Swim Ulster Open Water takes great pride in offering comprehensive programs specifically designed to cater to the needs and aspirations of open water swimmers. Recognizing the unique challenges and demands of swimming in open water environments, we have developed specialized programs that focus on enhancing swimmers' skills, knowledge, and safety. Our programs provide invaluable resources, guidance, and support to help swimmers excel in the open water. From beginner-friendly programs that introduce newcomers to the sport, to advanced training programs for experienced swimmers aiming to refine their technique and performance, Swim Ulster Open Water ensures that participants have access to the tools and expertise needed to thrive in the open water. With our unwavering commitment to education, safety, and excellence, Swim Ulster Open Water is dedicated to nurturing and empowering open water swimmers at every stage of their journey.

The 'Get Wet Stay Safe' (GWSS) programme returns for its second year to ensure the safe use of open water spaces. The GWSS programme is a joint initiative between Sport NI, Swim Ulster, and other local bodies and authorities.

GWSS provides a series of training sessions in each council area on the impacts of cold water and basic safety messages for Open Water Swimmers as well as Stand-Up Paddleboard and Sit-on Top Kayak users. The second year of the programme was launched at South Lakes Leisure Centre in Craigavon where those in attendance also had the chance to take part in a Get Wet Stay Safe session on the water.

Chief Executive of Sport NI, Antoinette McKeown, said: “It has been brilliant to see the increase in people taking part in water sports and taking advantage of the many accessible locations on our doorsteps across Northern Ireland."

Sessions are being held in all 11 council areas in Northern Ireland every weekend and on Wednesday evenings between May and September. The programme is also being sponsored by Nature Valley.


The Beach to Buoy program is designed for both juniors and adults who wish to develop their open water swimming skills. It covers essential techniques such as sighting, buoy turns, and pack swimming, among others. Each course consists of four one-hour sessions, priced at £40.00 per person. Participants should have a minimum swimming ability of 100m and feel confident treading water in open water.

  • Juniors: Suitable for ages 12 to 17 years.
  • Adults: Suitable for ages 18 years and above.



The Masterclasses program is tailored for advanced open water swimmers and triathletes. It focuses on refining advanced open water skills and can also provide race strategies and tips based on individual needs. Each course comprises four one-hour sessions, priced at £45.00 per participant. Additionally, participants receive a complimentary Swim Ulster Open Water Swim Cap. To join, individuals must be able to swim at least 400m in open water. Please note that the number of participants may be lower due to the advanced nature of the skills taught.


Local Authority Joint Programs

Swim Ulster is proud to collaborate with Causeway Coast and Glens and Mid & East Antrim Councils to offer programs following the Beach to Buoy format. These joint initiatives provide opportunities for open water swimming training in partnership with local authorities.

Please note that all programs aim to provide a safe and enjoyable learning experience while enhancing participants' open water swimming abilities.