Access is an important issue everywhere. People of all creeds and backgrounds swim. A few months before recording this podcast I was in Brussels, at a meeting. Desperate for a swim, I found a pool in an inner city area, where the dominant demographic was black African and Arabic. I couldn’t be more exact, but the vibe was quite different to the Whites-dominated pools I am more likely to go to in the UK. There were very few women there I grant you. But the vibe was good, vibrant, and I got a strong sense of social cohesion among the people there, many of whom I assumed to be regulars. “Why can’t it be more like this in the UK?” I found myself thinking. There is a strong need to get to grips with the structural and societal issues that may be stopping people of the non-usual western demographic swimming. Recording this podcast in August 2022 with Georgie Milner was a breath of fresh air in this regard. Georgie is a life-long swimmer and is passionate about improving inclusivity in sport, swimming especially. She graduated in Human Sciences from the University of Oxford in 2022, where she completed her dissertation on pool swimming and social exclusion in Manchester. She also worked on the University of Oxford’s Sports Council as Inclusion and Access Officer. As well as water and inclusion for swimming as sport, she is concerned about refugee rights and water safety. In this podcast, we talk about swimming in both the pool and in open water, about inclusion, about her dissertation, and much more. She is happy, enthusiastic and intelligent, and keen to make the world a better place through swimming.
Listen to the podcast here
Read the dissertation here