Inspired by our Gold Coast 2018 athletes?

16 Apr 2018

Have you been inspired by our home nation athletes at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games - find out more about how you can take up aquatic sports in the UK.


Swimming is one of the nation's favourite activities and also the largest participation sport in the United Kingdom with more than 2 million people heading to the pool at least once a week.

To find out some more general information about the sport of swimming and the history of it click here.

How do I start?

Find out how you can learn to swim in EnglandWales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Use pool finder to find your local swimming pool by clicking here.

Is it for me?

Learning to swim is an important life skill and a great way to keep active, hundreds of thousands of people in the UK use swimming as a way to keep fit, relax and have fun.

What to expect when I start?

  • Swimming lessons are not just for children, most pools will offer adult only classes.
  • You can do it cheaply by becoming a member of your local leisure centre and most also offer a pay-as-you-go option.
  • You'll get an all-around workout, swimming works almost every part of your body.
  • Para-swimming is one of the most popular choices of activity for disabled adults and children. The sensory nature of water can help those with emotional or behavioural disorders and learning to swim is also a great way to socialise and make new friends. Contact your local pool to learn about para-swim sessions.


What is it?

  • You jump into water from a platform or springboard at a range of heights while getting your body into a range of positions.
  • There are two different types of diving boards used in competitive diving. In springboard events, divers launch into the water from a height of either 1m or 3m. In Platform diving, you start from a firm board which is either 5m, 7.5m or 10m from the surface.
  • Each dive is split into three parts - 'take off' can either be front facing or back facing, the 'flight' is a combination of up-to-four different body positions as you're going down and the 'entry' is how the diver enters the water.

To find out some more general information about the sport of swimming and the history of it click here.

Is it for me?

You'll obviously need to be comfortable with water. We'd recommend you learn to swim before you dive! But if you enjoy heights, an adrenaline rush and want to learn tricks and be flexible, then diving is for you. All you need to get started is a swimming costume and some tuition.

I'm ready to make a splash - what can I expect when I start?

  • For beginners, it's important to get tuition from qualified coaches to make sure you learn the techniques safely.
  • You'll need courage and will improve your flexibility and core strength through diving.
  • But you can also practice on dry land using crash mats and trampolines at your local leisure centre.
  • An hour's diving typically burns nearly 200 calories.