Long established Northern Beaches Winter Swimming Club, the Dee Why RSL Ice Picks has been chosen to host this year’s Australian Winter Swimming Champion for the first time in the almost half century history of the titles.

The Championships will attract almost 1000 swimmers from around Australia, ranging in age from teens to 90 years of age and will see festivities spread over the weekend of 15-17 September, culminating in the championship swim meet at the Manly Boy Charlton Aquatic Centre on the Sunday morning.

The event has attracted support from the Northern Beaches Council, which has made a grant to assist the Dee Why RSL Ice Picks in staging the Championships this year.

The influx of winter swimmers from around the country will enjoy plenty of Northern Beaches hospitality across the weekend with a welcome barbecue at the Dee Why RSL on Friday 15th September, followed by social events and a warm-up swim on Saturday 16th, with a presentation function at the Dee Why RSL following the swim meet on Sunday afternoon

The Dee Why  RSL Ice Picks is one of the oldest clubs in the winter swimming movement having been established in 1960 as a way for Dee Why Surf Cub members to maintain swimming fitness through the winter months.

Today Dee Why Ice Picks is a sub-club of the Dee Why RSL and attracts around 40 hardy swimmers every Sunday morning to contest races in the Dee Why rock pool, with water temperatures ranging from around 12 to 19 degress Celsius across the five month season

Dee Why Ice Picks committee member and the director of this year’s Australian Winter Swimming Championships, Jon Thomson, said the club was very proud to be chosen to host the National titles for the first time.

“The Northern Beaches has a proud history in Winter swimming, but this is only the second time the titles have been held here since 1976, so it will be a great opportunity to spread the word about the fun and benefits of swimming in the coldest months of the year,” said Jon Thomson.

“The Championships will bring enormous benefits into the Northern Beaches and we thank the Northern Beaches Council for the grant it has awarded to enable the staging of the titles here at the magnificent Boy Charlton Aquatic Centre at Manly,“ he added.

“Despite what many  feat about diving into the water  year round, the fact is winter swimming brings enormous health and wellbeing benefits

The Winter Swimming Association of Australia was formed in 1959  and has organised the Australian Winter Swimming Championships since 1976, when the inaugural titles were conducted in Newcastle.

More than 5,000 swimmers across Australia now compete during the five winter months from May to September.

There have been more than 200 Olympians along with many Surf Lifesaving  champions who have been past or present champions at the WSAA titles.

​At that first National Championship Winter swimming meet in 1976 the association conducted just ten events. This year the Championships will see 32 titles decided with more than 1000 swimmers taking part ranging in age from teens to 90 years of age.

The Dee Why RSL Ice Picks welcomes new members  for the upcoming season, which starts on the first Sunday after Easter and runs to the last Sunday in September.

The club is also looking for volunteers and helpers to assist with the running of the carnival  for the Winter Swimming Championships.

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