Hardy Spartans swimmers brave weather for festive Christmas Day dip at Boscombe (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Hardy Spartans swimmers brave weather for festive Christmas Day dip at Boscombe
HARDY swimmers took to the seas at Boscombe on Christmas Day for a traditional festive dip.
Members of winter swimming club, the Bournemouth Spartans, braved the wild weather for their annual swim in the waters off Boscombe Pier.
David O'Donnell, chairman of the group, said: “It went very well. We didn't have quite as many as we normally do but the weather affected the turnout slightly.
“Some people have been affected by the floods but it was still a merry event.
“The Mayor of Bournemouth, Cllr Rodney Cooper, turned out - they have always supported us.
“Everyone wore something Christmassy and there was a prize for the best dressed man and woman.
“The weather doesn't normally make a difference to us - we swim all through the winter every week.
“The only time we don't is if the seas are too rough and unsafe.
“It's better when it's not calm and flat though as the sea feels colder then - it was a few degrees above freezing on Christmas Day.”
Mr O'Donnell, who has been a member of the Spartans since 1962 said the group was founded in 1951.
“When the Spartans first started it was at Bournemouth. We've had several venues over the years and currently meet at Boscombe”, he said.
“The council have always found somewhere for us to go.
“I've never known a Christmas Day event to be cancelled yet. We all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves this year.”
The group, which is one of the longest established clubs in the area, continues to flourish with 70 members currently signed up as a result of some younger people joining this year, Mr O'Donnell added.
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