Sports & Recreation Podcasts

There’s more to ocean swimming than swimming in the ocean.




There’s more to ocean swimming than swimming in the ocean.




Ocean swimming... and connecting with blue spaces

Rebecca Olive is an ocean swimmer whose academic research explores the role of sport and leisure in human and environmental health. In particular, her work explores the practices and cultures of ocean swimming and surfing to understand how human and environmental well-being interact, as well as our relationships to all things blue-space, such as sharks, animals, plastics, pollution and health. Her Moving Oceans website examines how participation in ocean sports shapes our behaviours towards taking care of the oceans. She has also published some fantastic reads in The Conversation - we talk about these two in the podcast: When we swim in the ocean, we enter another animal’s home. Here’s how to keep us all safeOlympic swimming in the Seine highlights efforts to clean up city rivers worldwide Songs in this episode - all licensed under a Creative Commons License: bowdeeni fish xLajan SlimevildirkSłejzi WysockiOlive Spring @ Imperss Music 2022Tobu Image from Moving Oceans


Ocean swimming... and culture, inclusion and society

Michelle O’Shea is a Senior Lecturer at Western Sydney University whose research interests dive into the areas of sport, culture and society, particularly with regard to swimming. She has looked into issues such as why swimming lessons for kids are important, as well as the role of the swimming pool in society. Her research particularly examines issues relevant to gender and diversity, and how the pool and the beach, despite the great Australian egalitarian myth, can be quite exclusionary places. Songs in this episode - all licensed under a Creative Commons License: The EgotwistersTenshou KikikoAfrickVincent RememberTobu Image from wikicommons


Ocean swimming... and germs

Primrose Freestone, Associate Professor in Clinical Microbiology at the University of Leicester and science communicator, is an infectious diseases expert, and has dived into the debate of whether swimming in a pool or in the natural environment is the safer option. She also takes us through the cleanliness of hot-tubs (hint, they're gross.) Songs in this episode - all licensed under a Creative Commons License: GNAARPhillip BarkerVadim Krakhmali m p a u s e a b l eTobu Photo from wikimedia


Ocean swimming... and a healthy brain

Seena Mathew is Assistant Professor of Biology, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. As a neurobiologist, she studies the effects of swimming on the brain, which are many! You can read her article in The Conversation (Swimming gives your brain a boost – but scientists don’t know yet why it’s better than other aerobic activities) or tune in here! Songs in this episode - all licensed under a Creative Commons License: Lofi FactoryAtchDr BrainTobu Photo from StockSnap


Ocean swimming... and swimmer’s ear

Episode 50! Swimmer's ear (acute otitis externa) is an outer ear infection that many swimmers will have had at some point in their lives. However, it turns out that you don't have to go swimming to get swimmer's ear. Thomas Schrepfer is assistant professor of head and neck surgery in the University of Florida Department of Otolayrngology, and a keen diver and swimmer. Songs in this episode - all licensed under a Creative Commons License: MoogeMad WaxBbbyugyAphickeyTobu Photo by Franco Antonio Giovanella on Unsplash.


Ocean swimming... Alcatraz (part 2)

Rolf Hut is a hydrological scientist from Delft University of Technology. Or perhaps he's better described as MacGyver scientist, attacking problems from different and interesting angles. One such problem was the infamous 1962 escape from Alcatraz, in which inmates Clarence Anglin, John Anglin, and Frank Morris escaped from Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, by tucking papier-mâché versions of their heads into their beds, escaping their cells through the ventilation ducts, climbing through an unused utility corridor, across roofs and over fences, before leaving the island on an improvised inflatable raft made of rain jackets. Rolf helped build perhaps the most sophisticated model of the currents in the bay area on the night of escape to look at the question of whether the inmates could possibly have survived the journey, and then tested the research in his own Mythbusters-esque escape from Alcatraz. Songs in this episode - all licensed under a Creative Commons License: RolfJohn HutSilverman Sound StudiosTobu Image from Rolf's page at Delft


Ocean swimming... with Andy Donaldson

Andy Donaldson is a world-recorder holding open-water swimmer. In 2023, he is attempting to swim the Oceans Seven in one year, and is making a pretty good fist of it, having already swum the English Channel (in a British record time), the North Channel (only 4 minutes off the record), the Cook Strait (in world record time) and the Molokai Channel in Hawaii. At the time of recording, he was setting off to swim the Strait of Gibraltar - and by time I published, he had broken the British record. He is raising money for Black Dog Institute Songs in this episode - all licensed under a Creative Commons License: MisfitMediocrityDavid (G.RaFF) partonUmpireTobu Photo from Andy on instagram


