Lidofest: Charlton Lido to host Britain’s first festival in a lido

Charlton Lido
Lidofest will take over Charlton Lido on 21 August

Charlton Lido is to play host to what its organisers say will be Britain’s first festival in a lido next month – promising mermaid displays and synchronised swimming demos as well as fancy dress competitions and swim races.

Lidofest, to take place on Saturday 21 August, will also offer free swimming classes for ticket holders as well as DJs and a guest appearance from Alice Dearing, who will be representing Team GB in the marathon swimming race at the Tokyo Olympics.

Clare Ruby, who came up with the idea, said it came to her while doing lengths at the lido one morning. “The lido is such a great space but a lot of swimming events are about doing competitive challenges and I felt a need for something that celebrates all the fun stuff you can do in the water as well as those events,” she said.

“Charlton is perfect for this as it has the main 50-metre heated pool, a splash pool for the kids, terraces for viewing and lots of space for activities. Swimming outdoors at a lido always feels special and it is great to see so many of these beautiful outdoor pools having a resurgence and getting the love they deserve.”

Clare and her Lidofest co-creator Sophie Morgan – who run Swimadelica, an online gift shop for swimmers – say the swimming sessions are part of their ambition to make the activity accessible to all. “We believe swimming is for everyone regardless of your age, ability, race, gender or body shape,” she said.

“There’s something for everyone, from fancy dress competitions, festival glitter face painting, book readings, inflatable races, masters swim coaching, mermaid swimming lessons, synchro displays, swimming with professional mermaids – all for both adults and children.”

10 per cent of profits from the event will go to the Black Swimming Association, which aims to improve diversity in aquatics, and Level Water, which provides one-to-one swimming lessons for children with disabilities; a pay-it-forward option will give ticket-buyers the chance to buy a ticket for someone who would otherwise be unable to attend.

Tickets start at £30 for adults and £5 for children and are available via Eventbrite. For more details, visit lidofest.com.


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Charlton Lido reopening confirmed for 29 March

Charlton Lido July 2020
Not long to go…

Swimmers have just two weeks to wait until they can take their first dip at Charlton Lido after coronavirus restrictions are eased.

Better, which runs the pool and gym, will reopen the lido and outdoor fitness classes on Monday 29 March, along with other outdoor facilities in Greenwich borough.

The lido has seen a surge in custom during the pandemic, but was forced to close on 5 January when the national lockdown was introduced.

Swimmers will need to download the Better app to book sessions and are being asked to arrive ‘beach ready’ with their costume on under their clothes. Fitness class customers are encouraged to shower and change at home.

Outdoor adventure playgrounds are also reopening, as are outdoor athletics and fitness classes at Sutcliffe Park Sports Centre. Further afield, outdoor facilities at Thamesmere Leisure Centre and outdoor football at Coldharbour Leisure Centre will also resume. There is also a Better at Home digital membership with online exercise classes, which are free to Greenwich residents.

Richard Gallagher, Better’s partnership manager in Greenwich said: “We can’t wait to welcome customers back to our outdoor facilities again. With swimming, fitness classes, football, athletics and adventure play all available at various locations across the borough, there will be plenty of options available for residents to begin getting active again after lockdown.”

Adel Khaireh, Greenwich Council’s cabinet member for culture, communities and equalities, said: “Our leisure centres are valuable community assets and play a central role in supporting the wellbeing of our residents, and they’re more important than ever after a prolonged period at home.”


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Lockdown 2: Charlton Lido users hope petition will save open-air swimming

Charlton Lido pool
Autumn at Charlton Lido. Photo © Neil Clasper.

Last week, we reported that Charlton Lido would be opening during the day all through November. New swimmers have discovered the lido during lockdown, and it is the first time since the pool reopened that swimming has been available during the colder, darker months.

The new English lockdown puts a stop to this from Thursday:

To reduce social contact, the Government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close. These include indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, leisure centres and gyms, sports facilities including swimming pools, golf courses and driving ranges, dance studios, stables and riding centres, soft play facilities, climbing walls and climbing centres, archery and shooting ranges, water and theme parks.

A petition has been created to convince the government that open-air facilities such as Charlton Lido should be an exception.

Open-air swimming pools should remain open:
●WHO & Gov state that transmission of Covid-19 outdoors is lower
●CDCP states “no evidence that Covid-19 can spread to people through recreational water”
● WHO states that chlorine kills Covid-19

The petition can be found at petition.parliament.uk/petitions/555079.


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