Open Water Swimming

King Lear lake, Watermead Park

Swimmers at King lear lake

Leicester Triathlon Club run open water swimming sessions at King Lear Lake located at Watermead Park, Syston

The open water sessions run from May until October at King Lear lake, Watermead Park, Syston (depending on the weather).  The sessions are run on Saturdays 8.00am – 9.30am and Wednesday evening from 6.30pm – 8.00pm.  We also hope to arrange some coached technique sessions.

This year, to cover the costs of running the sessions (water testing, equipment etc) there is a charge of £2 per swimmer for these sessions, and you have to be a member of the club to swim (for insurance purposes, and as a condition set by the Council).  However, non-members may swim once as a ‘taster’ session provided they sign the required Disclaimer/Code of Conduct form.

King Lear lake swimmers

It’s a fun and sociable session

To become a Member of Leicester Triathlon Club visit our membership page where you will be directed to Entry Central who manage our online membership details.   Open-water swimming only membership is available (cost £15) and is valid from May-October and for swimming in King Lear lake only.

Please read the Normal Operating Procedures and the Open-water swimming Code of Conduct below before swimming, and also in accordance with BTF guidelines, our Emergency Action Plan.

To swim you will need to complete an open water disclaimer form (valid for one season). Download form here: OPEN WATER SWIMMING DISCLAIMER. On your first swim of the year, please bring along the completed disclaimer form. If for any reason you can’t download the disclaimer form, there will be copies at the lake.  Existing club members will have completed the form as part of the Entry Central membership process.


[wpanchor id=”Rota”]SPOTTING ROTA

For the safety of all swimmers there is a mandatory requirement for us to have spotters during these sessions.  PLEASE NOTE: Spotters must be over 16 yrs of age.

Safety cover for each session comprises 3 ‘spotters’ – one person logging swimmers into and out of the lake, one situated on the far bank, and one in a boat on the lake.  Each volunteer will cover the whole 1½hr session, and will receive £12 for expenses.  These volunteers do not have to be members of the LTC, but must be over 16 yrs of age.

Click on the ‘SignUp’ button below to view and add yourself to the rota, or click on this text link VolunteerSpot.

Click to View Volunteer Opportunities on

[wpanchor id=”Location”]LOCATION INFORMATION

Description of venue – King Lear Lake

Nature of water – Lake

Contact details for owner / operator – Park rangers (Dale or Jenny) 0116 2671944

Average water temperatures for period of use:  between 14 – 26°C

Water quality – Good as tested May 2019

Access arrangements for club – The club can gain access from the slipway accessible via the main carpark.

Access arrangements for emergency vehicles – Emergency access as above.

Emergency Action Plan (see below).

Use by other activities – Newfoundland dogs train after our Saturday session.  King Lear lake is also used by the Windsurfing Club.

Access / Car ParkingThere is a large car park next to the lake (North entrance, Wanlip Road, LE7 1PD.  There is an automated pay on entry system : £2.50) although many members choose to come along on their bikes.


[wpanchor id=”Sessions”]COACHED SESSIONS and AQUATHLON – 2018 season 

In the past we arranged a series of special sessions at the lake.  These sessions have included coached sessions and a fun Aquathlon event (1/2 lap swim round the lake, then 1 lap run round the lake).

These sessions proved to be good training opportunities and great fun! Members could also come along for a normal swim on these evenings, when the coached sessions or aquathlon are running.

the monthly aquathlon race has proved to be a fun training event

Aquathlon winners!

We hope to be able to organise a similar series of training sessions this coming season.

Proposed coached sessions:

– Novice / OW swim technique session

– Mass swim – race starts and technique

– More advanced OW swimming skills

– T1 and T2 transition practice



Procedures for conducting an open water training session are written down here. These will also act as guidelines for the person running the session.  The measures outlined should be enforced at all sessions.

