Moseley Shoals were founded in April 2000 and have grown into a thriving and diverse sporting and leisure swimming club. We are a mixed ability group – everything from ‘splash & chat’ to competition standard swimming, and now our popular water polo. Affiliated to the Gay Outdoor Club and supported by Birmingham Pride we ensure that there are plenty of opportunities to socialise as well as swim, with the chance to head to the pub after sessions, as well as a range of social events, and holidays.
We understand that there is more to gay life and identity than the ‘scene’, and with this in mind our main aim was to provide a social group away from, and as an alternative to ‘the scene’. Starting in a public session, word of mouth and a few regular adverts in the ‘Zone’ and free magazines, soon grew the group to a regular crowd of about 15 on Mondays. We were usually to be found chatting and drifting around with the current in the shallow end – well, we are a social group too! We were surprised and delighted when the Moseley Road Pool staff approached us with the offer of a private session that had become available. From these beginnings the group has swollen to a regular Monday crowd of about 30 people, with an overall membership of about 80, making us one of the Midland’s largest social gay groups. Such was our popularity at the pool, that soon after we were offered our Sunday lunchtime session as well. Some years later we trialed adding Water Polo to our sessions, which proved such a success it has now become a regular part of the group.
It’s only after coming along to one of our sessions that you can appreciate that water can be just as good a social lubricant as beer or alcohol, and with gentle exercise (it’s not all chatting) it’s much better for you! At the core of Shoals is the social element, which has made the group such a popular ongoing success. ‘Shoals’ attracts all ages, shapes, sizes and backgrounds. It offers something for everyone, from gaining confidence in the water in a supportive environment, to serious lane swimming for those who want to improve their fitness and technique. We have slow and fast lanes roped off for steady lane swimming, which still leaves the other half of the pool for messing around in and chatting!!