Ocean swimming... Alcatraz (part 1)

Pedro Ordenes is an Alcatraz legend, having swum the famous route over 1000 times!! Pedro runs Water World Swim that organizes many swims in San Francisco Bay, California and across the world. I was lucky enough to swim Alcatraz with Water World Swim recently in April 2023. Pedro is an exceptionally accomplished open water swimmer, perhaps the highlight being swimming the Strait of Magellan in South America, in 3.5°C with 60 km/hr winds and 3-5 feet swells against 12-14 knot currents! He has also swum a double crossing of the Beagle Channel between Chile and Argentina. Pedro is now also a very well respected open-water coach. Songs in this episode - all licensed under a Creative Commons License: CVMRDeadline313Analog SoulJ-Seiei BeatzTobu Image from Water World Swim


Ocean swimming... with Peta Bradley, World Ice Swimming Champion

Peta Bradley is a member of the Australian ice swimming team that recently competed at the World Ice Swimming Championships in France. She competed in the 1000m, 500m, and 50m butterfly, bringing home a bronze medal in the 500m. Peta hails from Gilgandra, quite some distance from any coastline, and does a lot of her training in dams. She has also completed the coveted ice mile at Thedbo. Peta is the manager of sheep genetics, within the livestock genetics team at Meat and Livestock Australia. Songs in this episode - all licensed under a Creative Commons License: WorkerswhatfunkTobu Photo from Peta Bradley - it is the Australian team at the World Champs - Peta, Nick Hungerford and Ellery McGowan


Ocean swimming... with Lynne Cox

Lynne Cox is arguably the most accomplished ocean swimmer of all time. She set the record for the English Channel in 1972, was the first woman to swim the Cook Strait in New Zealand in 1975, famously swam between the US and the USSR in 1987 across the Bering Strait in bone-chilling 3 degree waters, and then even colder in Antarctica and Greenland. She has a list of achievements too long to list here. Lynne is also an author, and has a new book called Tales of Al - The Water Rescue Dog, detailing her experiences with Italy's elite, highly specialized corps of water rescue dogs who jump from helicopters and save lives. Thanks very much to Knopf for sending me a preprint. Songs in this episode - all licensed under a Creative Commons License: Dav BluesRoss J. MillerElectrophonvintageUNKMojisNew Found LandTobu Photo from Lynne Cox


Ocean swimming... and seaweed textiles

Professor Peter Ralph is Executive Director of the Climate Change Cluster in the Faculty of Science at UTS, and is partnering with Australian surf brand Piping Hot to develop textiles made from seaweed for surfwear. Nature-derived alternatives for the fashion industry have the potential to revolutionise products and vastly reduce their impact on the oceans. Apologies for a little bit of building noise in the background! Songs in this episode - all licensed under a Creative Commons License: Offkey LifestyleMartin WilliamsonTobu Image from UTS


Ocean swimming... butterfly

Eli Ball is training to swim the English Channel... butterfly. Yes, you read that correctly. Butterfly. He is an exceptionally accomplished butterflying ocean swimmer, having completed a plethora of marathon ocean swims, including the 20km Rottnest Island swim, along the way setting the butterfly record. Songs in this episode - all licensed under a Creative Commons License: takashi_dAdam AndrysJoachim HeinrichReMiXisBritney StarrPhòng Thu Âm Nguyễn Báu李雨寰 Lee JohanTobu Image from Eli fan page on Facebook I would like to acknowledge the horribly sad tragedy here in Sydney last week, with a swimmer killed in a shark attack at Malabar, a place at which I have swum many times. Sharks are an ever present thought for ocean swimmers, and they are one of the topics in today's episode, which was recorded a few weeks before the incident. My sincerest condolences are with Simon's family and friends.


