In the Water
We provide a range of activities which are water based. Sessions are personalised for the individuals or groups. Being in the water allows all individuals to achieve greater confidence and competence in all areas of their lives.
We are constantly expanding our range of open water locations. Each one is fully risk assessed and is chosen for its suitability for the activity it is hosting. We are always open to using a wide range of open water locations. This builds up a greater knowledge of water safety and awareness, which is vital living in an area surrounded by sea and large bodies of open water such as quarries, lakes and rivers. We choose our locations based on thorough risk assessments and the needs of the group.
Trevassack Lake is privately owned by the Children's Sailing Trust. It is a ten acre freshwater quarry on the Lizard Peninsular. The Children's Sailing Trust have spent the last three years developing the site with an incredible accessible learning centre, two changing places toilets, accessible cabins and a floating classroom. We are lucky to be able to use Trevassack Lake for some of our swim sessions, including SEND swimming, 1:1 and group coaching sessions. Here we have available a variety of water-side and in water equipment to facilitate the participation of those with additional physical needs. The quarry provides a constant environment in which to learn and train. The experience of swimming at the quarry is very different to sea swimming due to the freshwater and change in buoyancy. It is very peaceful and is a relaxing space to focus on mental health and well-being, swimming technique and distance training. It allows swimmers the opportunity to experience being out of their depth in unknown waters and learn about water safety in a still water environment.
We use a variety of river and coastal areas to access the water depending on weather and water conditions. Some of these areas are privately owned, while others are owned by organisations such as The National Trust. We work closely with all land owners and have their expressed permission to use these areas. We use coastal sites to continue the open water progression from still water sites to that of a constantly changing and tidal environment. Swimming in coastal or river areas also allow participants to engage in a wide range of activities such as swim-walks and swim-runs. These involve completing circuits using a mixture of swimming as well as travelling across the land, be this in a wheelchair, on foot or with team challenges.
Most people learn to swim in an indoor and life-guarded swimming pool. Transitioning to open water is a vital stage in swimming progression. The primary school National Curriculum 2014 states that all Year 6 pupils must be able to swim a minimum of 25 meters proficiently and using a range of strokes. It states that pupils should be able to perform safe self-rescues in different water-based situations. However, according to The Swimming Times July-August 2018, "almost a third of year six pupils leave primary school without the basic swimming and water safety skills". Since 2017, schools have been required to publish their swimming data. We are supporting this change, which was backed by Swim England, by providing a service to support schools with this development. It is not always financially or physically possible for schools to offer this programme which is why we are providing this support. There is currently a gap in swimming progression in standard swimming lessons. Open water swimming helps to build upon the skills learned in a pool and apply them in a new setting. Our swim programme fits alongside the Swim England 'Learn To Swim' programme. It is designed to enhance as well as further children's water skills, knowledge and competence. We have a strong focus on water safety and self-rescue and offer this part of the National Curriculum swim programme in open water sessions. We then progress through our swimming club and further sessions to follow Swim England's Open Water Swimming Awards 1 and 2. This can be accessed by all children dependent on ability. Our swimming sessions include a mixture of in-water activities as well as land-based learning.
People with additional needs often struggle with swimming pools and sessions due to the loud, echoing environment, bright lights and multiple distractions. Swim England recognised that this was preventing progression and was heightening some anxieties that went alongside swimming. We have taken their research and applied it to our swimming approach. Our open water locations, particularly the quarry, are relatively quiet. The dispersion of noise in open air settings and the relaxation of natural sounds helps people with additional needs to feel calmer and more confident. Our sessions can be delivered to small groups or on a one-to-one basis to minimise distractions and the unknown factors that multiple people bring. Training on how to support people with autism, speech and language needs, hearing impairments, visual impairments, physical disabilities has been taken by some of our instructors and disseminated down to other members of our team.
We believe in the health benefits of natural spaces and open water for both physical and mental health and well-being. Activities with Beyond The Wave, provide opportunities for people to create connections with nature and to each other. This helps to form a feeling of belonging and community spirit. We deliver a variety of sessions that cater for specific groups and/or needs.
At Beyond The Wave, we take water safety very seriously. All of our facilitators are water safety trained and this is kept up to date. We are also passionate about educating our participants about water safety. According to the World Health Organisation, in the Western Pacific Region, children aged 5–14 years old die more frequently from drowning than any other cause. Drowning is the third cause of unintentional death worldwide. We take precautions to ensure the safety of our participants around water and encourage and enable self-assessment of water based situations.