SwimQuest and Sink Or Swim

Swimquest are the official training partner for Sink or Swim

Sink Or Swim: - L-R: Simon Webb, Sair Khan, Greg Rutherford, Rachel Adedeji, Alex Brooker, Linford Christie, Tessa Anderson, Diane Louise Jordan, Wes Nelson, Georgia Kousoulou, James Argent.


Here at SwimQuest we are so excited to have been appointed to provide the swim training team for the new 4-part large-scale celebrity series, Sink or Swim in support of Stand Up to Cancer.

In partnership with Channel 4 and Twofour, part of ITV Studios, SwimQuest’s expert swim guides and coaches will be supporting the cast of famous faces – complete non-swimmers themselves, those with a fear of open water or those who have been taught to swim as children but now struggle to do so for health reasons – as they face this challenge and are pushed to their absolute limits.

Six SwimQuest guides and coaches will be working alongside Olympic silver medallist Keri-Anne Payne and adventurer Ross Edgley (best known for being the first person in history to swim around Great Britain) to coach the celebrities.

Together, SwimQuest’s experts will offer vital training and support to transform the celebrities into swimmers capable of taking on a series of epic challenges. Each episode will culminate in an ambitious swim, and the celebrities left standing (or in this case, swimming) will attempt to take part in a punishing English Channel challenge.

In addition, SwimQuest are also providing location advice, open water event management and open water expertise in order to set up the training and challenges for this series. Alice Todd, Managing Director and Co-founder at SwimQuest Swimming Holidays says: “We are so honoured to be working with Channel 4, SU2C and TwoFour on this exciting new project. We are passionate about open water swimming and will do all we can to encourage more people to discover the joy and freedom of swimming outdoors without fear. SwimQuest has always been about enabling open water journeys for everyone, and we can’t wait to guide this fabulous group of celebrities in their quest to achieve their goals and face these swimming challenges.”

Inspired by our celebs?

Why not join one of our Improve trips for a gentle introduction to open water swimming OR challenge yourself and push your boundaries on one of our channel and distance weeks next year.


Don’t forget to follow our social media channels for an inside look into this exciting new series. If you aren’t already following us, join our SwimQuester community on our social media channels for the latest updates!


Linford Christie - Olympic gold medallist

Tessa Sanderson - Olympic gold medallist

Greg Rutherford - Olympic gold medallist

Sair Khan - Coronation Street star

Alex Brooker - The Last Leg co-host

James ‘Arg’ Argent - TOWIE star

Georgia Kousoulou - TOWIE star

Simon Webbe - Blue singer

Wes Nelson - Love Island contestant

Rachel Adedeji - Hollyoaks actress

Diane Louise Jordan - Television presenter

Inspired by our celebs?

Why not join one of our Improve trips for a gentle introduction to open water swimming OR challenge yourself and push your boundaries on one of our channel and distance weeks next year.  



Olympian and two-time open water swimming world champion, Keri-anne Payne is now on a mission - to ‘empower the world to swim’. Through a recent partnership with STA, Keri-anne now runs open water coaching courses, coaching other coaches to coach, through her business ‘Straight-Line Swimming’. Find out more about SwimQuest’s involvement SwimQuest’s involvement here. Keri-anne’s wealth of knowledge and coaching expertise ensures our celebs are technically sound and that their training is on track.

ross edgley

Ross EdgleyRoss Edgley is an adventurer and author best known for becoming the first person in history to swim all the way around Great Britain. After 2,000 miles and 157 days the World Open Water Swimming Association announced it as the World Swim of the Year 2018 and it became officially recognised as "The World's Longest Staged Sea Swim.” Ross’ enthusiasm and infectious motivation keeps our celebs going through this ambitious challenge.


Alice Todd Managing Director, SwimQuest HolidaysOpen water swimming has always been a passion for Alice, so much so that she left her job in the media at the age of 27 to set up SwimQuest with John Coningham-Rolls. Alice has been a swim coach since she was just 16 years old, and specialises in introducing adults to open water, regardless of their ability. Alice is a keen year-round skins swimmer, swimming at the Serpentine Lido in London all the way through winter! It is Alice’s job to keep track of the celebrities' progress, and to organise the training sessions and coaches to ensure everyone is on track and progressing nicely.


John has been involved in the open water swimming travel industry since it started back  in 2001. John completed his own solo channel swim in 1998, and has also completed Manhatten Island and Lake Zurich solo swims. Since John’s channel swim in 1998, he has made it his mission to empower everyone and anyone on their own swimming journey, no matter how large or small. SwimQuest was established with this in mind. John’s belief that he can see potential in people that sometimes they can’t see themselves, has resulted in some astonishing swimming quests.


