New start in the water. Two stories from our new graduates.

New start in the water. Two stories from our new graduates.

Ny början i vattnet. Två berättelser från våra studenter

This year we are participating in TIA Stockholm (Early integration for asylum seekers in Stockhlom) with WATERSTART project and we have completed several swimming courses for asylum seekers over spring & summer.

Det här året deltar vi i TIA Stockholm (Tidiga insatser för asylsökande personer) med WATERSTART projekt. Vi har genomfört flera simkurser för asylsökande i vår och sommar.

Here are two of our students from Waterstart that we would like to highlight as they are continuing their way in the swimming world from complete beginners to swimming teacher assistants and life savers.

Här är två studenter från Waterstart som vi skulle vilja uppmärksamma för att de fortsätter sina väg inom simning från absolut nybörjare till livräddare och assistent till simlärare.

Danis, Uganda

(på svenska läs nedan)

Danis is from Uganda and is 38 years old. He has never even stepped into the water before joining our project. Why did he want to learn how to swim?
To get back to his home town part of the way he needs to take a boat. Every year people lose their lives in accidents on the water during this route. Safety breeches and complete lack of swimming skills and water safety knowledge cause people to panick and loose their life.
Danis came to our project with a mission. To not only learn how to swim himself, but even help more people in his home country to learn and to spread awereness of importance of swimming as a life saving skill.

In the first few lessons he was sinking like a stone and extremely nervous. However, he didn’t give up. He came to the classes every week, he put in the effort. After 15 weeks he was able to swim his first 10 m and then there was no way to stop him. 20m, 30m, finally 50m and after the summer camp in the open water here he was at Riddarfjärdsimningen taking his open water badge (200 m swim with a jump). He has also received training in HLR and life saving in open water.

But he is determined to train further. His goal is to be able to swim for three hours non stop, because in case of an accident back in Uganda, he would have to swim for several hours to stay alive.

Danis kommer från Uganda och är 38 år gammal. Han har aldrig varit i vatten förrän han deltog i vårt projekt. Varför ville han lära sig simma?
För att ta sig hem till sin by måste Danis åka båt. Varje år omkommer folk på grund av olyckor under färden. Brist på simkunnighet och kunskap i vattensäkerhet orsakar panik och resulterar i att folk dör.

Danis kom till vår projekt med ett mål. Han ville inte bara lära sig simma själv men också hjälpa andra människor i sitt hemland genom att sprida medvetenhet om hur viktig simning är som livräddningkunskap.

Under hans första lektioner sjönk Danis som en sten och han var väldigt nervös. Men han gav inte upp. Han kom till sina lektioner varje vecka and han jobbade hårt. Efter 15 veckor han kunde simma sina första 10 m och sen kunde ingenting stoppa honom. 20 m, 30 m och till sist 50 m. Efter sommarkollon i öppet vatten deltog han i Riddarfjärdsimningen då han efter att ha hoppat i djupt vatten simmade 200 m och uppnådde märket “vattenprovet i öppet vatten”. Han har också fått utbildning i första hjälpen och livräddning i öppet vatten.

Men han har bestämt sig att fortsätta träna. Hans mål är att kunna simma tre timmar utan avbrott, eftersom om det skulle hända en olycka i Uganda han skulle vara tvungen att simma flera timmar för att överleva.

Proud of you, Danis! Vi är stolta över dig Danis!

Danis with coach Qlasse during HLR training, spring 2019

Fereshte, Iran

(på svenska läs nedan)

Fereshte grew up in Iran and got higher education in agriculture. She started working in the industry and loved her job and her life. Starting 2017 things turned for the worst. Powerful earthquake left her home town in ruins. Her family and friends were all left without a place to live or means to support themselves.

She came to Sweden but then couldn’t come back due to recent political landscape changes that accompanied the natural disasters Iran faced over the past few years.

Fereshte felt lonely and depressed, she has continuous contact with a psycologist and is trying to find her place in her new country, not knowing when and if she will be able to come home.

Fereshte is 34 years old and never learned how to swim. She came to our courses to try something new and found more than she could hope for.

She found a new purpose and happiness in the water. In the summer she has started working as a swimming assistan teacher.

Feresthe växte upp i Iran och hon fick sitt diploma inom jordbruk. Hon började jobba inom industrin och hon älskade sitt jobb och liv. Från 2017 saker blev värre. En stark jordbävning skakade hennes hem och lämnade bara ruiner. Hennes familj och vänner lämnades utan någonstans att bo och utan möjlighet att försörja sig.

