An elderly man in a t-shirt posing next to one of Arundel Lido's outdoor swimming pools.

Peter’s Story

Arundel Lido, a special swimming experience

I learnt to swim at Henfield CE School in the sixties when an unheated pool was built.

Without this I would probably never have learnt to swim, and although I have always been a slow swimmer, it has given me hours of relaxation and exercise.

Why do I like Arundel Lido? It is a community outdoor pool, which is well managed, and has a great team of staff. Lane swims, open sessions and special events. I am especially pleased that there are sessions for primary school children learning to swim. So vital for children with non swimming parents, or those whose time and budgets do not extend to swimming. The aim is to swim a minimum 25 metres.

I joined this year with the Gold option. As I know from swimming with the over 50’s at another pool, 20 lengths a session was normal. So on the 18th May I began swimming with 10 lengths. I started to log my lengths and wondered could I reach 1,000 which would be 25,000 metres in the season. On the next visit it was 20 lengths. It would take a long time. However, my fitness improved and with chatting to the staff I was encouraged to go for the 25,000 metres and gradually the distances in a session went up to 26, 28 and sometimes 30 depending on the day. By the 11th June I got to 300 lengths. On the 18th June Graeme Souness, the retired footballer, swam the English Channel as part of a relay team. Radio 5 advised the distance was 34,000 meters. On 2nd August I passed 1,000 lengths or 25,000 metres. On the 17th August I swam 50 lengths in just under 2 hours and passed 1360 lengths or 34,000 metres. I could not swim any decent distance in the sea, but I could at least experience the distance in the Lido. It took 56 visits to achieve this. Well, I carried on, with Lido staff asking how I was doing and in the last week of the season in 5 sessions I swam 210 lengths to reach 2000 lengths or 50,000 metres on 21st September. 76 visits average 26.32 lengths a session.