Jai EvansJai has been coaching swimming full time for over 20 years. After first being trained by Terry Laughlin in New York, Jai is now the only Total Immersion Master Coach in the UK. He has a wealth of experience teaching swimmers of all ages and abilities, and is also an experienced and dedicated long distance swimmer, having swum a two way Windermere, and his own English Channel solo.  Jai specialises in ensuring swimmers can progress to distance swimming without injury, and has been  esepcially helpful to the celebs who have developed aches and shoulder pains during the training process.


Guy MetcalfGuy has been a swimmer as long as he can remember, and has been coaching younger age groups as well as Adult Education evening classes since he was a teenager. Based in Norfolk, Guy is an experienced Beach Lifeguard and open water technique coach helping adults train for both traithlons and long world-swims.  Guy has become known for his friendly face and endless positivity amongst our celebs.


Many people talk about how it has been their life's ambition to swim the channel, that wasn't the case for Emma! Emma only learned to swim in 2000, but since then has dedicated a large part of her life to the sport. In 2005 Emma swam her first English Channel Relay, and since then has completed three solo crossings, and countless relay crossings. Emma gives up every weekend of her summer on Dover Beach to inspire and help aspiring channel swimmers achieve their dreams. We are delighted to have Emma on board as part of the SwimQuest Sink or Swim team.

Inspired by our celebs?

Why not join one of our Improve trips for a gentle introduction to open water swimming OR challenge yourself and push your boundaries on one of our channel and distance weeks next year.
SU2C Sink or Swim Been inspired by the famous faces and SwimQuest coaches on Sink or Swim? Take on your own swimming challenge to swim the equivalent length of the Channel and raise money for Stand Up To Cancer. Take on The Channel Challenge with your friends, local swimming club or workmates and raise cash for life-saving cancer research. Click here to find out more.

SU2C – a joint national fundraising campaign from Cancer Research UK and Channel 4 has to date raised over £62 million for research into cancer which will accelerate new cancer treatments to UK patients and save more lives.

Behind The Scenes

Check out our exclusive behind the scenes videos and photos. Remember to keep checking back, there's plenty more to come!

episode FOUR

SwimQuest coaches watching from the support boat

Underwater cameraman Rob ready to capture some action

The SwimQuest team watch the celebrities as they change over

Ross motivates Alex to keep going

Suva and pilot Neil looking after our team

Sunset in the Channel

Arg watches as his teammate completes their hour

SwimQuest guide John takes the wheel!

Cheeky faces willing the celebs on!

Beautiful conditions as we head into darkness

The camera crew have to find their sea legs

SwimQuest guide Jai taking a nap!

Suva starts to get tippy as the weather picks up

Ross watching over the swimmers as the sun rises

The team arrives back in Dover harbour after the weather meant they had to abandon their attempt


Alice and John brief the group before they get in the water.

Arg gets himself ready to swim in the dark.

Arg gets into the water in the pitch black.

Arg progressing well at the start of the swim.

Cast and crew gather for a pre-swim briefing.

Director Josh and producer Alex in planning mode.

Everyone getting ready for the River Arun swim start.

In we go! Ready to swim in the dark!

Lighting the course for Shepperton Night Swim.

Lights, camera, action!

Linford tells us how he is feeling about swimming at night.

Sair and Alex complete the night swim challenge.

Setting the course at Shepperton Lake.

SwimQuest coaches getting ready for the swim.

SwimQuest coaches ready for action!

SwimQuest Director Alice briefs the team.

SwimQuest guide Jo feeling positive!

The celebs are interviewed before they get in the Arun.

The celebs assemble for their briefing.

The swim begins on the River Arun.

Underwater cameraman Rob getting into position.

Episode Two

SwimQuest guide Jai coaches the celebs at Bewl Water. SwimQuest guides Alice & Guy get the celebs ready for their Bewl Water challenge. Is it time for ice cream? Group hug! Warming up post swim. Getting ready for the first sea swim. SqimQuest guide Emma France chats to Greg about channel swimming. The celebs chat to SwimQuest guides Guy and Jo. Brushing up skills in the Mermaid Pool on Burgh island. Working on technique in the Mermaid Pool. Our celebs from above - getting swim ready. John and Jo get ready to coach in the Mermaid Pools. The celebs hop on the beach tractor at Burgh Island. SwimQuest coaches enjoying Burgh Island. Sair tells us how she's feeling about her first sea swim. SwimQuest guide Jo helps Greg get ocean ready. Emma France and Diane - Feeling good! Loving life at Burgh Island. SwimQuest guide Jo and Tessa. Looking strong on the first sea swim. SwimQuest guide Guy and Rachel chat post swim. An emotional swim for Tessa. SwimQuest guide Jo looking after Tessa post swim. SwimQuest guide Jo and the team looking after Tessa. What a team! SwimQuest guides and celebs pose for a post swim photo.

