This Girl Can Swim! Gosport Leisure Centre

This Girl Can Swim!

Here at Gosport Leisure Centre we’ve been inspired to support the hugely successful This Girl Can Swim campaign, funded by Sports England.

I’m a Swimming Instructor, and I was asked to co-ordinate the campaign for this region. This Girl Can Swim is a celebration of active women and aims to encourage women to overcome negative self-image and the fear of judgement that prevent many women and girls from achieving an active lifestyle. We are running dedicated ladies-only sessions, and the response has been absolutely amazing.

Ladies of all abilities are signing-up for the initiative, and local community groups such as weight loss groups, parent/toddler groups, retired communities, regular and occasional swimmers are now benefitting from the programme. Some want to get back in the water after years of making excuses, others want to build their confidence in a reassuring environment.

I act as an adviser and a motivator, I encourage, support and/or instruct participants and I’m available during the sessions to ensure that the ladies benefit as much as possible from their swims.

For the cost of a casual swim the centre is offering participants:

  • Free registration for SWIMTAG – wearable technology to track your swim performance and stroke (outside of TGC Swim it’s usually £1 per pay-as-you-go swim price)

  • ‘Places Membership’ gives you automatic access to Places Locker – our app for quick online booking, track your moves, link up with swim tag, join special challenges that I put to you, download programmes for the gym (if you’re interested) and the pool and more…

  • Personalised swimming programmes – following the Swim Fit Active guidelines

  • You will be eligible for 7 days advanced booking for all activities (very useful for those other healthy activities)
    Free use of the health suite (sauna, steam room) between 11.00-12.00

  • Free swim hat – great if the ladies don’t want to dry their hair after a swim

  • Free use of poolside equipment – noodles, floats, dumbbells, pullbuoys, etc

  • Poolside Activator

The pool facilities include individual cubicle changing rooms, free use of hairdryers and wet bags for damp swimsuits.

Specifically during these sessions, the swimming lanes are broader than usual so there’s no lane-rage, flags are erected above both ends of the pool so that swimmers can judge the end of the length, easy-access steps are installed and chillout music is played to encourage a relaxed, gentle environment. The ladies bring their towels or bathrobes poolside along with bottles of water so it’s more like spa than a public swimming pool. It’s all about swimming in comfort.

Every lady has a different motivation for attending. As part of a weight-loss programme, to get more active, to stay fit or start becoming fitter, to exercise post surgery, or to use the support of the water for low-impact excercise. We all know how beneficial water is as an activity. Ladies are enjoying the inclusive, reassuring attitude of one another. Swimming can be an isolated pastime, but these sessions are allowing ladies to socialise and offer one another support.


Each session runs from 9.30-12.00 on Wednesdays during school term time. No booking, just turn up and enjoy “Me Time”.

Be inspired to take the plunge and get more active!

Make a splash and start swimming!

Contact details:
Karen Townsend
Places for People – Gosport Leisure Centre
PO13 0ZX
Tel: 02392 534950

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