OSS Swim Champs

Thank you to all who applied to be an OSS Swim Champ! Applications are now closed - and our Champs will be out and about from April

Applications are now closed. Many thanks to all who applied, we will be announcing our OSS Swim Champs for 2019 at the beginning of April.


The OSS is looking for more people to join our busy volunteer team: 10-20 swimmers worldwide with broad and various interests to help us #sharetheswimlove around the planet. Love swimming, love sharing? Jump in and join the OSS team.

Fancy joining us? Here’s how to apply.

Owen Hayman
Owen Hayman
Owen Hayman

The Outdoor Swimming Society (OSS) has always been home to renegades and mavericks, creatives, outliers and people who dance to the beat of their own drum. Now we’re looking to add another layer to our volunteer team – 10-20 more swimmers worldwide who can help us #sharetheswimlove and strengthen the global community in 2019.

Lindsey Cole

What are we looking for?

  • Originals, doing their own thing
  • Specialists, able to advocate for their particular type of swimming love
  • Sharers and creatives – who can put new materials into the world, whether it’s art, writing, experience, expertise or an Instagram post
  • Enthusiasts who share our passion for swimming, and want to get more involved in creating a world where swimming outdoors is normal
  • People from all over the world

Other than that it’s pretty broad, as you will see from who else is on the team. Your motivation is key: a core value on the team is the desire to promote swimming for it’s own sake, not as a way of promoting themselves or to gain a profile for themselves or a business.

You don’t need a following. We’re anticipating many Swim Champs will be instagrammers (so can literally #sharetheswimlove through images) but championing outdoor swimming is not limited to instagram – you could want to come on board to offer some service that The Outdoor Swimming Society community wants, a need that isn’t met.

Or you could just be doing something brilliant – we have one OSS Swim Champ so far, Lindsey Cole, who is currently cycling from Totnes to Scotland meeting wild swimming groups on the way.

But in the team there’s a wide variety of people doing a wide variety of things that make the swimming world more interesting, so the only prescription is – whatever you are doing is original and helps share the swim love.

Ross Edgley and Calum Maclean

Who will you be joining?

A wide and varied volunteer team! Robert Macfarlane, Ross Edgley, Alastair Humphries and Calum Maclean and lots of equally brilliant people whose names you won’t recognise – foot soldiers who put time in behind the scenes to make life more interesting for other swimmers, keeping inland access, social media and our free written content going.

Check out the OSS Team page to read more about us. Championing individuality is a core value of The Outdoor Swimming Society so if you aren’t like anyone else, all the better. The unifying bond between us is our manifesto:

We believe swimming enlarges and celebrates the beauty of each day

We believe in sharing the joy and adventure of swimming

We believe all have a right to swim under an open sky

We believe in open access to lakes and rivers and in keeping lidos open

We believe clean water in our lakes and rivers is a fundamental right

We embrace the delight of cold water and its rejuvenating effects

We promise to strip and dip wherever we can

Where are we going

To read more about where we’ve come from and where we’re going, see Blazing A Trail.

The community currently has 70,000 followers, but we want to add some serious zeroes to that. We cherish variety – through us the poets and the channel swimmers mingle, and both can feel like they’ve had their eyes opened. The poets can pick up tips which change their adventures, and the speed freaks can learn the joy of stopping to look around. Through the Swim Champs we hope to bring the world more of that, and start conversations with groups who aren’t swimming at all.

What our SWIM CHAMPS will do

Mostly be themselves. But in addition you will be asked to:

  • Uphold OSS values: adventure, joy and challenge and don’t bring us into disrepute
  • Proactively #sharetheswimlove – stating that they are an OSS SWIM CHAMP on social media and in interviews, and use #outdoorswimmingsociety #sharetheswimlove where relevant
  • Join our social channels, read OSS e-news and keep up to date on OSS news, stories and campaigns
  • Make yourselves familiar with the OSS team and contact details so you can guide people to better use us and supporting the swimming community (eg keep up-to-date with our news stories and features)
  • That (where relevant) you use wildswim.com to share swims
  • That you consider activating campaigns we are running in your areas – eg Big Spring Beach Clean on 6-14th April and Big Jump on 14th July

How to apply

Applications are now closed.

Whether you get to wear the title this year or not, we are all champions in our own way – so thank you for your interest and please continue to #sharetheswimlove and consider joining us if we run this again in 2020.

How will people be chosen?

Please apply knowing that selection is inevitably going to feel pretty random. There is going to be an element of gut feel and instinct, and the desire to maintain a broad base will influence the final mix. We want to continue to have specialist interests represented across the team, and have room for flashes of utterly non-essential-to-the-world but brilliant adventures or art.

We look forward to meeting you!

Kate Rew