Fancy a dip in the North Sea? Students take the plunge in new therapy session

Sam Zeman, Dan Kendal, Muskateem Ahmed, Chris Binks, Dawood Ahmed, and Adventure Sunderland instructor Mike Clapham
Sam Zeman, Dan Kendal, Muskateem Ahmed, Chris Binks, Dawood Ahmed, and Adventure Sunderland instructor Mike Clapham
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Six students jumped into the North Sea on a freezing February morning as part of a new therapy session to improve their health.

The group of University of Sunderland students were taking part in Cold Water Immersion, a therapy which aims to offer the brave participants a whole host of health benefits.

Dan Kendal after his cold water therapy

Dan Kendal after his cold water therapy

Everything from anxiety and depression to muscle repair and happiness levels can apparently benefit from a freezing adventure.

Braving the cold, this group were keen to take part in the first immersion therapy session held at Roker Beach in Sunderland.

Here's what the brave students had to say about the chilly experience.

Dan Kendal, 25, a third year Sports Coaching student, hoped the therapy might help him deal with some anxiety issues.

Sam Zeman, Muskateem Ahmed, Adventure Sunderland instructor Mike Clapham, Chris Binks

Sam Zeman, Muskateem Ahmed, Adventure Sunderland instructor Mike Clapham, Chris Binks

Dan, from Fulwell, Sunderland, said: “I thought I would give this a go to see if it helped a little bit.

“To be honest, I really enjoyed it – once I got over the initial trauma - even though I never expected to.

“It was strange to feel something working against your natural senses. The adrenaline rush along made it worthwhile.”

The group of students received expert guidance in the immersion session from staff of Roker’s Adventure Sunderland Marine Activity Centre,

Sam Zeman, Dawood Ahmed, Adventure Sunderland instructor Mike Clapham, Chris Binks, Dan Kendal and Muskateem Ahmed

Sam Zeman, Dawood Ahmed, Adventure Sunderland instructor Mike Clapham, Chris Binks, Dan Kendal and Muskateem Ahmed

Chris Binks, 23, is a third year Sports Coaching student who has had ice baths in the past – but never one quite this big.

He said: “I do quite a lot of coaching in schools and I do boxing fitness classes, as well as playing football so I use ice baths to help reduce inflammation but I’ve never done anything like this before.”

The former Harton School pupil, from South Shields, added: “I’m willing to try anything once and this was good fun.”

Cold water immersion, like cold water swimming, is becoming increasingly popular off the North East coast, with several clubs dedicated to plunging into the freezing temperatures.

Dawood Ahmed after his dip

Dawood Ahmed after his dip

Sam Zeman, 22, is a third year Biopharmaceutical student who is originally from Slokavia but currently living in Sunderland.

He said: “This is not my first time taking part in cold water activities, but I do like to try all types of things and this was a good opportunity.”

Suggested benefits of cold water therapy include improvement to lymphatic and cardiovascular circulation, reducing muscle inflammation, and boosting happiness levels.

Dawood Ahmed, 22, is a first year Sports and Exercise Science student, originally from Kuwait.

He said: “I wanted to come out and have an adventure; to do something crazy and this was crazy.

“My feet feel numb and, in some ways it was like a form of torture, but I would definitely do it all over again.”

Chris Binks after his therapy

Chris Binks after his therapy

The therapy was organised by University of Sunderland Sports Development Officer Rob Graham, who is part of Team Sunderland.