Gloucestershire pensioners qualify for European Ice Swimming Championships

After finding love in the water, Sallie Cheung, 69, and Jonathan Coe, 71, have both qualified for the European Ice Swimming Championships this February 2024.

By Kaleigh Pritchard  |  Published
Champion couple, Sallie Cheung and Jonathan Coe, found love through cold water swimming and are now enjoying success in the sport, too.

A pair of ice swimming enthusiasts from Gloucestershire have both qualified for the European Ice Swimming Championships and are heading to Romania this February 2024 to race against elite swimmers from across the continent.

Sallie Cheung, 69, from Hucclecote and 71-year-old Jonathan Coe from Pittville took part in the two-day Great Britain Ice Swimming Championships on Sunday 7 January 2024 at Cheltenham's Sandford Parks Lido.

The couple competed against swimmers from across the country in freestyle races varying in length, from 50m to 1000m — with the water sitting at a chilly 7C.

After meeting through the hobby, the pair hit it off, with Coe being a true devotee to the sport and Cheung following suit just three years ago.

Cheung said: 'It's a fabulous sport because it's something that everyone can do, no matter your age — it's something I'd encourage everyone to try.'

Coe added: 'The hardest part is first getting in. Once you're in the water, you find that adrenaline takes over and you come out feeling 10 times better than before — I've found my health has improved no end since starting. I just love it.'

Also in attendance at the event, organised by the International Ice Swimming Association, was former Olympian Dan Wallace.

After medalling in the 2016 summer Olympic Games, he decided to plunge into much colder waters — a decision proving to be successful as he stormed to wins throughout the competition.

The IISA European Championships take place in Romania from Friday 2 February until Sunday 4 February 2024.

More on Sandford Parks Lido

More from Outdoors