Swim Ireland’s Swim For A Mile is an initiative aiming to encourage people to get back into the pool and become confident life-long swimmers.


Why Swim For a Mile?

Did you know that over 230,000 adults swim in Ireland every week? It’s a big number, but we want to grow it further.

Perhaps you’re a lapsed swimmer, or would like to set yourself a challenge for the new year? As long as you can swim two lengths of a 25m pool comfortably, our Swim for a Mile training programme is for you.

Our programme has been designed with the World Health Organisation’s recommended weekly physical activity in mind, and so those who follow it will be meeting these standards automatically.

The initiative began in 2013 with thousands returning to the pool in the years since to swim a mile.

The programme is open to those aged 12 and older.  We also have a half mile (800m) option for those who think the full mile is just out of reach.


How it Works

Swim For Mile offers three challenges;

  • Indoor Pool Challenge; runs annually from January – April within indoor swimming pools nationwide
  • Outdoor Pool Challenge; runs annually from June – August within heated outdoor swimming pools nationwide
  • Virtual Challenge; runs continuously throughout the year for participants who wish to complete the challenge in their own time.

Swim Ireland coaches have written a swimming programme, that enables those who can swim a little to swim a mile in just 12 weeks. You can choose to follow the programme on your own or join one of the SFAM training groups at a participating pool.

Please note that bookings for the weekly SFAM training are managed by the individual pools and not by Swim For a Mile.

For those who want to set a definite target for themselves, swimmers can opt to complete the mile in an official Swim For A Mile challenge event, where their swim will be timed and they will receive a Swim For A Mile event pack.

What’s more, those who register for an event with us will also receive access to SFAM only, technique clinics from International and Olympic swimmers at designated centres. Clinics run at the end of January, February, and March and are available to book at the start of each month.

Everyone receives training tips, video demonstrations and online support throughout the programme and via our website’s news section.


Charity Partner

Swim For a Mile’s Official Charity partner is the Children’s Health Foundation

The Children’s Health Foundation raises vital funds to support sick children and their families in CHI hospitals and urgent care centres in Crumlin, Temple Street, Tallaght and Connolly.

In 2023 Swim For A Mile raised over €15,000 for the Children’s Health Foundation. A huge thank you to everyone who donated.


You can find more information on how Swim For a Mile works by checking out our FAQ’s here.

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