Swimming benefitting in recession

Tough times work in swimming’s favour, says Zoggs chief

The market for swimming is benefitting as a result of the economic downturn, according to Zoggs chief executive officer Mark Hammersley.

Speaking at a preview show for the Zoggs spring/summer 2012 collection, Hammersley said swimming is a ‘recession buster’ with participation rates higher when money is tight as it is a low-cost sport in terms of both equipment and getting involved.

He added that swimming is the only sport on the national curriculum, helping making it the highest participation sport for children as well as women, and second for men behind football.

Hammersely said: “Swimming is important and not just for club swimmers. There are 280,000 club swimmers in the UK but some 3.25 million people who swim recreationally once a week or more. That increases to 5.6 million people who swim recreationally once a month. It’s a very important market and one of the reasons why we don’t focus our attention on competition swimmers.

“Recreational swimmers are a big market and we want all swimmers to enjoy the freedom, fun and exhilaration of swimming.”

Hammersley described Zoggs spring/summer 2012 collection as the company’s ‘best yet’, with ranges such as the Chevron Chic and Hollywood Sweetheart designed to be both flattering and appealing to women of all ages and sizes.

In addition, the spring/summer 2012 collection includes men’s and junior ranges, Water Confidence learning aids and goggles.

Hammersley said Zoggs will continue to push goggles as a key product, as: “We want more adults to wear goggles as only 50 per cent currently do, which is like trying to run with your eyes closed.”