Students to make a splash with charity Channel swim

CHANNELLING FUNDS: The team of swimming students

SWIMMING the English Channel without a wetsuit in September is all in a day – and night’s – work for a group of Year 12 students raising funds for two charities that support those with disabilities.

The team of five teenagers from Kent, including Sam Martin-Young from Lamberhurst and Joey Ajayi from Wadhurst – with teammates Mac Johnston, Daniel Oliver and Esmee Stanley – will set out from Dover on the 21-mile (18.2 nautical miles) sea crossing in September.

Operating by relay – swimming one hour at a time, with a five-minute changeover – the teenagers will dodge shipping and jellyfish in cold water with no wetsuits.

The five were all stung on a recent swim, said Sam.

“It was a bit of a panic moment when I was stung – it felt like sharp stinging nettles,” he said. “The pain lasted around 10-15 minutes but then gradually subsided.

“You’ve just got to keep telling yourself to keep swimming. The worst bit is knowing you’ve got to get back in the water for a second hour’s swimming when there are blooms of them in the water!”

Despite the challenges, the team is determined, according to team captain Daniel, who said: “We are supporting Level Water who help disabled children to learn to swim as we wanted to help other children to be able to enjoy and benefit from swimming as much as we do.

“We’re also supporting Brains Matter, a local charity in Tunbridge Wells who help people who have suffered from acquired brain injuries.”

The team’s fundraising page is at

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