The festive season brings with it many traditions, turkey and stuffing, holly and ivy, Santa and Rudolph and of course, best of all, stripping down to your trunks and getting jumping into a freezing cold sea for charity.

This year the number of events is reduced, but nevertheless there are some absolute belters, and even those which aren’t running, the various charities still need your support.

WALRUS BOXING DAY DIP AT PEMBREY COUNTRY PARK

Brave the chill and join in with the 35th annual Walrus Dip at Pembrey Country Park!

Join hundreds of others and take a dip in the sea on Boxing Day to raise money for a cause close to your heart, but if you’re not brave enough come along anyway to witness this crazy and spectacular event!

The Walrus Dip was established in 1984, and has run every year since, except on two occasions – one due to an oil spill another when the sea froze over! People of all ages take part for a variety of charities, with most donning fancy dress and colourful Christmas costumes.

Participants and spectators should arrive at the park by 10.30am latest, and be at the starting line by 10.45am (due to tidal conditions there is likely to be a 10-minute walk to the start line from the main entrance to Cefn Sidan sands). – the amount of time you spend in the sea is entirely up to you! The event is supported by the RNLI and Coastguard who will both be on duty throughout the event.

Participation is free and certificates will be handed out to all participants. Admission to Pembrey Country Park is free. For more details on the Walrus Dip. just go HERE.

* The event will only be cancelled in case of extreme weather conditions that would threaten the safety of participants and spectators, or in event of an emergency. Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter pages for information on the day

PONTYPRIDD LIDO BOXING DAY DIP

For a while we thought this really popular event wouldn’t be going ahead, but following a brilliant season at the Lido, the decision was taken to hold the event as it has been in years gone by.

Councillor Andrew Morgan, Leader of RCT Council, said……

“To have recorded the busiest year since the Lido re-opened in 2015 is a huge achievement and is testament to the appeal of the Lido and cements its position as one of Wales’ best attractions.

“It is also extremely pleasing to confirm that the Boxing Day Swim will return this year, and I am sure that residents will be looking forward to the event.  The Council will provide further information on the arrangements for the Boxing Day Swim over the coming weeks.

“I would also like to personally pay tribute to the staff at the National Lido of Wales, Lido Ponty, for their hard work throughout the 2021 season to keep the venue running and visitors safe and welcomed.”

We of course echo all of that, and join in the excitement of the return of the Boxing Day Swim. More details to follow soon, in the meantime, just go HERE.

PORTHCAWL CHRISTMAS MORNING SWIM

They are back this year and (they say) it’s time to paint the town red – we say, make our bodies blue with the cold.

The organisers are delighted to announce that the 57th Christmas Morning Swim will be going ahead this year. They ask you all to join them and Paint the Town Red to celebrate whilst also marking 20 years of their headline charity Wales Air Ambulance.

Wales Air Ambulance covers the whole of Wales every single day. Each year their helicopters attend around 2,500 missions, covering rural countryside and our bustling towns and cities. This includes the length of our Welsh coastline and across our vast mountain ranges. Their four airbase operations in Caernarfon, Llanelli, Welshpool and Cardiff are ready to saves lives wherever needed.

Find out more about Wales Air Ambulance Service HERE.

The Porthcawl Christmas Morning swim, is (unsurprisingly) on Christmas Morning. They have just announced its return, so details are slowly coming in. Take a look at their FACEBOOK page, or you can email them christmasswim@gmail.com

BARRY ISLAND NEW YEAR’S DAY SWIM

Like many great ideas, this one began in a pub. Back in 1984, five members of the Jackson’s Bay Lifeguard Club vowed to go for a dip the morning after their New Year’s Eve celebrations. What’s more, they set a rule that they had to totally submerge themselves three times. This remains the gold standard, but many of today’s swimmers choose to run into the sea, have a very short splash and get the heck out of there screaming and yelling. That would be us too.

The annual Barry Island New Years Day dip has become one of the Vale’s fastest growing and most popular events with people travelling from all over to participate. They hope they can continue to grow this wonderful event, whilst raising invaluable funds to support and care for the children and their families.

At this point there’s still no announcement as to whether the event is going ahead, but our team are on the case and we’ll bring you details as soon as we hear.

