West Reservoir Centre, is a unique water sports facility that now offers open water swimming in the centre of London in the Borough of Hackney - on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. The centre regular holds open water coaching and training sessions thoughout the week as well as Tri-Events competitions.

Open Water Swimming will resume 2018

We hope you enjoyed the season and hope to see you back soon.

We have open water swimming sessions throughout our summer months on Thursday evenings 17:30-19:30 and Saturday/Sunday mornings 07:30-09:30am.

You’ll need to be minimum of 14 years old and have done an induction at the centre.

Better Membership Card -  £5.00 entry

West Reservoir Better Membership - Free entry

Non-Members -  £10.00 entry

All members or non-members must complete an induction, before attending for the general swim. Induction bookings will be available online in future and wetsuit is mandatory.

for more information or to register interest ready for the next swim season email us.

To book Click Here

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West Reservoir Centre 750m swimming lap

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Swim Safe

What is Swim Safe?

 Swim Safe is a partnership between the ASA (Amateur Swimming Association) who are the national governing body for swimming in England and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), the charity that saves lives at sea.

 The partnership provides children aged 7-14 with an opportunity to swim and learn to be safe in open water through free swimming tuition and water safety advice sessions.

 A community focused programme that teaches the basic skills to stay safe in and around open water, Swim Safe is practical and open water based, using the combined skills of RNLI lifeguards and ASA qualified swimming teachers.

A typical Swim Safe session

Swim Safe sessions are typically 45 minutes in duration. Online registration captures each participant's details in advance, providing parental/carer consent, confirmation that the child is a swimmer, can swim 25m unaided and advice of any medical or personal information needed.

 Once the participant is kitted out in a wetsuit, rash vest and Swim Safe hat, a dry land water safety activity takes place, led by the lifeguard. This outlines key safety messages and emergency procedures and is used to warm participants up, mentally and physically, before they get into the water.

Now more aware of what to expect in open water situations, the children are led by ASA teachers into the water where they practise floating, rotating, feeling the strength of the water and tidal movement for approximately 30 minutes. They practise safety positions, learn about calling for help and feel what it is like to move and swim in cold, tidal water.

Swimming Survival Skills


If you’re in an emergency situation in open water, you or your child may need to swim somewhere for help. This could be to a float nearby or to rescuers in a boat.

The safest way to swim in this situation is using survival stroke:

  1. Stretch your arms forward under the water
  2. One-by-one, pull your hands back towards your thighs, keeping them close to your body.
  3. Keep your head out of water so you can see what is in front of you
  4. Kick with long, straight legs.

Click play on the video below to see children learning how to swim survival stroke at a Swim Safe session.


The heat escape lessening position (HELP position) is one of the key swimming survival skills and an important thing to remember if you are swimming in open water.

If you are stranded in cold water for any period of time, your body temperature will steadily drop. Adopting the HELP position is the best way of preserving your body heat while staying safe and buoyant.

Follow these four steps to adopt the HELP position in the water:

  • Keep your legs slightly bent and together or crossed.
  • Cross your arms and cuddle a flotation aid or, if you’re wearing a life jacket, place your hands on your shoulder.
  • Squeeze elbows into body and keep your head out of the water, turning away from any waves if possible.
  • Look in the direction of any rescuers.

Click play on the video below to see children being taught the HELP position from a Swim Safe session.


If there are multiple people in the water, huddling together is also a great way of preserving each other’s body heat and also good for maintaining morale among the group.

Being in a group will also increase the chance of being identified by any rescuers.

  1. Keep your legs slightly bent and together or crossed.
  2. Hold onto a neighbour’s float and form a circle with your group.
  3. Press the sides of your bodies together and keep your head out of the water.
  4. One person should take control and keep everyone else talking.

Click play on the video below to see children being taught the huddle position from a Swim Safe session.

For more information Click Here