Christmas Swim FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions About the Christmas Swim

How much does it cost to register?

Registration costs €20 and that includes a free t-shirt. You can choose not to get a t-shirt.  

You will also have the option to purchase a limited number of Christmas Swim beanies. You will be given the option to add an additional donation during your registration. 

Can I register on Christmas Day?

We ask that everyone who can please register online here.  

There will not be registration available on the day though we will have some t-shirts and plenty of donation buckets.  

How do get my swim T-shirt?

When you register you will be given three options  

  1. Post 
  2. Collect at the Christmas Market any day between 16th and 22nd December
  3. Collect from the COPE Galway Office, Calbro House, Tuam Road on the 16th or 17th December, between 10am and 5pm
What is the difference between a group and a team registration? 

A group registration allows up to 10 individuals to register together. Group registration is perfect for families as it allows for children to register (with an adult).  

A team registration allows you to set up a team or join a team. It is best for schools and workplaces who might have large teams and allows for a more complex registration including more payment options. 

If you have any questions about registration, please contact us at  

Do I have to fundraise?

No! You do not have to fundraise. In fact, most participants choose to make a donation or just participate.  

However, over 50% of the funds raised through the Christmas Swim in generated through fundraising! And every euro raised goes towards keeping COPE Galway’s vital services operating. You can find more information about how to fundraise here.  

When and where can I swim? 

You can swim anywhere in the world between 20-26 December or if you are in Galway and can join us in Blackrock on Christmas Morning between 9am and 1pm – we would love to see you there! 

After a very successful “Swim Where You Are” event in 2020 that saw Galwegians around the globe connect to home and their Galway Christmas tradition, we decided we wanted to continue to bring families together and Christmas traditions alive going forward. And so the new “hydrid” Christmas Swim event was born. 

You can choose where and how you would like to join in.  

Please read our safety advice for wherever and however you choose to #bravethecold.  

What do I need to have for my Christmas swim? 

Swimwear – It is recommended that participants wear wetsuits and bright coloured hats if possible.  

Towel and warm clothes – Get dry quickly. Wrap up well in extra layers of clothing. Warm waterproof jacket, hat and scarf. 

Hot water bottle and flask of hot drink – warm up quickly afterwards. 

Will there be lifeguards and first aid?

On Christmas morning at Blackrock, COPE Galway will have lifeguards and qualified first aid personnel from 9am-1pm.  

If you are swimming anywhere outside of that time, there will be no lifeguards on duty.  

Please read our safety advice for wherever and however you choose to #bravethecold.  

What should I do if there is a weather warning?

In the case of a Met Eireann weather warning we will send out a communication to let you know that the event is cancelled and will be rescheduled.