The New Year’s Day dip gets usually get underway at 12.30pm on Whitmore Bay For more details, go here. BARRY

MAYORS NEW YEAR’S DAY DIP IN PEMBROKESHIRE

Newport Boat Club in Pembrokeshire is the place to be if you want to blow off the New Years Eve excesses. your host for this chilly dip into the estuary at Parrog (and yes, the mayor really does take part). Mercifully, it’s just a short dash back up the slipway for a mug of soup and a hot shower in the Boat Club. 

The New Year’s Day Dip is obviously on the 1st January 2022 and gets underway at noon at Newport Boat Club in Parrog, Pembrokeshire. Not many details as yet but as soon as we get more, we’ll let you know. In the meantime, go HERE.

SAUNDERSFOOT NEW YEAR’S DAY SWIM

This charitable event just gets bigger and better and quite frankly more elaborate year on year. Thousands now take part in this event with as many, if not more supporting and enjoying the spectacle.

Sadly, not this time around. The organisers have made the following statement…….

We are disappointed to announce that for the second year running the Saundersfoot New Year’s Day Swim will not go ahead. The event was scheduled for 1st January 2022. This was a unanimous decision made by the members of the Swim’s Health & Safety group.  

Whilst we recognise that things have undoubtedly improved, even the introduction of Level 1 restrictions would make it impossible to run the event safely. In this situation the total number of participants and spectators would be limited to 4000 and social distancing rules would need to be implemented. Given the large crowds that the swim attracts, it would be impossible for us to achieve COVID compliance.

The New Year’s Day Swim is a community event and so we must consider the interests of all within the community. We cannot risk any increase in pressure on the emergency services that have always supported us to run the event safely.

We know this decision will be disappointing to the many charitable and worthy causes the Swim supports; the 2019 and 2020 Swims each generated over £50,000, but after 36 successful years we must continue to prioritise the safety of all those attending. Rest assured, if all is well in 2023, the Swim will be back and better than ever.

The first New Year’s Swim….

The crowds are entertained by the Cold Cup (a fancy-dress horse race over obstacles for local pub teams), fireworks and a mass dance warm-up. Last year’s fancy dress included a team of warriors who arrived on the beach inside a giant wooden Trojan Horse. As for the swim, the rules clearly state: ‘Your head must go under!

This really is a massive fun day for the whole family and this year they have Great British Bake Off contestant Michelle Evans-Fecci starting the swim off in style.

The shirts are a big thing for this event, in fact, take a look at their website and you’ll see why and who has been wearing them over the years. The last New Year’s Day swim had a friend of South Wales Life, GBBO’s Michelle Evans-Fecci sporting hers. To see who else has worn a Swim Day shirt, go HERE.

Michelle Evans-Fecci

We realise this event isn’t going ahead this year, but they still need your support and encouragement. Take a look at their website to find out more – SAUNDERSFOOT

TENBY BOXING DAY SWIM

Named as one of Britain’s top ten barmiest winter dips, TENBY’s famous Boxing Day Swim has been an institution in the small West Wales town for decades and has recently featured in the ITV Wales series The Harbour, which was filmed in Tenby and shows a year in the life of the seaside community.

The Tenby Boxing Day Swim is organised by the Tenby Sea Swimming Association, which also stages the summertime Caldey Swim from the monastic island to the Tenby mainland.

The two events have enabled TSSA to raise nearly £300,000 for local, national and international charities and good causes over the years.

The 2019 Tenby Boxing Day Swim saw a record-breaking entry of nearly 800 dippers who took the plunge in the sunshine and numbers remain strong and consistent for this year’s festivities.

Swimmers can collect for their own good causes or the charities nominated by TSSA.

Chair of Tenby Sea Swimming Association, Chris Osborne, said……

“After careful deliberations we have concluded that we should run this year’s swim. We believe we can do this with a slimmed down version of our normal event, concentrating on the core activity – into the sea & out – raising sponsorship to support worthy local causes, all within  a Covid-safe environment.

“It might mean an elongated pre-swim line-up and no extra activities, but we think this is an occasion we can all celebrate.”

The 50th Tenby Boxing Day Swim takes place on the North Beach on Sunday, December 26th from 11am.

The stampede for the sea is signalled at 11.30am, and swimmers can look forward to the warmth of the beach bonfire and hot soup on their return to the beach.

To find out more about the brilliant, historic event, and to get yourself signed up, just go HERE.

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