Award-winning open water swimmer opens his own swimming centre

15 November 2017


Padraig Mallon with brother Martin, dad Michael and mum Bridgeen

The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) is working with an award-winning open water swimmer who has opened a new swimming pool in Northern Ireland to provide more opportunities for local people to swim.

Padraig Mallon, an Irish open water swimmer, extreme marathon swimmer, ice swimmer and Ironman athlete, has launched Infinity Swim Academy, a purpose-built 25m three-lane indoor pool in Newry.

The centre opened its doors to the public in last month (October) offering a wide range of swimming sessions from learn-to-swim classes for children and adults to women-only sessions and open water swimming classes. The centre is also working with local triathlon clubs and coaches to introduce triathlon an aquathon options to the centre.

“The waiting lists for swimming at local pools are colossal. Our vision is to ‘learn here, swim anywhere’ and we can see the seeds of that taking root, with more than 500 people already signed up to our swimming programmes,” said Padraig.

The centre is also working with RLSS UK to offer Swim Survive and Save and Rookie Lifeguard programmes. Two members of staff have been trained to deliver RLSS UK education including NPLQ and First Aid courses.

“Both the course content and training from RLSS UK is excellent and we will offer as many RLSS UK courses as we can,” Padraig added.

The athlete comes from a family of open water swimmers including his parents Bridgeen and Micky, his uncle Milo and cousin Aoiffe. His brothers Martin and Sean and sister Seline hold a number of medals and swimming accolades while another sister, Colleen, holds the Irish record for swimming the North Channel.

Padraig and the team have worked with Swim Ireland to develop a Level 8 Open Water Preparation Programme and Infinity will be the first pool in Ireland to go live with the module.

Other facilities at Infinity include the SATORI Wellness Centre offering a range of fitness classes such as yoga, pilates and HiiT, an indoor cycling studio and an education centre with lecture facilities. Future plans include an aqua club offering fun activities.

Director at RLSS UK, Martin Symcox, said: “What Padraig has achieved with his new pool is fantastic and to be commended.  It is vitally important that as many people as possible have access to a pool to learn life saving skills in a range of classes.

“We are thrilled to be working with Padraig and that his centre is offering RLSS UK courses. We fully support him in his work and wish him and the centre the most success.”

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IQL UK is the trading subsidiary of The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), the drowning prevention charity.

RLSS UK is the UK’s leading provider of training and education in lifesaving, lifeguarding, water safety and life support skills in the UK.  It is also the governing body for Lifesaving Sport.

Through IQL UK, there are more than 90,000 RLSS UK Pool Lifeguards in the UK trained in the National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ). Around 95 per cent of all pool lifeguards are trained by the RLSS UK. IQL UK also offers the National Pool Management Qualification and First Aid at Work qualifications as part of its portfolio.

Around 400 people drown in the UK every year and the charity aims to prevent drowning and promote water safety education through campaigns and its lifesaving programmes.

RLSS UK awards and programmes teach a range of lifesaving skills ranging from life support (CPR) to water survival and rescue skills. Programmes include Rookie Lifeguard (for eight to12-year–olds), Survive and Save (for 12 years+) and Save a Baby’s Life (a free course aimed at parents and carers of young children).

The RLSS UK (then the Life Saving Society) was formed in 1891. In 1904, as there was great support for the organisation from the Royal Family, the society was granted permission to use the Royal title and became the Royal Life Saving Society.

Drowning Prevention Week is the national campaign run by the Royal Life Saving Society UK to cut down the number of accidental drowning that occur each year and support families affected by drowning.