These Girls Can – Six Novice Women Win Free Places in Open Water Swim

Six amazing women, including a mother and daughter, have each won a free place to swim a mile in the River Thames at The Henley Mile, an open water swimming event to be held in a beautiful stretch of the river on 9 July 2017.

In association with This Girl Can, the organisers wanted to encourage more women to get involved in outdoor swimming so ran a national competition for free places in the event along with support and advice in the run up.

The six successful applicants, ranging in age from 15 to 47, will now spend the next 3 months training for the event on Sunday 9 July.

In addition to the training they will be blogging about their adventures. They will be describing in detail all elements of their journeys over the next few months, both positive and negative. More information on the women, including why they have got involved in the event, can also be found on the blog site, along with the blogs from previous year’s swimmers.

This is the third year that Henley Swim have run this competition, many of the previous swimmers are still involved with the sport, including Alison Baker (61) who has continued to swim outside throughout the winter and Claire Bennett (45) who is currently training for an English Channel Relay.

Henley Swim co-founder Tom Kean says:

“Once again we have been overwhelmed by the numbers of women who have entered our This Girl Can competition. This is a hugely important and enjoyable initiative for us, and each year the job of whittling down the entries to our finalist gets bigger. It’s clear there are many different motivations for all our swimmers, but what it does show is how getting outside of your comfort zone adds meaning and excitement to life.

Swimming is one of those rare sports that is truly gender neutral, and with This Girl Can, we hope to introduce more ladies to a sport where they can excel on a personal level.

In 2016, there were more female swimmers than males at the Henley Mile, which bucks the trend for most mass participation events and is a statistic of which we are proud”

If you are tempted by the event, it is still possible to enter the Henley Mile or Half Mile on July 9th at The Henley Mile is open to men and women and there are a number of races for children aged 8 and above. All races are downstream.

Alternatively, come to the event to support the This Girl Can swimmers and to visit the Outdoor Swimmer Show. There are also other attractions and food available making it a perfect family day out by the river.

For more information about The Henley Swim visit ; Twitter @henleyswim or search The Henley Swim on Facebook


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