A SEA swimming group has celebrated its two-year anniversary with a ‘silly dip’ in Poole.

Members of the Poole and Bournemouth Bluetits rocked their best fancy dress for the swim at Canford Cliffs on Saturday morning, January 20. 

The swimmers braved the cold water, before enjoying anniversary celebrations at The Canford pub.

They also had a Bluetits cake, which had been specially baked by one of the members.

Bournemouth Echo: The Blutits (Sarah is seen lying down)The Blutits (Sarah is seen lying down) (Image: NQ)


Poole and Bournemouth Bluetits was founded two years ago by mum of four Sarah Cleal.

Sarah said: “I started swimming on my own for a little while, convinced by a friend, and then after a period of time, my friend Liz came, so it was just two of us for probably a year.

“Then, a few more people came along, and they said let’s set up a proper group.

“We’d heard about other Bluetits groups across the UK and worldwide. I didn’t want to do it at first, as I’m not actually a very confident person, but they convinced me.

Bournemouth Echo: Sarah Cleal started the Poole and Bournemouth groupSarah Cleal started the Poole and Bournemouth group (Image: Sarah Cleal)

“So, it kind of grew from there. It’s gone from two people, to now having 2,100 on our Facebook page.”

Sarah was joined by more than 60 other Bluetit swimmers on Saturday’s anniversary swim.

To mark the occasion, she dressed as a minion – putting in the full effort by painting her face yellow.

Others wore tutus, and two members even came dressed as Wonder Woman and a lobster.

Bournemouth Echo: Poole and Bournemouth Bluetits anniversary swimPoole and Bournemouth Bluetits anniversary swim (Image: NQ)

Reflecting on the past two years of sea swims with Poole and Bournemouth Bluetits, Sarah told the Daily Echo: “It’s just been great. I thought it was all about the sea at first, but it’s not, it’s such an amazing community thing as well.

“For some people it’s a proper lifeline. I don’t think I knew I needed it, but I wouldn’t be without it now.

“I’m a nurse, so life’s busy, but the kids are a bit older now, so I have a bit of time to myself.

“I feel very proud of them [the Bluetits] and very attached to the lot of them.”