Episode One

Coach Alice at Tinside Lido in Plymouth as the celebrities take to cold water for the first time. Sink or swim behind the scenes episode one Coaches Alice and Guy discussing strategy with Ross Edgley Sink or swim behind the scenes episode one Coach Alice with the Tinside Lido Lifeguards Sink or swim behind the scenes episode oneBehind the scenes filming at Tinside Lido Sink or swim behind the scenes episode one Supporting coach Sapphire ready to comfort the swimmers as they exit the pool Sink or swim behind the scenes episode one The Sink or Swim bus has arrived! Sink or swim behind the scenes episode one In the support boats while the celebrity swimmers attempt their first 500K Sink or swim behind the scenes episode one Coach Alice and Diane Louise Jordan Sink or swim behind the scenes episode one
Coaches Alice, Guy and Jai on the jetty in Windermere

Inspired by our celebs?

Why not join one of our Improve trips for a gentle introduction to open water swimming OR challenge yourself and push your boundaries on one of our channel and distance weeks next year.


The SwimQuest team have been coaching in numerous pools, lakes and open water venues across the UK in order to get our celebrities ready for their relay challenge. A HUGE thank you to all our venue training partners:

Swimming Pools & LIDOS

  • Abbey Leisure Centre, Barking Conveniently located right in the heart of Barking, Abbey offers two swimming pools, and award-winning swimming lessons.
  • David Lloyd Gym, Hampton State-of-the-art gym, beautiful indoor pool and luxurious and club facilities.
  • David Lloyd Gym, Speke Built inside a converted aircraft hangar, this is a modern gym with all the latest kit, to indoor and outdoor tennis courts and swimming pools, group exercise classes and a cafebar with space to work and relax.
  • Grand Central, Stockport  Located in the centre of Stockport, next to the train station, Life Leisure Grand Central provides first class fitness and swimming facilities. The gym houses the latest fitness equipment and has a dedicated performance zone and aerobics studio with weekly programme of classes. Grand Central is also home to Stockport's only 50m swimming pool and Stockport Metro, the UK's most successful swimming club and learn to swim programme.
  • Hillingdon Sports & Lesiure Complex Operated by Fusion Lifestyle, this impressive complex is centred on the Grade II listed outdoor swimming pool, known as Uxbridge Lido until 2010, when the newly built centre and refurbished pool were opened. A stunning 50m outdoor pool.
  • Manchester Printworks, Nuffield Health & Fitness Centre Manchester Printworks offers a swimming pool, physiotherapist, swimming lessons, free weights, exercise classes, steam room in a realxing city centre location.
  • Porchester Pool 
    Porchester Centre is a wonderful grade 2 listed building with many facilities including a 30 metre English Heritage, four lane pool, ideal for lane swimming, adult and child swim lessons for all abilities / ages, and casual swimming for confident swimmers.
  • Tinside Lido, Plymouth The beautiful Tinside Lido, featured in Episode One of Sink or Swim, is a 1935 Art Deco lido in the city of Plymouth. It is sited beside Plymouth Sound and is overlooked by Plymouth Hoe and Smeaton's Tower. The lido is open in the summer months between May and September. Tinside Lido
  • Woburn Lido, Bedfordshire Woburn is the perfect place to swim yourself fit, or simply escape the summer heat. The lido is in a lovely setting adjoining the Woburn Abbey Estate. There is also plenty of space for picnics and sunbathing on the pool's large grassed area.
Greg Rutherford Sink or Swim Woburn Lido

