British Swimming is working in association with the Great Swim Series to utilise a programme of mass participation events this summer to identify new marathon swimming talent.
The Great Swim Series sees four events run throughout the summer and with a new elite wave involving races across distances of one mile to 5km.
The elite races will be open for male and female swimmers and British Swimming will be focusing on athletes under 20-years of age who will compete across the series for prize money and who will also be invited to a British Swimming training and competition opportunity.
The aim of the new elite races is to increase participation in open water competitions and to serve as an additional talent ID platform for British Swimming.
For British Swimming’s Marathon Lead Bernie Dietzig it’s a way to encourage more of swimmers to try the discipline and he hopes to find some of the next generation of international marathon swimmers.
“The Great Swim Series was the perfect fit for us to work with to identify new talent because we already have a great working relationship with them and their events are run to a very high standard,” Dietzig said.
“The Series features spread out races that work really well for the athletes and the number of races gives us a nice platform to work with.
“For swimmers who maybe don’t race in open water very often, these races offer them a chance to race more often and for newer athletes it gives them the chance to have a go and see if it’s for them.
“We should see around 20 athletes in each of the elite races which will give us a good number to look at and a good depth of new athletes to work with. I look forward to seeing the range of athletes that we have attending and believe that this could lead to a strong uptake in the sport.
“This is a new concept and one that really does offer a great opportunity for athletes who are interested in the sport and want to be noticed.”