Ocean swimming... around Lord Howe Island

Lauren Tischendorf is the first woman to swim solo around Lord Howe Island - 32.2 km of sharks, currents, 25 knot winds and 2.5 metre swell, finishing in 13 hours 50 minutes and 26 seconds. She has also filmed a documentary of the swim, I just went for a swim, highlighting the spectacular ocean as well as the importance of the empowerment of girls and women. You can watch this film throughout Australia very soon in the Women's Adventure Film Festival. Songs in this episode - all licensed under a Creative Commons License: Leaux ManeAndervallextenzTobu Image from Lauren on instagram


Ocean swimming... with Brendan Cullen

Brendan Cullen is training to swim the English channel, but what makes his journey exceptional is that he is a sheep farmer from Kars Station, east of Broken Hill in NSW, and is about 350 km from the nearest coastline. Four mornings a week, Brendan swims in the murky waters of Lake Pamamaroo and Lake Copi Hollow in the Menindee Lakes, where he can't typically see more than 20 centimetres in front of his face (video). And there's not a lot of open water in the desert! Brendan already has some major swimming achievements under his belt, such as swimming for 8 hours non-stop, and he an ambassador for lifeline, raising awareness and money for mental health. Songs in this episode - all licensed under a Creative Commons License: dikommValanceMind Over MayhemDamien BroniekitrifonicTobu Image from Jacinta Cullen / smh.


Ocean swimming... with Peter Hancock

Peter Hancock has now swum well over 1000 consecutive days, most days in Dumaresq Dam in Armidale, central NSW. Often the temperature is down near freezing. But this is not the first time Pete has conquered an incredible swimming challenge. In 2014, he swam in 333 different locations in the one year, including in the 1.6 degree Fox Glacier River in New Zealand. As a freshwater ecologist, it's not just the swimming that Pete likes - there are plenty of things to look at! He has discovered new species of fresh water crustaceans and beetles, and documents much of it on Instagram. Pete also recently completed an indoor Iron Man, raising money for Headspace. So he knows how to run and cycle as well! You can see his adventures on strava. Songs in this episode - all licensed under a Creative Commons License: DumaresqMalfattiDamInvertebrateTobu Image from Pete on Instagram. Also see Pete on Twitter.


Ocean swimming... with Jaimee Rogers

Jaimee Rogers hosts the Big Sports Breakfast program on Sky Sports Radio, is a national level swimmer in the 200m breaststroke, and is now tackling the English Channel. She is raising money with Gotcha4life to support mental health programs. You can sponsor her here. Songs in this episode - all licensed under a Creative Commons License: PeyriusDatasuckBinder and HoworthFabio MazzoTobu Image from Jaimee on instagram


Ocean swimming... in the nude

Jon Stagg has completed the Dark Mofo Nude Solstice Swim every year since its inception. What makes someone swim nude in the middle of the Tasmanian winter? Jon has some fabulous stories - he even did it himself when the event was cancelled during covid! Songs in this episode - all licensed under a Creative Commons License: Le BlanchePasi SillanpaaJosh TiongTobu Image from ABC I'm hoping to do the Canberra version - let's see where we're at come the solstice! You'll see it on strava or twitter if I do.


Ocean swimming... in La Nina

If you live on the east coast of Australia, your ocean swimming season has been rudely interrupted by the weather, with swims cancelled up and down the coast because of high swells and flooding. Australia has just experienced its wettest summer for five years because of a climate cycle known as La Nina. Associate Professor Andréa Taschetto is an oceanographer and ARC Future Fellow at the Climate Change Research Centre, UNSW. Songs in this episode - all licensed under a Creative Commons License: Jesus Adrián RomeroTumi Music Ltd.Daniel Calveti (DJ PRE Remix)Tobu Image from hippo px Some links from the show: Andrea on twitter, Marc on twitter, Marc on strava


Ocean swimming... and Australian beach history

Associate Professor Anna Clark is an ocean lover, fisher and historian at the University of Technology, Sydney. She has extensively researched the history of beach culture in Australia, an important place for thousands of generations of Indigenous culture, a place of last resort during the Great Depression, and a place of upheaval during the more recent Cronulla riots. And throughout all that time, it has been vital for food and industry. Songs in this episode - all licensed under a Creative Commons License: LichuHyphelionpigletTobu Image from exploroz


Ocean swimming... with John Sheely

John Sheely is head gardener at the Warrnambool Botanical Gardens, an acclaimed ocean swimmer who, with pools closed due to covid, has now swum 300 consecutive ocean swims, and is aiming at 365 - a fair achievement when you consider he's swimming without a wetsuit off the coast of Victoria! It will end up being over 1000 km swum. He's also got quite the take on beer and steak as sports nutrition! You can find John on Strava and Twitter. Image from The Standard. Songs in this episode - all licensed under a Creative Commons License: The fishermen and the priestessUser 21293509Mark Armstrong 303ArgulesTobu