Listed below are a few guidelines that Leicester Tri Club have adopted.  It is important that the guidelines below are checked to ensure that they are fit for purpose and that everyone on the club committee agrees on the way club open water sessions are to be conducted. Further points may need to be added therefore this document is a constant ‘work in progress’.



As a prerequisite to swimming in King Lear lake at the designated times, as agreed between Leics. Council, Watermead Park Rangers and Leicester Triathlon Club, you are required to read and sign as agreement to abide by the strict safety measures detailed below:

1.  I will not enter the water until all safety measures have been put in place and will abide by such safety measures at all times ensuring I swim within the designated route.

2.  I am a competent swimmer capable of completing an 800 metre continuous swim, am a member of the “British Triathlon Federation” or the LTC and am over the age of 14 years.

3.  I shall ensure that I have paid the appropriate club (or BTF) membership fee and completed and returned my declaration including emergency contact details to the club safety officer before entering the water.

4.  I will register my presence with the club safety officer/spotter on entering and exiting the water, by adhering to the recording system currently used by LTC.

5.  I shall exit the water when instructed to do so by the duty spotters (Klaxon or red flag).

6.  A brightly coloured swim hat is to be worn during at all times whilst in the water, and if the water temp. is below 14degrees C then a wetsuit is also compulsory.

7.  If inexperienced in open-water swimming, I will stay in my allocated pair/group during the whole of my time in the water and wear a cap of the colour allocated to “novice” swimmers.

8.  I will enter and exit the water at the specified place and stay within the designated swim route unless instructed otherwise by a marshal or the club safety officer.

9.  In the event I get into difficulty during the swim session I shall roll on to my back and signal for rescue by raising either the left or right arm in the air.

10. I will provide the appropriate contact details in the event of emergency and agree these can be kept in the appropriate record files for subsequent swim seasons, unless I resign.

11.  I will not enter into the space of the other water users, e.g. fishermen.

12.  I shall not swim or enter the water if feeling unwell.

13.  I agree to take full responsibility for my belongings whilst within the grounds of Watermead Park.

14.  I shall ensure any of my party are under control whilst within 2 meters of the water’s edge (see 15).

15.  I shall ensure children are kept away from the water’s edge or pontoon areas of King Lear lake.

16.  I agree to respect and abide by the safety rules and code of conduct of both Leicester Triathlon Club and the Park Rangers and their instructions.

17.  I have read and understood the ‘code of conduct’ and Normal Operating Procedures which are available on the Leicester Tri Club website, or from one of the Club Committee members.

Disclaimer: I agree to abide by the safety measures herein and any other local safety requirements issued on the day of the swim.  I am fully aware of the dangers of swimming in an open water environment and the fitness levels required and I accept the organisers, landowners and their agents cannot be held responsible for any loss or injury howsoever caused.



This document will outline the process and procedures to go through in the event of an accident or potentially dangerous changes in circumstances.

  1. The nominated Safety Officer for the session (the person signed up as ‘Head Counter’ on the Spotting Rota) is responsible for calling the emergency services should an accident occur.
  2. All swimmers are to be made aware of the LTC open-water swimming code of conduct.
  3. If the weather becomes too dangerous to carry on (e.g. fog comes over/ or an electrical storm starts) each swimmer will be notified by the safety officer when they make a complete circumference around the lake (back to the start).  A long blast of the Klaxon will be sounded and a red flag waved by spotters in the event of a lightning storm when ALL swimmers must exit the lake immediately.
  4. If a swimmer is spotted in difficulty the spotter will sound the klaxon and indicate the location of the individual.
  5. On hearing the klaxon, swimmers and spotters who are closest to the individual will move to assist them if they are safe and able to do so.  If near enough, the spotter will deploy the rescue float (taking care to hold onto the rope) and if the spotter in the boat can reach the swimmer will support the individual in the water and assist them to the water’s edge (they will not attempt to pull the swimmer into the boat).
  6. The nominated Safety Officer will, if required, notify the emergency services.