The annual COPE Galway Christmas Swim is adapting with the times this year, keeping the online format that drew people from around the world, but also making its triumphant return to Galway Bay.
This year’s swim is a hybrid event taking place during Christmas week from 20-26 December and includes a “live event” on Christmas morning.
On December 25, swimmers will brave the icy waters of Galway Bay at Blackrock in Salthill from 9am to 1pm.
For others who can’t make it their that date, or who want to take part from around Ireland or abroad, they can swim where they are in Christmas week.
“Last year, Galwegians at home and abroad adapted to Covid restrictions and swam at their own location to raise funds for our services, resulting in a really engaging virtual event,” said event organiser Lynia O’Brien.
“This year, whether you brave the cold with colleagues, friends or family, whether you join us on Christmas Day or do it your way during the week, anywhere in the world, you can make a huge impact this Christmas.”
The 2021 event will have extra safety measures for the Christmas Day event, including the introduction of time slots.
The new swim website and registration portal gives options to register as an individual, family or a group. It allows you to set up a group and invite friends and family to join your team.
For over three decades, people connected to Galway have demonstrated the true meaning of Christmas by raising vital funds for those who need it through the services that COPE Galway provide.
Since the inaugural swim, the event has grown from strength to strength, bringing thousands of families and friends to Salthill every year.
Lynia continues, “When I think back to the brave, passionate group of COPE Galway staff who took the plunge into icy waters 32 years ago, I am sure they never guessed that they would inspire one of Galway’s most cherished Christmas traditions.”
COPE Galway supports people across Galway city and county at a most vulnerable time in their lives; families and individuals faced with the realities of homelessness, women and children experiencing domestic abuse and older people who may be isolated and in need of nutritional support.
Though the Christmas Swim event has changed with the times, now adapting to a virtual alternative during the pandemic, the community spirit has not faltered and the heart of Galway continues to have an impact from all over the world.
More information about the event, including how to register and take part, is available online here: copegalway.ie/events/christmas-swim.