Spotlight: Marlin

Marlin banner

What is Marlin?
Marlin is a swimming group for trans people – we welcome anyone who identifies as trans.

When and where do you meet?
We meet on the second Tuesday of the month at the Arcadia Sports Centre, Yew Tree Avenue, Levenshulme, Manchester M19 3PH, from 8.00pm to 9.30pm. It’s free to attend – no need to book, just turn up! We have exclusive use of the pool, and separate changing facilities which are gender neutral. You’re welcome to wear whatever you feel comfortable swimming in, with two provisos – it must be safe to swim in, and it mustn’t dye the water – so no brand new, bright red, oversized baggy t-shirts for instance!

How did the group come about?
In 2008, there was a small amount of funding available for groups who wanted to run projects from the Transtastic Men calendar. A few of us had been discussing that we missed swimming, so we decided to apply for a grant to set up some swimming sessions. We originally ran 4 sessions, which proved so popular that we then applied to Manchester Pride for funding to continue the session. We’ve been running monthly sessions ever since that, and are now funded by Pride Sports.

What advice would you give to someone questioning whether to come along to Marlin?
Just come along! We’re a very friendly and informal group, so don’t be shy. If you’re not sure, you’re welcome to come along and watch, or sit at the side and dangle your feet in. We have people of all ages and genders in the group, many of whom haven’t been swimming for years until they came to Marlin.

LGBT Foundation are marking September 'Trans Active month' to promote inclusivity in sports. How do you think we can increase trans awareness and visibility in sports?
Ensure that sports groups that describe themselves as LGBT are aware of the barriers faced by trans people in accessing sports, and that they are genuinely trans inclusive – and that they make this clear in their information. They also need to have a zero tolerance policy about transphobia from any of their members, and to implement this – even if it’s against their star player!

Visit Marlin's website for further information about the group: www.marlin.org.uk

For more information about other trans services and supported groups across Manchester, please visit here or email trans@lgbt.foundation.