THE BLOG

Taking Swimming From Wales to the World

16/05/2013 10:47 BST | Updated 15/07/2013 10:12 BST
Getty Images

"Welcome to geek central!" laughed Dan Morgan as he opened the door for me into TechHub at Google Campus, just behind the Old Street roundabout in central London.

Morgan's youthful looks and cheeky sense of humour seem slightly at odds with his serious title as co-founder of tech start-up Active in Time.

But things have suddenly got very serious for Morgan and his Active in Time team - they've just signed a major deal with Speedo (the world's biggest swimwear brand) to take the Splashpath app global.

Having grown up in Wales, Morgan has lived in London for the last few years. His passion is swimming.

"I've always loved mucking about in water", said Morgan. "Swimming laps at the pool, trying to land dives off the board at the Hampstead ponds, or even playing a bit of water polo - it's a lot of fun and of course a good way to stay in shape."

"I'm always looking for new toys and gadgets, so a few years ago I was trawling through the app store and there was heaps of stuff related to running but nothing really for swimmers. So I decided to build one - that's where Splashpath came from."

"Splashpath has a number of features - firstly it helps people find their local pool and check timetables; secondly it enables you to track your swim so you can set yourself virtual challenges and monitor your progress; and it also helps you to connect with other swimmers from a social media perspective."

"In addition we created a timetable solution for pool operators so that pools can update and publicise their swimming timetables on the Splashpath app and across the internet."

In 2011 Splashpath was the number one health and fitness app in the UK App Store and is now the UK's leading swimming app. Splashpath users are swimming the equivalent of Dover-to-Calais and back again, seven times each day.

It's no wonder that swimwear giant Speedo has taken an interest.

"Our partnership with Speedo is going to enable us to take Splashpath beyond the UK" explains Morgan. "It's a bit surreal actually - I started Splashpath in my bedroom, just as a hobby really, now it's going to go global. I met Michael Phelps the other day - that's mad!"

Speedo appears to have big plans for Splashpath - Sean Hastings, vice president of product and marketing at Speedo International, said:

"The Splashpath team have done an amazing job building a swimming community around the mobile application and we are looking forward to collaborating with the team."

In an ambitious move the first market where the new Splashpath app will be launching will be China. Morgan will be flying out there shortly to ensure that everything runs smoothly from a technical perspective. After that it's Europe, and then the rest of the world.

Morgan sees the interest in Splashpath as part of a growing trend to integrate technology with fitness and sport.

"Speedo's got an incredible reputation for innovation and we're excited to be collaborating and helping swimmers benefit from the latest gadgets and technology."

Morgan and the Active in Time team are already looking at other sports that could benefit from the technology that they've developed for Splashpath. It seems like this is one geek worth keeping an eye on.