutes driving distance. We also drive down to St Peter Port to swim at La Vallette Bathing Pools as that enables our IQ-EQ colleagues at Cambridge House to join us too. These are tidal, saltwater pools that give us options on swimming safely when the weather isn’t suitable for any of the other bays we visit. Our inaugural swim was at Moulin Huet, a beautiful bay on the south coast of the island, best visited at low tide. That’s one of our favourites, along with Divette, another small, secluded bay on the east coast.
How did IQuack EQuack join the club?
Rachel, our HR Business Partner, loves to share our community news on social media and thought that taking IQuack EQuack along one day would be a great idea. That was in May when about five or six of us took him down to Moulin Huet for a dip. He had a great time and went absolutely quackers when he met some other feathered friends on the beach.
How do you not get too cold?
We do get cold, especially in January when the sea temperature drops to around 7-8 degrees centigrade! Wearing swim shoes, gloves and a rash vest help cut out the cold and we only stay in for a maximum of ten minutes. We travel back to the office in a heated car and as soon as we’re back, have a cup of hot soup or coffee to help the defrosting process!
How often do you meet?
That’s very much dependent upon the weather, particularly in the months of October through to May, but our plan for 2021 is to repeat last year’s achievement, when we tried to swim at least three times a week and even every day if we can. With a membership of 20 plus, not everyone can make it, especially when client meetings take priority! We’ve had as many as 15 go swimming in one lunch hour and only two on others. No solo swimming is allowed because safety is definitely in numbers!
Your favourite/ funniest moment of the swim club?
Swimming costume failures are always good for a giggle and the noise some of us make when we first get in the water can also be quite interesting, on one occasion we cleared one of the saltwater pools in less than five minutes. We also had an end of season dinner when awards were given to the Noisiest, the Most Glamorous and the Most Promising Newcomer, amongst other prizes. What the swim club also provides is a real chill out zone for an hour in the day, it’s great for our well-being and mental health. We have a great team spirit and a swim is never regretted.
Thank you Mandy for telling us more about the swim club!