Hon kom till Sverige men kunde sen inte återvända till sitt land på grund av förändringar i politiskt landskap efter naturkatastrofer under det sista åren. Fereshte kände sig ensam och deprimerad. Hon är i kontakt med psykolog och försöker hitta sin plats i sitt nya land utan att veta när hon kommer att kunna återvända till sitt hem.

Ferseshte är 34 år gammal och hon har aldrig lärt sig simma. Hon kom till våra kurser för att prova någonting nytt men hon hittade mer än hon kunde hoppats. Hon hittade ett nytt ändamål och glädje i vattnet.
Hon har även redan börjat jobba som simlärarassistent i en annan simklubb.

We wish you all the success, Fereshte! Vi önskar dig all lycka och framgång, Feresthe!

Fereste’s home town after an earthquake was left in ruins.

Thank you everyone who participated in our Waterstart project so far and our coaches Qlasse, Holly, Milla & Saima. Here is a video with some bright memories from this spring semester.

Tack alla som deltog i vär Waterstart project så länge och tack till våra tränare Qlasse, Holly, Milla, Saima och Ho Yi. Här är en video med några minnen från vår terminen.

Memories from spring and summer with our TIA Project Waterstart

Our first Swimrun!

Our first Swimrun!

On July 13th, coach Saima and I (coach Milla) got to participate in our first ever Swimrun competition! Here’s a little bit of background for those of you who haven’t heard of swimrun competitions before:

Swimrun competitions are like triathlons, minus the biking portion. However, instead of running one longer distance followed by a long swimming distance, swimrun competitions consist of several running and swimming transitions. For example, the competition can begin with a 6 km run, followed by a 500m swim, followed by a 1km run, and so on. The competition apparel is usually the following: a swimrun wetsuit, which has a zipper in the front (compared to triathlon suits, which zip in the back), swimrun shoes (YES, you even swim with shoes on!), swim cap, goggles, paddles (for a stronger pull), and a pull-buoy (which helps prevent your legs from sinking from the weight of the shoes and also helps give your legs a break). 

The swimrun that we competed in was the Kalmar Swimrun. This specific course consisted of 18 km of running and 3.5 km of swimming, and you can see the course map below. What was special about this race was that it was done all done in pairs, so Saima and I swam and ran the entire distance side-by-side. In fact, the rules enforced that each pair had to be within 10 meters of each other at all times. It was an especially cool track, since we literally got to swim and run throughout the city of Kalmar- definitely an awesome way to get to see so much in such a short time! We even got to swim and run near the famous Kalmar Castle! There were roughly 200 competitors at this race, and we were amongst the few international competitors there.

Here is an overview of our race day!

9.00– Check-in for the race begins and a general information meeting is held in Swedish and English.

9.30– Quick warm-up run.

10.00– Race begins!

13.01– We crossed the finish line with a time of 3:01.44 and placed 3rd in the women’s division!

15.15– Prize ceremony begins, and the top 3 finishers from each division (Women’s teams, Men’s teams, Mixed teams) were awarded medals and gifts from the sponsors.

15.45– We explored Kalmar and the nearby Öland for the rest of the day!

Overall, this race was really fun yet challenging at the same time! It was so awesome that we placed so well at our first Swimrun, and I can’t wait to compete in another one!

Written by: Coach Milla 

Swimming school for adults at Haga Health Club

This spring and summer we are training aspiring swimmers at a SPA. It has been amazing. Haga Health Club is located at the Raddison Blue Royal Park Hotel in Hagaparken and is a a very nice place for a beginner swimmer. The water in the pool is warm, it is not too deep and after a swimming session you can spoil yourself in the sauna or just relax by the pool eating fruit or an ecological lunch provided by the club.

Because of the luxury standard our prices had to be higher than usual and we understand that not everyone got to participate. We are working hard to find something that will work for more people. But, I think, people who decided to join us didn’t regret for a minute.

In small groups students progress faster and the atmosphere helped them relax.

Check out this gallery for pictures from our courses and don’t forget to check our Instagram for more!

Coach Anna and happy students


Coach Anna before the first class


Work in progress at Haga Health Club


Students with diplomas


Coach Anna is happy


After-swim relax

Leg cramps: beginners guide

Leg cramps: beginners guide

Sometimes while swimming you might feel a muscle cramp in one of your legs. A cramp is a sudden, involuntary muscle contraction or over-shortening; while generally temporary and non-damaging, they can cause mild-to-excruciating pain.

So how to prevent cramp and why do you get them?