Greg talks about his training to date before he gets in to swim at Woburn Lido


Blue Lagoon Sink or Swim

Sair at Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagooners is a fantastic open water swimming venue in Yorkshire. The crisp and clean water is spring fed from the surrounding limestone that acts like a filter.
    • Box End Park Box End Park is the perfect training venue for open water swimming and off road running and cycling. The lakes are spring fed, making the water incredibly clean and safe for swimmers. The site is also fully serviced with free, secure car parking, changing rooms, lockers and warm showers. There is a first aid trained safety observer present during all swimming sessions, and there is a full range of rental wetsuits available for hire.
    • Broglake, Milton Keynes This fantastic windsurfing and SUP lake kindly offered to open for our celebs to get in some much needed open water training.
    • Salford Docks, Helly Hansen Open Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays this central Manchester venue offers a fantastic opportunity to swim outdoors through the summer.
    • Salford Docks, Uswim Every Wednesday evening and Saturday morning from May to September, Uswim offer sessions in Dock 9, one of the closed-off sections of Salford Quays by the Lowry Centre.
    • Shepperton Open Water Swimming Lake, Surrey This beautiful swimming lake in Surrey is an ideal venue to progress your open water skills. Sessions are run throughout the summer on Mondays, Wednesdays and at weekends.
    • Stanton Lakes Stanton Lakes is a great open water venue in Leicestershire - with a restaurant on site, perfect for when you’ve worked up an appetite!
    • Stubbers Adventure Centre, Essex There's something for everyone at Stubbers, Essex's ultimate outdoor adventure centre. Thrillseekers of all ages - learn new skills and have tons of fun across land and water.
  • Tallington Lakes A fabulous leisure home park and outdoor activity centre. The Watersports Centre at Tallington Lakes provides an ideal venue for Open Water Swimming. You can swim in one of the clean spring fed lakes on Wednesday and Thursday evenings between 5-8pm.


A special thanks to:
  • New Brighton Beach RLSS Team
  • Brighton Swimming Club
  • Burgh Island Lifeguards
  • Emma France & Dover Channel Training

From beginner to expert, we’ll give you the skills to complete swims you never thought you could.

It’s difficult knowing which swimming holiday is right for you, but we can help with that.

We have tours for every confidence and skill level, and thanks to our small group sizes and attentive staff, we’ll always be able to adapt a tour to suit your needs.

We’re proud of our flexibility here at SwimQuest, so if you like the look of a tour but aren’t sure if it’s quite right for you, just get in touch! We’ll always give an honest answer and make sure that you are booking the best holiday for you.


To enter simply find the competition post on our Facebook or Instagram.

All you need to do is tag a friend that you’d dive into the water with, and be sure to follow the page!

The Prize:

1.5 hour session with one of the SwimQuest Sink or Swim coaches

Suitable for all abilities

Winner must be aged 18 or over

Can be an open water / pool session (depending on winner’s current ability level, coach and location availability)

Terms and conditions

1. This prize draw is open to residents of the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland aged 18 years or over, except employees of SwimQuest,  their families, agents or anyone else professionally associated with the draw.

3. Entriy is restricted to one per person.

4. The winner’s name and county can be obtained by sending a sae to SOS Competition, 6 / 51 Cavendish Road, Clapham, London, SW12 0BL within one month after the closing date of the prize draw.

5. All entries must be received by midday on 17th September 2019.

6. The winner will be contacted by the promoter by telephone or email within 14 days of the closing date of the prize draw. Should the Promoter be unable to contact the winner or should the winner be unable to accept the prize, the Promoter reserves the right to award the prize to an alternative winner, drawn in accordance with these terms and conditions.

7. The prize as described is available on the date of publication. Should the prize become unavailable, a substitute of equal value will be provided.

8. One winning entrant will win a 1.5 hour coaching session with one of the following SwimQuest Sink or Swim coaches: Alice Todd (SW London) John Coningham-Rolls (Central London), Harry Needs (Manchester), Jai Evans (Leicestershire), Emma France (London), Guy Metcalf (Norfolk), Joanna Dale (London).

The chosen coach will depend on the winner's location and both their and the coaches’ availability.

SwimQuest will work with the winner to book a date which will suit both the winner and the SwimQuest coach. We are able to provide either London, Leicestershire or Manchester based lessons.

9. The prize must be booked before 31 October 2019 and taken before 30 April 2020.

10. The prize is subject to availability, non-transferable and there are no cash alternatives.

11. The winners may be required to participate in reasonable publicity on behalf of the Prize Provider and the Promoter.

12. Entrants’ data will be used for the purpose of administration of this prize draw and in accordance with the permissions granted or withheld at the point of entry.

13. Events may occur that render the prize draw itself or the awarding of the prize impossible due to reasons beyond the control of the SwimQuest. Accordingly SwimQuest may, at its absolute discretion, vary or amend the promotion and the entrant agrees that no liability shall attach to SwimQuest as a result thereof.

15. These Terms and Conditions are to be interpreted in accordance with English law and any dispute arising out of these Terms or their subject matter is subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts.

Promoter: SwimQuest