Kate founded The Outdoor Swimming Society (OSS) in 2006, and has been delighted to see it grow into the movement that it is today. The OSS currently has 25,000 members and a community of over 18,000 on OSS Facebook. Rew grew up swimming in a river in Devon, swam all over the country for her book Wild Swim, and now mostly paddles about with her two young sons and husband in Somerset.
Kate's ambitions for the OSS in 2016? Inspiring more swim adventures in the UK and abroad, through a new OSS website and content from the crowd-sourced map wildswim.com. 'What we do is so different to any organisation that we have worldwide fans,' says Rew. 'In 2015 Caitlin Moran joined the Facebook group saying she'd heard it was "the friendliest place on the internet". That was perfect for me: we're a community of swimmers and much of the love and creativity comes from this desire to share - photos, stories, experiences and places.'
To talk to Kate's agent please call Patrick Walsh at PEW Literary.
Rob is the author of Mountains of the Mind and The Wild Places, and a Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge -- where outdoor swimming has allegedly been going on since 1692. He is a mountain-climber whose ideal mountain day ends with a plunge in a river or loch or the sea.
He's been winter swimming in Beijing's imperial lakes, in the Himalayas, and once went green after diving into a Devon lake on New Year's Day. He was a good friend and swimming companion of the late Roger Deakin, author of the swimming classic 'Waterlog'.
There when the OSS began, Michael is the king of good ideas, a good time and coming at things from a direction no one else does - the hot tub and the social swim series were some of his early ideas, a guidebook to swimming the Thames in his middling period (he wrote it in a few slow days in the office, and in the following summers groups of swimmers charted it's length on a weekend by weekend basis).
Michael's ideas have launched much of the movement - social swims and wild swim facebook groups are part of the landscape for wild swimmers now, and began when the 'OSS Swim Responsibility Statement' and the social swim series.
As happy skippering a boat and dealing with tidal flow charts as stoking the hot tub under a full moon, Michael is a natural maverick who's renegade spirit ensures that the OSS stays true to it's roots: free wild swimming. He has an exciting campaign for 2016: watch this space....
Kari, a Devon sculptor and swimmer, is the OSS muse. She was there in a tiny Lake District hotel room with Kate when the idea of the OSS was born in November 2005 fresh from a swim around Crummock in the dark, and has been the inspiration for many of our finest ideas ever since. Where Kari dreams, the rest of us follow - she is behind many things that have become mainstays of the OSS movement, such as Breastrokes (our inland charity swims held in 2006 and 2007), the Dart10k and is currently developing a new school of swimming (more soon, we hope).
Kari is an active swimmer in Devon, where she lives, and is constantly investigating and introducing people to new stretches of the Coast and the Dart. She teaches swimming in Devon and London, specialising in a very gentle kind of instruction and effortless swimming that gets you thinking of your relation to the water, helps overcome deep water fears, and has everyone under her tuition doing butterfly in a light, grunt-free way.
To see her sculpture and work with fish skin: www.karifurre.co.uk.
Artist Vivienne Rickman-Poole joined the OSS Team in 2014, contributing images to the newsletter, and is now a director and one of the most active members of the content team. Vivienne works behind the scenes of our Instagram feed, on the OSS newsletter, on the wildswim.com map, and is involved in all design and artistic decisions.
'I have always been a swimmer, getting my love of water from my Mum, a hardy swimmer from the Orkneys.'
Growing up on the sunny South Coast Vivienne spent her youth in the sea before discovering she was really at home in freshwater lakes of Snowdonia where she now lives. Seeing swimming very much as a creative experience, Vivienne is quietly swimming her way through a rather small (ok it’s turning out to massive!) project ‘#swimsnowdonia’. Her mission is to explore / swim / document the permanent bodies of water in Snowdonia, recently receiving Arts Council of Wales funding to research and develop her work into short films. All her swims are being mapped on wildswim.com: you can see some of them here, and here, and here... Have a look at her work viviennerickmanpoole.co.uk.
Oliver was an early convert to the way of the Outdoor Swimming Society and has been up-hill and down-dale on swims - as well as stoking the hot tub, mulling the wine and making the chai - ever since.
Never short of a good idea, and not workshy, Oli is a regular face at OSS Events, as swimmer, compere, chef..... He swam the Dart10k 10 mile course in 2015 and is currently training for a channel relay. Oli looks after the OSS Facebook group, keeping it friendly and ad-free, and his digital experience makes him part of the team rebuilding the OSS website for 2016.
Press and photographers are invited to get in touch with Will for help with features and projects concerning outdoor swimming. Please credit www.outdoorswimmingsociety.com and www.wildswim.com, so readers can find our community of swimmers, safety information and places to swim.
A relative newcomer to outdoor swimming, Will is a passionate convert and swam the Dart10k in 2016. He lives and works in Oxford, where he runs Bottle PR. Through Bottle, Will be helping the OSS spread the good news about swimming further and wider in 2016 and beyond.
Bottle PR are doing this as a donation to the OSS. We thank them!
Contact: Email Will. Phone: Bottle PR 01865 770381.
Will is an Event Manager at the OSS, currently looking after the admin and nitty-gritty of the Dart 10k and Bantham Swoosh.
Will's background is in adventure sports and outdoor education. Alongside rock climbing, canoeing and mountain walking, Will actively leads adventure activities in the Peak District and manages outdoor pursuit and challenge events around the country.
Swimming for Will involves the lakes and tarns of the national parks, the Cornish sea visiting family, and the occasional unplanned kayaking accident.