There are many reason. Here are most popular ones:

  1. Because you just started using muscle you never used before and you have an unnecessary tension in them. It happens often in breaststroke, while you are performing leg kicks and your legs are too tense. Here is a link to some exercises you might find helpful
  2. You need to drink more water during the swimming session. We give our students a water bottle with our logo at the start of every new course. Do not be shy to use them at the class. Drink water.
  3. Water in the pool is too cold. If you are not familiar being in the pool where water is colder than the usual water temperature, you might have a crap, because you feel cold. That is why we have a warming up time in the pool. Be active, move more to feel warmer.
  4. Kick from the core. We already highlighted at the class that all movements we are doing are coming from the core. Kick from the core, not your bottom.
  5. Lack of vitamins in your body. This rare condition can cause cramps. Multivitamins dose per day with a glass of water might help in a long term perspective.

How to handle a cramp?

Outside of the pool.
Stretching exercises are commonly advised. However, there is a lack of good research evidence to prove that they work. One research study concluded that stretching exercises did reduce the number and severity of cramps; however, another study did not confirm this. Nevertheless, many doctors feel that regular calf stretching does help. So, as it may help, it is worth trying if you are able to do the exercises.

Go out of the pool and come to the wall and:

Good luck!

Heads and Tails

Heads and Tails

This is one of my most favourite crawl programs.

I am usually  get tired easy from swimming with paddles, but here the program is designed the way I can enjoy swimming and train hard without feeling pain in my shoulders.


Heads and Tails ~2500 m

Great all around technique session to really hone your form to transit into a tougher period of work.


Warm up

4 x 100 + 15 sec rest between every 100 m:

  • Pull buoy B3/5/3
  • Fins freestyle B5
  • Pull buoy: 25 m scull + 25 freestyle
  • Pull buoy: 25 m doggy paddle + 25 freestyle

Main Set

 Set “ Tails”:

10x 50 m fins (focus on rotation & relaxed recovery) +10 sec as

  1. 25 kick on the Left side + 25 freestyle
  2. 25 fast + 25 easy freestyle
  3. 25 kick on the Right side + 25 freestyle
  4. 25 fast + 25 easy freestyle
  5. 25 m 6/1/6 + 25 freestyle
  6. 25 fast + 25 easy freestyle
  7. 25 m 6/3/6 + 25 freestyle
  8. 25 fast + 25 easy freestyle
  9. 25 broken arrow + 25 freestyle
  10. 25 fast + 25 easy freestyle

Set “Heads”:

10 x 50 m pull buoy (focus on catch & propulsion) + 10 sec as

  1. 25 scull #1 (in front) + 25 freestyle
  2. 25 fast + 25 easy freestyle
  3. 25 scull #12 (under the body) + 25 freestyle
  4. 25 fast + 25 easy freestyle
  5. 25 scull #3 (hands behind) + 25 freestyle
  6. 25 fast + 25 easy freestyle
  7. 25 fists + 25 freestyle
  8. 25 fast + 25 easy freestyle
  9. 25 doggy paddle + 25 freestyle
  10. 25 fast + 25 easy freestyle

Cherry on the cake:

10 x 100 m freestyle (75% effort choice of B5s or breathing to least favorite side) + 10 sec

Cool down

100 m of your choice

Stockholmssimmet: we did it!

Stockholmssimmet: we did it!

“You can do this. You can do this. Fuck, it’s cold. I can’t really feel my feet. You can do this. You can do this. Ok. we are going to turn around now and then it’s going to be easier with the current. Jeese…Why does not it get better? Ok. I am just gonna slow down and swim on my back. Just breathe.”

That is approximately what was going in my mind during today’s swim. The weather was beautiful: one of this rare in Stockholm warm days with sunshine and cloudless sky. A perfect day for a long swim in Djurgårdsbrunnskanalen.

Me and Anna. Scared and pumped before the race.

Me and Anna got there on our bikes, the race wasn’t big, just around 200 people for both the 3,3 km distance(that we were doing) and the shorter 1,1 km stretch. I was feeling great. Until the moment I got into the water. It. was. cold. It felt like the Atlantic ocean in Cape Town. It kind of tickles your feet and you have an urge to get out (at least I do).

– Why am I doing it?, I asked Anna.

– Because you love swimming

Read further….


Ideas for tattoos for swimmers

Swim main

Maybe not that healthy, but sometimes we just need  a statement.  A powerful statement.

I do not have a tattoo yet…

So I started to look through possibilities and here what I found. Really inspirational for swimming lovers, so cute and funny!  One day I’ll make one of these passion statements!

Do you love swimming this much?

More ideas for swimming tattoos see here…