“Nothing feels impossible” - How learning to swim transformed one swimmer’s life 

WaterAid swimmer Mary-Ann only learned to swim last year, but soon she’ll be tackling the half-mile distance at the Great North Swim. This is her story.

“I love being outdoors, but I was terrified of deep water. On holiday with friends, I watched them having a good time and just hated that I couldn't join in. So, I signed up for swimming lessons and started going to the pool twice a week. I truly didn’t think it would happen, but I kept practising.

Learning to swim greatly improved my mental health. I love it so much. I have so much confidence in myself nowadays and nothing feels impossible. I am a happier person, not just because I can swim but the skills I learned throughout that journey.”

By taking on the Great North Swim, and sharing her story, Mary-Ann now hopes to motivate others to overcome their own fears. Mary-Ann is swimming as part of Team WaterAid.

“It’s an amazing cause. I think we take so much for granted, but one thing that is non-negotiable is access to water. The fact there are people who do not have this basic need is something we need to change.”

We’re delighted that the Great North Swim continues to be a platform for swimmers like Mary-Ann to challenge themselves and develop confidence – as well as offering all our swimmers an opportunity to transform the lives of others with our official charity partner. 

Join Team WaterAid by setting up your Great North Swim page today