Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

In an emerging sport when there are many new products, services, events, books, movies and inventions every year, it is always difficult to select the ultimate World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.

So many things are unique and impressive – and helpful or inspiration to newbie or veteran open water swimmers alike.

But few are as motivational or moving at the Step Out Of The Ordinary Blue Letter Campaign that was created by Pádraig Mallon of Ireland. The Campaign was voted by the public as the 2014 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.

Step Out Of The Ordinary Blue Letter Campaign is an innovative means to get many people as motivated to do something as are your typical endurance athlete.

Pádraig Mallon and the team at Camlough Lake regularly push themselves to extraordinary distances and depths. But not everyone is so motivated. But Mallon and team did something about it. They use a combination of peer pressure and positive optimism. They wanted others, those who are not like-minded to similarly set their own personal challenges and to realize their own dreams. The ‘Step out of the ordinary’ Blue Letter campaign is a means to encourage others to identify and welcome a new challenge, any challenge, something of their own choosing.

In the ‘Step Out of the Ordinary’ event, the Camlough Lake Water Festival team shares its joy for life and quest for adventure with others. Through a combination of the written word and spoken encouragement, volunteers are inspiring others to step out and step up to any challenge within their grasp, but yet somewhere out of their normal comfort zone.

For its uniquely inspirational and personalized campaign, for its highly effective means to motivate people of all abilities and background to achieve their own dreams, for its innovative creations in the open water world, the Camlough Lake Water Festival’s Blue Letter Campaign is a well-deserving recipient of the 2014 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year Award.

The nominees for the 2014 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year included:

1. 24 Hour Swim in San Francisco by Suzie Dods (U.S.A.)
2. BlueJourney-Amerika Samoa-Stronger Together: The Waterman’s Way by Bruckner Chase (U.S.A./Amerika Samoa)
3. Step Out Of The Ordinary Blue Letter Campaign by Pádraig Mallon (Ireland)
4. Catalina Channel Swimming Federation (U.S.A.)
5. Dancing In The Water by Wayne Ewing and Matthew Moseley (U.S.A.)
6. L.O.S.T. Swimming (Lake Ontario Swim Team) by Rob Kent (Canada)
7. Morrison Report by Evan Morrison for Marathon Swimmers Federation (international)
8. Nadandolibre Radio Show – Marcador Show by José Díaz and Alessi Pérez (Spain)
9. Ola Vista Photography by Mike Lewis (U.S.A.)
10. Rei e Rainha do Mar (King and Queen of the Sea) by Pedro Rego Monteiro (Brazil)
11. S.C.A.R. Swim Challenge by Kent Nicholas (U.S.A.)
12. The Greatest Englishman by Marathon Films (Great Britain)
13. The Torture Swim by 60 Minutes Sports (U.S.A./Ireland)
14. The Vertical Swim Trainer by Genadijus Sokolovas (U.S.A./Lithuania)
15. Uaimh an tSolais & Uaimh na nÉan by Sam Krohn And Loneswimmer (Australia/Ireland)

The previous World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year recipients were:

*2012: SWIM Channel by Patrick Wrinkler (Brazil)
*2013: International Ice Swimming Association (South Africa/international)
*2014: Step Out Of The Ordinary Blue Letter Campaign by Pádraig Mallon and Camlough Lake Water Festival (Ireland)

Footnote: The 2014 WOWSA Award winners are as follows:

* 2014 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year: Dr. Nataliya Fatyanova (Russia)
* 2014 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year: Henri Kaarma (Estonia)
* 2014 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year: Diomede Islands Swim by Alexandr Brylin and Grigorii Prokopchuk (Russia)
* 2014 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year: Step Out Of The Ordinary Blue Letter Campaign by Pádraig Mallon and Camlough Lake Water Festival (Ireland)

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association